Mask of Shadows

Mask of Shadows Sallot Leon Is A Thief, And A Good One At That But Gender Fluid Sal Wants Nothing 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 LifeExcept 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

Originally from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician She now holds an MFA in fiction and is the author of the Mask of Shadows duology She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.

❰Epub❯ ➟ Mask of Shadows Author Linsey Miller –
  • Audible Audio
  • 9 pages
  • Mask of Shadows
  • Linsey Miller
  • English
  • 04 November 2019

10 thoughts on “Mask of Shadows

  1. says:

    This book was so dull, which is weird, for a book that contains mostly action and not much else.To mention this book in the same breath as Sarah J Maas or Leigh Bardugo is just laughable I don t even like Maas books, but she has a writing style that makes her books easy to follow, and easy to read This book is composed of too much action and dialogue, with little introspection and no art Had I not read the blurb for the book, I would not have known what it was about, even after reading it 1 3 of the way through.I guess one of the main selling point of this book is that we have a gender fluid protagonist I really didn t notice the gender fluidity at all, nor did I understand the point of it, if there is a point to it at all Am I being obtuse Offensive I don t really know At the risk of being politically incorrect, and I will put the disclaimer here that I am a raging liberal, and pro LBGQT rights and I don t give a fuck who you are and what you fuck and what your identity is as long as it s legal and even when it s not legal, cause some countries are ass backwards , there really is no point of the main character s gender definition or lack thereof I didn t notice it, and if it hadn t been specifically stated MAIN CHARACTER IS GENDER FLUID, I honestly would not have been able to tell whether he she they were or not.I guess it s good for the sake of representation and political correctness, but that s about it, as far as my impression goes.Their gender fluidity was not well written, for instance, during a discussion of killing people and introductions and shit, all of a sudden, out of nowhere And you can call me she when I dress like this I dress how I am Huh Where did that come from I had to go back to read that entire section again because that comment was just so random And then there s moments when they tell us I dress how I like to be addressed he, she, or they It s simple enough, and I m just thinking in my head well, aren t you a special little thing I would like to be called Khanh, First of Her Name, Eater of Brunch, Slayer of the Stairmaster, She of the Awesome Legs, and Mother of Bunnies, but I don t walk around telling people that My bunnies are damned cute, by the way.Whatever, gender whatever is not the point of the book The point is that a book should have a point, a clearly defined plot, excellent writing, compelling characters, believable dialogue This book had none of the above, and that is my sole reason for the one star rating It didn t draw my attention at all.

  2. says:

    Over half of my friends didn t like this book but I freaking loved it There was only one little aspect I didn t like but it wasn t too bad Sal gets into the Audition to become the next Opal a particular assassin for the Queen Sal has other plans, Sal wants to find out all of the people involved in killing everyone in Nacea This book is freaking awesome if you like assassins and people going around trying to kill each other and blood and guts and what not There are a group of these assassins and they all wear masks with a number on them They are known as their number They can kill each other during trials, during the night, pretty much any time accept while eating with their trainers and while in training It s pretty cray Sal is already pretty experienced in fighting since Sal has from childhood and in street fights Sal s also a thief and knows how to do other cool things that pertain to that I love how Sal is just telling them all, I m going to be the Opal and does what has to be done to not get killed in the process I wanted to smack someone at the end of the book though because of that little aspect I don t like about the book almost gets Sal killed But, that s all I m saying about that It doesn t matter, I already pre ordered the book on Not only does Sal have to learn training in the different kinds of fighting, they give Sal a tutor to learn how to read and write And no one can try to kill Sal while in study time Lol This book is great Oh, they also learn about poisons and other ways to kill people Yay I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for a copy of this book MY BLOG Melissa Martin s Reading List

  3. says:

