Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

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TITLE: Mask of Shadows

AUTHOR: Linsey Miller

RELEASED: August 29th 2017 by Sourcebooks Fire

GENRE: Teens + YA Fantasy/Sci-Fi

I Needed to Win.
They Needed to Die.

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 steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand—the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears—Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.

But 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. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.

This was an interesting novel to read. You know how sometimes you pick up a book based on the cover, dive right in without reading the synopsis, and just get totally swept away? Yeah, that was this book for me.

There is a lot going on in this novel that, as a cis female person, I just do not feel comfortable deconstructing and discussing for various reasons, but I loved that this was a different /and complex/ storyline. I loved Sal so much. The confidence they emit throughout the novel is refreshing, but the sense of not belonging is necessary for the progression of the plot. Their need to avenge Nacea drives them without controlling their entire life. I loved the interactions between Sal and other characters because Sal’s sense of humour is unique and a bit gory sometimes. I was a bit shocked at a few stages throughout the novel, but loved it still. It’s not often I’m shocked by YA fantasy novels!

blinked back tears and sniffed. I still loved her. But I did not trust her.

The romance was also pretty sweet, but not the main focus of, or even necessary to, the plot. It’s the first time I’ve ever read this particular kind of romance, but I felt it was well done.

I was also lucky enough to have Ruin of Stars waiting for me to dive in after I finished this, so that review still be up soon!!

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