Publication: 21st January 2021 – Orbit
Darkly magical and beautifully imagined, The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a rich and dazzling fantasy adventure in which a con artist, a vigilante, and a crime lord must unite to save their city.
Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams . . .
Renata Virdaux is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra — the city of dreams — with one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune and her sister’s future.
But as she’s drawn into the aristocratic world of House Traementis, she realises her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupted magic begins to weave its way through Nadezra, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled — with Ren at their heart.
I am thrilled to welcome you on my stop for the blog tour of The Mask of Mirrors, the fantastic new novel by M. A. Carrick.
Ren “Renata” Viradaux is an ex-street rat and con-artist who has arrived in Nadežra with her sister Tess to insert herself in the House Traementis pretending to be a long-lost cousin. Easily accepted by her cousins, she has to work hard to win the affection and trust of Donaia, the family head. Soon, Ren finds herself involved in family feuds and the political intrigue of the city.
What I loved most about this novel is its variety of characters. They are all likable, complex, and intriguing, and full of secrets. Ren is very smart, always ready to keep intact her façade of wealthy young woman who wants to reconnect with her family. Her cousins Leato and Giuna are fun characters and I like how their storylines developed throughout the story. Captain Grey is asked by Donaia to look into Renata’s life, but he also becomes obsessed with the case of missing children while facing ghosts from his past. Vargo is a crime lord trying to work his way up to the nobility. A bit shady and mysterious, he is a character that it is hard to read and that I can’t wait to see how it develops in the second book. And, last but not least, there is The Rook, a Robin Hood-vigilante character that helps the poor against the nobles. Around from hundreds of years, his identity is a mystery that Ren spends the entire book trying to uncover.
The world-building is incredible and rich. I was fascinated by the different noble houses, the rebels groups, and the different layers of magic. Sometimes the story feels slow-paced by the many information the author gives, but the more I read the more I found myself completely addicted and, thanks to the perfect and gripping ending, I can’t wait to see what happens in book number 2!
A huge thank you Tracy Fenton and Orbit for inviting me to join the blog tour and providing me with a copy of the novel.
M. A. Carrick is the joint pen name of Marie Brennan (author of The Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of The Adventures of Mr. Mystic). The two met in 2000 on an archeological dig in Wales and Ireland — including a stint in the town of Carrickmacross — and have built their friendship through two decades of anthropology, writing, and gaming. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.