Sal is a street thief who runs in a gang. One night he robs a lady and finds a pamphlet in her bag. The Queen is holding auditions for Opal, one of an elite group of assasins, all named after gemstones. The previous Opal had recently died, and these auditions were being held on the palace grounds, to the death. Sal, having never killed anyone before but wanting revenge on the people who caused genocide on on their country, thought this a chance that was too good to pass up. Sal kills the gang leader and takes his hand to the auditions as proof of intent to be the next Opal.
This was a great YA fantasy novel. The plot was original and the characters fascinating. All of the men and women who were auditioning as the next Opal wore masks and were given numbers as names creating gender ambiguity. So, even though they were men and women, they became five, four, and in Sal’s case, twenty-three. Sal was also not gender specific. If Sal wore women’s clothes she was to be addressed with the pronouns she/her, etc. Dressed as a man, Sal was addressed as he/him. Sal’s sex was also kept from the reader, so you were developing feelings for this character not caring if it was a boy or girl, if the relationships and feelings they were portraying were the same as your own. I liked this unique aspect of the story and started paying more attention to the plot based on the person. Not the sex of them.
This book also had a lot of action scenes, including knife and sword fights, that were very well written. The contestants were auditioning with their lives at stake, so their feelings were extreme, amd the outcome could be gruesome, but that only added emphasis to the terrific dialog and plot. I really enjoyed this novel and can’t wait to see how Sal will enact their plans in the next novel. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
Click link to purchase! Mask of Shadows
Copyright Deborah Kehoe The Reading Chick All Rights Reserved
I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.