Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.
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 steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But 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. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
The thrilling conclusion to the Mask of Shadows duology that weaves a tale of magic, shadows, and most importantly, revenge.
As one of the Queen's elite assassins, Sal finally has the power, prestige, and permission to hunt down the lords who killed their family. But Sal still has to figure out who the culprits are. They must enlist the help of some old friends and enemies while ignoring a growing distaste for the queen and that the charming Elise is being held prisoner by her father.
But there's something terribly wrong in the north. Talk of the return of shadows, missing children, and magic abounds. As Sal takes out the people responsible for their ruined homeland, Sal learns secrets and truths that can't be forgotten.
Oh, I really enjoyed reading this duology! I did enjoy Shadows more than Stars, because Sal was working for being Opal, and there were all the challenges and such, while Stars was more serious and dealing with Sal going after those that broke their country. Yeah.
I really enjoyed Sal, they knew who they were, and they were fluid, and I'd never read that combo before (it's been one or the other, not both) and yeah, they were a great character to read about. I really enjoyed their relationship with Elise, and others like their servant, Maud. I loved their interactions! I did think they were a little bit naive, thinking that the Queen was perfect. They learned that the Queen was human and made mistakes, but it was a hard lesson to learn.
I read in another review that there was apparently backlash about how little there was about Sal being fluid in Shadows, so there it was double downed on in Stars. I wish that there'd been more in Shadows, and less in Stars.
Part of that was because of how Sal lamented on the way the world was, being frigid, either/or. I just wish that they'd at least once instead of complaining on how it was, contemplated what they wanted it to be. It'd be especially helpful for those like me, who have little knowledge about being fluid.
Yeah, these books were really great, and I can't wait to read more from Linsey Miller!
Author: Linsey Miller
Series: Mask of Shadows #1, 2
Read: April 5th, 5th, 2019
Source: NetGalley, Library
Reason Why: Sounded really awesome, and they're Prequel & Sequel Challenge 2019 Books! And Mask of Shadows is a DAC Book, and Ruin of Stars is a End of Series 2019 Book and a Sophomore Challenge Book!
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Published: September 5th 2017, August 28th 2018
Mask of Shadows:
Ruin of Stars: