What a brilliant concept for a book! One part, Hunger Games, one part Throne of Glass, and one part originality! It’s beyond amazing!
I won’t lie- this particular plot idea has been done. . .and done. . . and redone. For some unknown reason, in this particular book, it doesn’t annoy me, and I genuinely enjoyed reading it. Sure there were a few quirks, what reader doesn’t find a quirk (or two) to gripe about?! I also had my first encounter with an originality quirk that had me speechless. . .at first I wasn’t sure what to think, but towards the end I LOVED the idea, and really wonder why more writers are not utilizing this particular diversity.
What exactly am I referring to? Gender fluidity. . .
Our main character, Sal, thief extraordinaire, requires people to address him/her per the way they are dressed: tunic and pants, please address male, dress, please address female. A simple yet BRILLIANT concept. I have however seen a few people take up issue with the “just because a character is wearing pants/dress does NOT make them male/female”. Okay, I get that, especially being a tom boy myself. . .but come on people. Maybe I am out of the loop, and maybe gender fluidity among characters is more common than I realize. This one particular detail in the book floored me. Way to go Linsey Miller!!!!
Sal starts the book a simple thief robbing a noble carriage. In my eyes, Sal is noble as well. “Honor among thieves”. If Sal doesn’t have to kill, Sal doesn’t. Which is how we meet Sal’s lady; a ring is stolen as well as an audition form to become Opal.
What the heck is an Opal audition? It seems as though the Queen of the Realm keeps classy assassins in her company. Recently losing a gem (Opal) she is looking for a dutiful replacement. Ever the over-achieving assassin, Sal embarks on a Hunger Games/ Throne of Glass style mission to become the Queen’s next Opal. Of course there are tasks at hand to excel over the other admissions, as well as keeping up with Sal’s ulterior motive.
My only qualm with the book, seems to be the inconsistency with Sal’s good vs. evil. I felt like we were back and forth with a “to kill, or not to kill” type scenario. Other than that, smooth reading, well designed plot, and the gender switching feature didn’t bother me one bit. In fact, the more I read, the less I thought whether Sal was a boy or girl. It didn’t matter to me. I kind of wish more books were like that. If you’ve read one like that, can you comment down below? I’d love to check it out!
I was chosen by Netgalley to receive an advanced reader copy of “Mask of Shadows” by Linsey Miller. Given that fact, it has not altered my opinion on the book at all. “Mask of Shadows” has a scheduled release date of September 5th 2017.