Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Witty dialogue, loveable main character, and a killer plot!

Sal wants revenge for the death and destruction of their village and family, and the only way to do this is to infiltrate the Queen’s court by becoming Opal, a deadly assassin of the Queen’s The Left Hand (assassin group). To become Opal, Sal must go against other deadly killers to win the contest of assassins. I loved the smart, witty dialogue and layers to the main character’s personality. Overall I loved the story, the plot may seem complex but the characters are amazing, there’s depth, layers to the characters which I absolutely love. It’s been a while since I have really enjoyed a humorous, loveable and witty protagonist like Sal who has heart, the smarts and guts.

– NJ

 

Synopsis

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

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Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau 

“People make terrible choices out of fear of losing what they hold dear.” – Dividing Eden

I’m generally not a big fan of dual perspectives but this story did it well, the chapters oscillates between Carys and Andreus; royal twins who must battle it out for the throne yet one is a sworn protector of another and keeper of a dark secret. It’s like watching a bomb being set off except the characters knows nothing but you (the reader) sees everything. The plot is fast paced and it explores the themes of duty, honour and power. I liked that Carys is portrayed as a strong female character who is strategic, gutsy and honourable but still has her own faults and vulnerabilities. Dividing Eden has court intrigue, politics, magic, villainy and characters with secrets, it’s a great set up for the next book! Recommended for fantasy lovers that likes strong female characters, political intrigue, trials and tribulations. 

– NJ