    Per Linsey Miller s Twitter There are new ARCs out, so bringing this back Sal explains it in text, but please use they them pronouns for Sal in reviews discussions LinseyMillerIn light of this, I ve updated this review to reflect they them pronouns when referring to Sal I apologize if my choice to review to Sal as he in my previous review for ease of understanding for readers offended anyone _______________________________If I had one to describe this book in one word, it would have to be Reductive Have you read the Hunger Games, or any other dystopian fight t0 the death novel Then good news, you ve already read this one Mark it off your read shelves folks There is nothing new or exciting about any of this I suppose it could be the familiarity of it all that made this book a total snooze for me, but I also think a distinct lack of character development definitely didn t help.Lets take a look at the plot for a second Katniss Everdeen Sal, our gender fluid we ll get back to that later main character, is a lowly thief with a thirst for vengeance against the noble class, and joins a competition to the death in order to sneak into their ranks and get revenge Sound familiar At least in the Hunger Games, the author took the time to establish and develop characters Here, Miller employs a really strange narrative choice, by making the competition require every character to wear a mask with a number on it Sal becomes Twenty Three, and every other contestant in the game is only referred to by a number Four, Five, Fifteen, Eleven, etc Every time a number was referred to, I couldn t help but think Why was 6 afraid of 7 It made it impossible to care about characters, when they have no face or name to associate with them They are literally just numbers waiting to be killed off for 300 pages We don t even know the ages or genders of almost all of these characters Now, onto the Gender Fluidity I accept that this will be a controversial opinion, but this was the BIGGEST disappointment out of the novel for me Seriously Sal s gender fluidity is such a nonentity that it hardly factors into the story at all I think it was Miller s intention to create a world where gender fluidity is accepted by all, because no one ever questions Sal on what it means to be gender fluid However, Sal still gets teary eyed when people accept them dressing how they like, implying that an accepting society isn t the case at all This dichotomy creates a really strange divide in the story, where I was completely unsure at times if characters understood that Sal was gender fluid, or how they reacted to viewed it.Because there s no extrapolating on what it means to be gender fluid and how Sal fits into this world and society as a gender fluid character, there s no learning or growth for either the characters or the reader Like it was included as an afterthought almost I was incredibly disappointed Additionally There are just so many strange choices made in this story Such as making Sal illiterate, only to turn around and have them be able to read a name on a piece of paper that a messenger is carrying, from their vantage point, hidden high above in the branches of a tree, after 2 reading lessons Like, what I just don t even know I really wanted to like this, but I was totally let down 1.5 5 stars________________________________ I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest reviewGender fluid MC I m sold Can t wait to crack into this one

  4. says:

    ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.This is a hard one to review Linsey Miller s debut novel truly did have a lot of potential, and I do believe that the following installments will be much better than this first book that was laying the groundwork for this world Unfortunately, this book read very slow and it makes the story in general feel very underwhelming Trigger Warnings for misgendering, violence, and gore In this world, Queen Ignasi ended the civil war between Erlend and Alona and combined them into Igna The Queen also banished the land of magic, and the shadows that very painfully and cruelly kill people And the Queen has four personal guards at all times, that match the gemmed rings she wears on her fingers Ruby, Emerald, Opal, and Amethyst But one of the positions just opened up This book starts with a very unconventional robbery, where the thief s life is changed forever After the robbery, the thief finds a letter that gives all the information about the Queen s position that just opened up The three other personal guards are holding an audition to join their ranks, and you have to be personally invited to audition or to bring something worthy enough to grant you an invitation And our main character, Sal, brings something worthy enough Sal is then thrown into this tournament like audition, which is very reminiscent of Hunger Games and Red Rising, where it is basically a fight to the death and everyone is trying to kill and backstab everyone else All the participants wear mask to hide their identity and they all go by the number on their masks Our dear Sal becomes Twenty Three, where I had to force myself to stop picturing Michael Jordan constantly And even though Sal states at the start of the book how difficult they find killing, they get over it extremely unrealistically fast, yet the tournament narrows down extremely long windedly Basically, I really enjoyed the start and the end of this book, but the middle section that stars the auditions themselves was too slow.Sal also has a very tragic backstory, that explains why they was never able to learn how to read and write, but the information does come across as info dumping It s hard to sympathize and grow attachments to them, when we learn about Sal being forced to grow up an orphan just randomly distributed throughout the book once every 100 pages.We also have a few good side characters One becomes a romance interest, and teaches Sal how to read and write You guys know I love when books have a relationship that blossoms over one of the love interests teaching the other how to read So, I actually really shipped and enjoyed their romance, and their study sessions just enhanced their relationship in my eyes My favorite character in the whole book was probably Sal s personal servant, Maud During the auditions, all of the contestants are given a personal servant, and Sal lucked out getting Maud I loved her back story, I loved how she helped Sal constantly, and I love that she never lost sight of her selfless end goal She was a really great character The reason I requested this ARC was because of the gender fluid main character Now, it is very important to note that I am a cis woman and this review is not coming at you from an own voices perspective, so I feel uncomfortable and not educated enough to discuss the representation in this novel But here is my favorite voice on Booktube, who also happens to be non cis, and is one of the voices that should be heard while talking about the representation of this gender fluid main character Adriana, from perpetualpages If you guys are, or know anyone who is, an own voices reviewer of this book, please do not hesitate to link your reviews down below I would love to add them to my review For me, Mask of Shadows just read like generic YA fantasy I didn t hate this, I just didn t really enjoy it either I for sure did enjoy some parts, and a few of the side characters, but I felt the story was too tedious for me to ever fully immerse myself and to simply let myself just enjoy it Again, I do think the next installment in this series will be much better, and I do want to cut the author some slack for this being their debut novel Plus, as Adriana states in her book talk, we need stories that focus on queer characters storylines, instead of just focusing on queer characters being queer.Blog Twitter Tumblr Instagram Youtube Twitch

