Arenza Lenskaya is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadezra, she fled that world to save her sister. This is your present, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .Renata Viraudax is a con artist recently arrived in Nadezra. She has one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune. This is your future, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .As corrupt 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. And if she cannot sort the truth from the lies, it will mean the destruction of all her worlds.
Con artists, masked vigilantes, political intrigue, alluring sword fights, sharply tuned dialogue, an elaborate magic system, and a whole lot of drama that renders you physically incapable of closing the book before you get to the ending is what you’ll find in The Mask of Mirrors ... I’m completely in awe of the extensive and complex worldbuilding in this book ... Carrick’s depictions [...] are equally vivid and detailed ... The Mask of Mirrors is quite a large book, and I suppose many readers might find the pacing sluggish at times. That being said, personally I found the slow momentum suited the story perfectly, allowing the authors time to introduce the setting and the characters in a way that won’t be overwhelming, and the readers to savour the suspenseful plot thoroughly ... Overall, The Mask of Mirrors is a fantastic beginning to a trilogy I’m harbouring high hopes for, and I can’t wait to see where the second book in the Rook & Rose trilogy takes us! If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, The Mask of Mirrors is a book that should definitely be on your radar!
This historical urban fantasy is for those who like their revenge plots served with the intrigue of The Goblin Emperor, the colonial conflict of The City of Brass, the panache of Swordspoint, and the richly detailed settings of Guy Gavriel Kay.
[The Mask of Mirrors] reminds me strikingly of the Astreiant novels of Melissa Scott and the late Lisa A. Barnett’s Astreiant novels, albeit more in worldbuilding and tone than in characters and concerns ... The Mask of Mirrors gives us a rich world—a compellingly-drawn city—with a depth of history and layers of competing agendas. It has multiple different kinds of magic, from the more upper-class science of numinat and the more artisanal imbuing, to the influence of astrology and of patterning—card-reading that can reveal a person’s future, or fate. And it gives us layered, compelling characters, who’re sympathetic and understandable, and a plot that mounts with carefully-measured tension and nested capers and revelations to an explosive climax.