It has been a while since I’ve posted a book review! (Obviously because it also took me like, almost two months to read this book. Oops.) But, I’m happy to share some thoughts about The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick. It was a read where I thought I had an opinion during the first half of the book, that shifted towards the later half.
An ARC copy was given to me by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!
Publisher: Orbit Books | Release Date: January 2021 | Pages: 630
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Paperback | Source: ARC
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.
On the Page
- Animal attack
- Captivity and confinement
- Death of a sibling/friend
- Gang violence
- Grief and loss depiction
- Knife violence
- Murder and attempted murder
- Neglect and abuse
- War themes and military violence
- Abusive relationships
- Blood and gore
- Disappearance of a loved one
- Nightmares and night terrors
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- The intricacy of the plot. I couldn’t help but be absolutely fascinated by the layers of this scheme. Ren’s creativity and dedication to her characters she had to perform in order to fit into society was masterful.
- Our characters. I thought the characters were absolutely fascinating. Ren in particular, as well as her relationship with her sister and brother.
- THAT DEATH. Honestly, the whole time after [REDACTED] died, I was waiting for the, “Ha ha, just kidding, we wouldn’t do that,” reveal. I didn’t think it was possible [REDACTED] was actually dead. Yet [REDACTED] apparently is. Bravo, even if it hurt.
- Worldbuilding, to a point. This is not to knock the worldbuilding, which is obviously rich, in-depth and broad. It honestly is a fascinating world. Yet it was so heavy-handed in parts that I struggled to stay interested and felt overwhelmed. Partly, this could be due to life stressors making this the wrong time to read a complex book like this. But, I would have liked a little less, honestly.
For me, The Mask of Mirrors was obviously a very in-depth, detailed world, with intricate plots, schemes and characters. While I did end up enjoying it by the end, the almost overwhelming amount of worldbuilding of the first half of the book had me almost DNF. While I’m glad I continued with it, as I will continue the series, I do wish it hadn’t cost me almost two months of reading. *shrugs*