I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
There was no going back. I was what I was, and they were a part of me now.
Title: Mask of Shadows
Author: Linsey Miller
Series: Untitled, #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Date Published: August 29, 2017
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen's personal assassins named for the rings she wears -- Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal -- their world changes. They know it's a chance for a new life.
Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.
I really wanted to love Mask of Shadows. Sadly, I did not. There were several problems that I had with this book. The first problem that I had was how similar Mask of Shadows was to Throne of Glass. Assassins, revenge, competitions, it’s all there. The entire plot was practically a replica of the plot of Throne of Glass. I can’t put into words how much that bothered me.
Continuing onto the other things that I didn’t like, there was absolutely no character development. I understand that this is only one book, but there should have at least been some character development. In addition, I found the characters really hard to relate to.
The last main thing that I didn’t like was how there was so much history thrown in at once. There wasn’t much time to process the world because it was all explained in one chapter.
Now, finally onto some things that I did enjoy. I really liked the romance. Given, there wasn’t very much of it, but the romance between Sal and Elise was something that saved this book for me. I found it to be understated and obviously not the main focus of the book, which made me appreciate the little moments there were even more.
Even though the plot was so similar to Throne of Glass, it is a good plot. If you enjoy assassins, blood, and gore, you will most likely enjoy this book. I have seen this book advertised to fans of Sarah J. Maas, and I can definitely see where that comparison is coming from, but in my opinion, it is just too similar. Overall, Mask of Shadows has many flaws, but it is still worth a read if you think you will enjoy it.
Buy Mask of Shadows:
by L.J. Smith
Goodreads 2017: 81/100