Some people are saying they don’t understand the compassion of this book to Sarah J Maas books… Well I do! BECAUSE IT’S THE SAME (less interesting) PLOT!
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. –goodreads.com summary
Eh… kind of a random quote… sorry 😦
This was the first novel that I had approved for me to read on Netgalley. I had seen it around on Twitter and people seemed excited so I thought I’d give it a shot! After being approved, I found out about the gender fluid main and how that was a big selling point for many people. Sadly, that is one of the only selling point for Mask of Shadows…
Romance: The only thing I actually cared about in Mask of Shadows! It wasn’t too in your face and kinda surprised me! You don’t see a lot of queer relationships in fantasy so I didn’t expect it here!
Gender fluid main: I was worried it would come off as obnoxious and in your face but it’s actually hardly ever brought up. I never found it distracting and it felt natural to Sal’s character. I can’t say how accurate the rep is, but it seemed fine to me.
EVERYTHING ELSE… (is that too harsh… opps XD)
(Also I’m probably going to compare this one to Throne of Glass a lot… #SorryNotSorry #They’reBasicallyTheSameBook)
Exposition: In your face exposition dumps are why I used to stay FAR AWAY from high fantasy, and Mask of Shadows is the worst example of it. The beginning slaps you in the face with the history of this world and I just COULD NOT KEEP UP! This lead to me totally not understanding ANY character motivations! Sal wants to kill the people who caused their home nation to be killed…? But they like the queen…? Because the queen helped their home nation or something…? I HONESTLY DON’T KNOW
I HAVE SEEN THIS PLOT A MILLION TIMES BEFORE! This is a more boring version of Throne of Glass… There is NO way around that. It’s a bunch of people in this competition to be the King’s (or in this case, the Queen’s) assassin. ONLY THERE’S NO INTERESTING MAGIC EVIL SCHEME HAPPENING IN THE BACKGROUND TO CARE ABOUT! ALSO! Of all the Throne of Glass books, WHY WOULD YOU RIP OFF THE FIRST ONE? IT’S THE MOST BORING AND COOKIE CUTTER OF THE ENTIRE SERIES (except maybe Assassin’s Blade…)
I DON’T CARE ABOUT SAL! I have the same problem with Sal that I had with Celaena in Assassin’s Blade. Both are WAYY to good at EVERYTHING! But AT LEAST Celaena had a few other character traits and slipped up from time to time (even if it was her own fault *grumble grumble*) I wanted Sal to fail at SOMETHING! ANYTHING! But everything always turned out okay for them! Anytime they WOULD slip up, the plot would break its own rules to keep them in the story!
WHO WERE ANY OF THESE CHARACTERS! I couldn’t tell you the personality of ANYONE in Mask of Shadows! They were all just cardboard cut outs that did whatever the plot needed them too!
If you can’t tell, I was not a fan of Mask of Shadows… I went in excited and with an open mind but it really disappointed me. Had it not been for Netgalley, I probably would’ve DNFed this one… I’ve heard some other people say they like it, so maybe pick it up if you still like the synopsis but I can’t really recommend.
Oh and no spoilers for this one since it’s an ARC 🙂 Guess that’s a thing I’ll be doing now.
Oh and sorry if this was too harsh… 😦 I’m super proud of Linsey Miller for getting a book published, but this one was not my cup of tea.