  5. says:

    Update 1.99 on US Kindle, June 26, 2019.RELEASE DAY August 29, 2017 This book has crazy mixed reviews, but I LOVED it and highly recommend PReview also found at The Paranormal Paladin.The only person I think of at the moment who reminds me of Sal is Arya Stark from Game of Thrones, even though that isn t accurate But, it kind of fits in my mind, so I m going with it.I was Sallot Leon one of the last children of Nacea, orphan and street fighter, highway thief and Twenty Three.This book isn t released until September, so I don t want to go too much into the plot The premise is that Sal ends up participating in an elite audition, to become one of the Queen s Left Hands.Each Hand is a gemstone there s Amethyst, Emerald, Ruby, and Opal The last Opal died, so they need a new one The competition It s to the death.I found this book to be fantastic I read the entire thing in 24 hours and could barely put it down I thought the pacing was good, and the action was tempered well with character and world building and a little bit of romance It s pretty much everything I look for in a book.I have seen a few reviews on Goodreads that accuse this of being a Hunger Games rip off and I would respectfully disagree The only thing the two books have in common is that there is a competition to the death No one is forced to compete, there is no tyrannical government or districts.This book is about swords and assassins It s fantasy lite, meaning it s action adventure rather than about magic or fantastical creatures or beings.I have also seen a few reviews on Goodreads say they had a difficult time getting into the characters because they were all referred to by numbers and had masks on and I would also respectfully disagree on that point The majority of the numbered competitors were like window dressing and not really vital to the story, and the few numbers that were main plot points were definitely identifiable and memorable Two, Four, Five you don t forget them by the end of the book Since this is my review space, I have one point to bring up I like the way the author handled the gender fluidity theme This was not a story about prejudice or bigotry and no one really even made a big deal of how Sal dressed When he dressed as a male, he was called he When she dressed like a female, she was called she, and Sal said this is how they wanted to be addressed But it was in the background and not a main focus of the book, which I liked, because usually it becomes this huge issue Sal just was who Sal was.I guess that is all I ll say for now since I m reviewing an ARC I highly recommend this for readers who like young adult fantasy action adventure I ll probably pick up my own copy of this for my personal library since I would definitely read again, and I can t wait to read the next one Fantastic debut novel Thank you so much Netgalley and publisher for providing a digital copy to read and review 4.5 stars, rounding up.Original post I had no idea this already had such mixed reviews Intriguing Nor did I realize you are supposed to refer to gender fluid individuals as they and not he or she I can think of a couple reviews I probably effed up on, then Hunger Games rip off Well, I lurved Hunger Games, so this wouldn t bother me at all.Curious to see what I think Digital copy provided by Netgalley and publisher to read and review.

