The Mask of Mirrors (Rook and Rose #1) by M.A. Carrick and Marie Brennan
Darkly magical and intricately 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 Viraudax 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 elite world of House Traementis, she realizes her masquerade is just one of many surrounding her. And as corrupt 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 received this book from NetGalley and this is my honest review. Wow, this book was so fascinating! It took me awhile to get into the book and understand everything and the names (because they are very unique to this story), but once you did I was like, oh damn, how’s it going to end? I will also warn you guys to be prepared because this book is LONG, but I definitely think it is worth it.
Ren and her sister Tess pose as the long lost cousin and maid respectively, of the Noble House Traementis. Getting into their register to reap the rewards from the House’s wealth is the con, but when the lies have lies and they are running so many different angles at once, they run into some problems. Beyond the web of lies they weaved, there is something more sinister going on in the City of Nadezra and Ren soon finds herself in the thick of it in-between Noble Houses, gutter rats, and the Vigil (police). Danger is literally at every interaction, can they make it out?
The book had loads and loads of secondary characters and with their hard names, it was sometimes difficult to keep straight. I realized at the end of the book their is a glossary that may have been useful to refer back to at times. Despite the difficult names, both the main and secondary characters developed beautifully! No one was one dimensional and everyone had their own character progression.
The book is set seemingly long ago before modern technology, but in a society where magic exists. Not like witch magic, but more related to patterns (aka tarot cards) and the world beyond. For being set in the past, the book had some amazingly progressive ideals, such as it seemed socially acceptable for people to have relations with people of the same gender (yay LGBT) and women were heads of the households and in leadership positions.
I can’t wait to see where the story leads with the second book. The little revelation / cliff hanger at the end was great and I am hooked. I can’t recommend this book enough. The book is released on January 19, 2020. You can preorder the book through your go to platform here.