Title / The Mask of Mirrors
Author / M. A Carrick
Series / Rook & Rose – book 1
Published / 2021
Page no. / 630
Overall Rating / ★★★.5
The Mask of Mirrors is the first book in the Rook & Rose trilogy, written together by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms as M. A. Carrick. It is a adult fantasy story and follows multiple perspectives, although the plot mainly focuses around Ren’s infiltration into an elite house in the city of Nadežra. The cover is illustrated by Nekro and designed by Lauren Panepinto.
*I received an e-copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review*
This first instalment introduces us to the main protagonist, Ren, a young street child who has escaped a rough situation and is now about to start running a long con on a elite house in the city. Ren is an interesting protagonist and her relationship with her ‘sister’ Tess (also from the streets) is a highlight of the book. Their close friendship is so nice to see and I loved seeing how they work together throughout the story. So many times in books you see women put against each other, for no apparent reason other then being two women, so I loved seeing this close friendship in this story. The other main protagonists (and secondary characters) are all well written with distinct voices and compelling back stories. I think the authors did a really good at weaving all of the characters story threads all together.
The pacing of the story is fairly slow, especially at the beginning and middle of the book, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is a slow read. I read this in a few days because the story itself is quite a compelling one. I do think that some people may struggle with the slower pacing though, so if you’re not a fan of slower paced books then this may not be the one for you. I personally really enjoyed it and I didn’t have an issue with the pacing. The world is also really well written, especially the politics of this world. The authors have woven a lot of layers into the politics and hierarchies within the city, so if you enjoy fantasy with political elements then this book definitely has that. I really enjoyed finding out about the world and I look forward to exploring more in the sequels. The magic system is still quite a enigmatic one, but in a good way – in a way that makes you look forward to finding out more about it, rather than just being confused by it.
Overall I really enjoyed this first instalment to the Rook & Rose trilogy and I am definitely planning on checking out the sequel, The Liar’s Knot (set for release December 2021). If you are looking for a new fantasy series to check out, I’d recommend checking this one out if you’re interested. Have you guys read this book? I’d love to know what you thought of it. Let’s chat in the comments. I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next time.