Author: Patricia Briggs
Series: Sianim #1
Rating: 4/5 stars
The Overview: When the peaceful kingdom of Reth is overrun by Geoffrey ae’Magi, the evil master of illusion, Aralorn, weaponsmistress of the shapechanging race, and her companion, Wolf, attempt to overthrow him.
As a long-time fan of Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, I went ahead and bought these before I even knew what they were about. Thinking it was another urban fantasy, I was surprised to discover it’s actually a classic shapeshifter fantasy novel. I find it rather amazing how well Briggs can tell one story about werewolfs and another about shapechangers and have them sound nothing alike. It is a true testament to her creativity as an author to be able to capture each genre so well.
There were some good elements of world-building throughout the story, but overall I found it a bit minimal. She could have done a bit more to bring the feel of the world alive without distracting from the story. This is why I think the characters and events are what made this novel special. The author is excellent at portraying strong female leads, dynamic love interests, and throwing them into great conflicts.
Another writing element I like is that Briggs manages to introduce these interpersonal conflicts without making them feel like senseless turmoils. This is a notable skill, as I find many authors sound like they’re following a formula.. “Okay, there hasn’t been any arguements between the characters in 50 pages, so I’d better invent a problem…” To take it further, all of Briggs works that I’ve read so far possess extrememly natural story progressions, which is probably why she is so easy and fun to read. Although the writing was not quite as strong as the Mercy series, it was highly entertaining in its own right.
Overall, Masques was a great book from an outstanding author and I’m eager to find out what happens next!
As a side note for all you die-hard Mercy fans out there: “Frost Burned” comes out March 5!!!!
Other books you might like:
- Shapechanger’s Song by Jennifer Roberson
- Assassin’s Apprentice by Robin Hobb
- Dragon Bones by Patricia Briggs
- Thief’s Gamble by Juliet E. McKenna
- First Truth by Dawn Cook
*Image taken from bn.com