Fortune favors the bold. Magic favors the liars.
Ren is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadežra with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house, securing her fortune and her sister’s future.
But as she’s drawn into the elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the City of Dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled…with Ren at their heart.
The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick.
Review: 5 Stars
Lately I’ve really been in the mood for epic fantasy, so I decided to give The Mask of Mirrors a shot. When I first heard about this book I was pretty excited because the main character is a thief attempting a long con. The premise sounded intriguing but initially I was intimidated by the fact that this book is nearly 700 pages. Luckily I found this story pretty easy to sink into and wound up enjoying every minute of the book.
The main character Ren was really fun to read about. She was a thief attempting a long con where she pretended to be a noble woman so that she could infiltrate a noble family as their long lost cousin. She was really witty and I loved that she was very morally grey. Ren had two siblings, Tess and Sedge, and I loved how they were fiercely protective of one another. I also really enjoyed the relationships that formed between Ren and the noble family she was pretending to be a part of. The bonds between the characters were so strong and really tugged at my heart at times.
This was a character driven book, but the plot was also amazing. The plot revolved along a long con, but there was also a lot of political maneuvering and several different plot lines, so there is a lot going on.The plot was an emotional roller-coaster and at times I was on the edge of my seat. The plot kept me guessing at who was behind which schemes and the identity of a masked vigilante called The Rook. The book is told from multiple points of view so you get to see things from multiple angles. There are a lot of characters and different noble houses and governing positions. While I didn’t have a hard time following it all there is a glossary and a list of important characters in the back if needed.
The world built in this book was rich and vivid. I felt that everything was described really well without info dumping. I got a full sense of the history of the city, the differing religions, the cultures and the conflicts between the Liganti and the Vrazenians. The magic system was pretty complex and while it wasn’t a main focus of the story I did think that it was pretty unique. Everything came together in a way that really brought the city of Nadezra to life.
The Mask Mirrors was a really cool fantasy with characters that I really loved and a world that felt incredibly real. There was so much scheming and political maneuvering that kept me guessing. The pacing wasn’t fast, but it was consistent and there were plenty of twists that I never saw coming. it did take me a bit to finish this one, but I enjoyed it every step of the way. If you enjoy books about cons of thieves you should check this book out.