  6. says:

    Full review now posted I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review I don t think there is much to say about a book like Mask of Shadows In some respects, it very much reflects every single YA fantasy book out there Specifically, and I apologize if this comparison has already been made by, basically, every single person who s already read the book, the plot bears remarkably similarities to the Hunger Games concept I have to point out, though, and sorry if it sounds harsh, that the execution is so much poorer that when you re reading this, you don t even notice they actually are rather similar I, at least, never thought about the Hunger Games while reading Mask of Shadows there is too much of an abyss between the two, if you ask me As I said, not much to be said sorry for the pun bland plot, bland characters, bland sometimes downright confusing writing And speaking about confusing, the world building I ll be very honest I didn t understand a thing Take the shadows I kept waiting and waiting for some disclosure about them, and I got none Or, also, what s going on in terms of politics between these various countries, which is explained in such a fragmentary and random way, with bits of it scattered here and there in the least fitting moments in the story, was completely lost on me as well Much of the hype around this book, as you probably know, is due to the fact that the MC, Sal, is gender fluid Now, it s likely that many of you have picked up or will pick up this book expecting to find in it a lot of fuss being made about the protagonist being gender fluid The truth is that, in the story, this is actually treated as a no big deal, which surprised and pleased me a lot I know that many people were disappointed by this approach, which admittedly felt like rather too simplistic at times, but I like the direction it tried to take and I think the effort must be appreciated, especially if we consider that this is a topic still waiting to be duly explored by literary fiction and subgenres as fantasy in particular Seeing what a disappointment Mask of Shadows was for me, I m not sure I ll give the sequel a chance What s sure is that I was bored to tears and immensely frustrated by the messy world building, and that these are the main reasons why I can t really recommend the book But if you think you won t be bothered by all the things I mentioned and you just want to try out the author s approach to gender fluidity, then I think you might even enjoy it.

  7. says:

    DNF 34% As much as I hate leaving books unfinished, there s nothing that makes me want to continue Taking place in a generic fantasy world, Linsey Miller s debut focuses on Sal, a thief who enters a competition to become one of the Queen s Assassins sound familiar yet This offers some really great representation, as Sal is genderfluid I appreciated how they weren t completely defined by this, and the plot was the primary focus However, despite the representation this offers, Sal isn t a very strong character I feel very little connection to them, and their one definable trait seems to be their pursuit of becoming an Assassin and moving the plot forward Aaaaaannnddd, unfortunately, that plot offered nothing new Just an oddly built up competition reminiscent of Red Rising or The Hunger Games There s no real sense of place, despite the random facts about the intermingling languages or long ago wars that are scattered throughout the first third I reached my limit when it came to Sal s competitors Everyone competing to become an assassin is designated a number in place of their name It s a depersonalization tactic that works. Everyone is just a blur of numbers up to 23 with nothing distinctive about them Without an interesting plot, any sense of setting or character depth, there was simply nothing compelling about this Despite featuring an MC in an often underrepresented demographic, the story simply wasn t interesting.I received an ARC of this through Netgalley, thanks to Sourcebooks Fire for the opportunity

  8. says:

    Dull, confusing and disappointing Wow, I was really excited to read this book because of all the hype around it but it completely crashed and burned for me I rarely rate books even the ones I really couldn t get into one star but this is the exception I m not gonna believe all the hype about another book again until I ve read it myself so that I m not as disappointed, like in this case.

  9. says:

    WrensReads Review This was me when I read this Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast paced action This was me about fifty pages in I m not sure who decided to come up with that little quote about it being like Maas and Bardugo, but I just have one question have you read any Mass or Bardugo Like I understand the whole fight and see who whens to be on this elite team nonsense that is so wonderful in young adult books these days Throne of Glass which is a Sarah J Maas book , Red Queen, Hunger Games, Wolf by Wolf, ect , but that s where the comparisons stop The only thing that I felt translated well out of this novel is the gender fluid character, Sal The author did a tremendous job with bringing to light gender fluidation and showing it as a normal thing I feel like if you aren t gender fluid, it might be hard to write about, but I feel as if Miller did a great job with that.I also feel that Sal was the only thing unique about this book If you want to know about the plot, I say just read The Hunger Games or any other fight to live or be on this really cool and elite team type book WrensReads Goodreads Twitter Instagram

  10. says:

    Full review coming soon, closer to pub date Action packed, daring, engaging and romantic, Mask of Shadows was everything I wanted and I will definitely be pre ordering my own copy of this one off of , and I already can t wait for the sequel

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