If you follow my blog closely you know I'm a big Patricia Briggs fangirl. I love her Mercy Thompson series, and the series set in the same world Alpha and Omega. Mercy and Adam are like old friends of mine, and I was glad to meet Charles and Anna from the Alpha and Omega series. Masques is very different, don't go into this thinking you're going to get a similar expierence. Masques is a fantasy, not an Urban Fantasy, if you can't tell by the cover. I went into this book with mixed feelings because I'd read some scathing reviews, but then I discovered a few praising it. I decided then to give it a try, and I was happy with my results. Before I get to deep into my gushy unapologetic book pushing, I'll tell you a little about Masques. It stars Aralorn, a brave, but self described plain Jane. She is an ex-noble bent on spying and discovering truths, and a master fighter with a staff. She is a shape-shifter, and truly a remarkable person. She is vibrant, and has her own quirk personality, and instead of swearing she says, plague it! She brings chaos wherever she goes, and always seems to get everyone around her involved in her adventures. She has a companion Wolf, he is a big, ferocious, TALKING, wolf. He has a dry humor that you can't help but appreciate, he comes and goes as he pleases, but never fails to return to Aralorn. Helping Aralorn and Wolf on this particular journey is Myr King of Reth. Myr is big hearted, but regal, and extremely level headed. He's a good King, and realizes that the the darkness must be stopped. The darkness is a Magi, known as Geoffrey. If your familiar with Graceling and Fire, you'll find the Magi similar to a ruler in those stories. The Magi is loved by everyone, except a small group of people who know the truth. Aralorn, Wolf, and Myr take it upon themselves to protect the group from danger. Danger being the wrath of the Magi, and his evil hoard of zombie like creatures known as Uriah. Aralorn proceeds to learn some truth about Wolf that could change her opinion about him forever. I loved this book, I thought it was well written, the characters snatch your interest within the first few pages, and the world Patricia created is completely enchanting. If you are a fan of dragons, magic, quests, and mystery you'll love it. I personally don't discard this book as her meager first attempt at writing, like I've noticed a few people doing. It truly is a pure blooded fantasy book, I recommend it to fans of Kristen Cashore, Robin McKinley, and Tamora Pierce, along those lines of good story telling. The only problem I have with the book is that the ending could have been stronger, and it was a bit weird. I really love the updated covers of the Sianim books. Masques came out a long time ago, and I think the covers are prettier, but still the old school fantasy book covers can be comforting. I wish I could actually properly express my love for this book, but all I can say is that I'm an even bigger fan of Patricia Briggs after reading Masques.
The older cover, Aralorn looks nothing like that girl, and wolf is black, and I'm not exactly sure who that man with the sword is, maybe a Uriah, perhaps the Magi? Anyway, the older covers still make you feel nostalgic for classic fantasy books.
“Allyn’s toadflax! Wolf, what are you trying to do to me?’” Mindful of the proximity of the
castle, she lowered her voice to a soft tone that didn’t carry, but did not lack for force either. “I
could have died of shock.” She put her hand theatrically over her pounding heart. “I still might.
Why didn’t you warn me you were here?”
The Wolf stood over her, fey and feral, with the stillness of a wild thing. The deep, macabre
voice was calm and passionless when he spoke without replying to her question. “You should
have told me that you intended to spy on the ae’Magi—if I had known that you were
contemplating suicide I would have killed you myself. At least it would be a cleaner death than
any he would bestow.” Fathomless golden eyes gazed at her without emotion.