2021, Blog Tour, Book review


Darkly magical and beautifully imagined, The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a rich and dazzling fantasy adventure in which a con artist, a vigilante, and a crime lord must unite to save their city.

Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams . . .

Renata Virdaux is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra — the city of dreams — with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune and her sister’s future.

But as she’s drawn into the aristocratic world of House Traementis, she realises her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupted magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled — with Ren at their heart.

My thoughts

The world building in The Mask of Mirrors is phenomenal, set in the city of Nadezra it didn’t take much to imagine the streets and back alleyways mentioned. The city comes to life on the pages, the smells and sounds, the buildings and bridges, it was almost as if I was there.

To begin with I did feel a bit overwhelmed with the amount of characters that were introduced, I kept getting them muddled in my mind but once I got past about 60 pages they all fell into place, I began to understand who was who and from where but each and every character seems to hold a secret, a past and I loved this because I wasn’t sure who to trust or what their motives could be.

Probably the stand out character for me was Vargo, he’s built himself up from being a river rat to a business man, gaining power and respect (not all legitimately). He was quite a mystery and I loved trying to figure him out but I think there’s a lot more to his character and we’ve only had a glimpse of him in this book.

This wasn’t a fast read for me, at just over 600 pages I had to take my time and take in every word. Some parts are quite fast paced others it slows right down and usually I’m not a fan of books when they do this but because this is a biggish book with a lot to take in, it was nice to slow down a bit and realign the brain before it all took off again.

What I didn’t realise until I had almost finished the book was there is a very handy glossary, a list of characters and what houses they are from at the end, if I had thought to even look before I started I think this would have helped me immensely with my understandings.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Mask of Mirrors, it was compelling, addictive, twisty and it’s left me thirsty for more. I can’t wait to read the next Rook & Rose book and if you’re a fan of fantasy, magic, politics, romance and mystery (and probably so much more that I’ve not added) then I definitely recommend you go and grab a copy of The Mask or Mirrors.

My thanks go to Tracy at Compulsive Readers and Orbit Books for the blog tour invite and the stunning copy of the book.

About the authors

M. A. Carrick is the pseudonym for Marie Brennan (author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of The Adventures of Mr. Mystic), yes, we pulled a fantasy version of James S. A. Corey because, why not?! With masked vigilantes, noble intrigue, and charming criminals, this is a dark, romantic, action-packed fantasy, perfect for readers of V. E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic), Scott Lynch (The Lies of Locke Lamora) and even The Princess Bride.

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