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Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller
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Mask of Shadows

by Linsey Miller

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16518114,167 (3.93)2
The gender fluid thief Sal Leon enters a competition to become a replacement member of the Left Hand--a quartet of the Queen's personal assassins--but must first survive the training and the contests while putting the reason for auditioning into motion--revenge.

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads. It reminded me a bit of a Tamora Pierce book, with a young person going through trials not normally for them, and beating the odds. It had potential, but it was a bit sloppy. I felt like the timeline was very rushed, events didn't take a logical amount of time, and the book seemed to take place over only 2 days instead of realistic weeks. I also thought that Sallot made too big of a deal out of being gender fluid - I understand that people using the wrong pronouns is irritating, but it seemed like every few pages it was complained about. People you meet for the first time are rarely going to address you properly, regardless of how you change your clothes. ( )
  Linyarai | Feb 16, 2020 |
I read this book in one day and I started out really loving it, then by the end I was kind of disappointed. 3.5 stars.

Pros:
* Genderfluid protagonist with changing pronouns.
* I liked the relationship between the members of the Left Hand, how they are assassins and yet still friends/family to each other.
* I liked the worldbuilding and the plot.
* There were a couple of really funny lines.

Cons:
* There were three characters other than Sal that I really liked, and two of them died. So that sucked. I was kinda expecting the first, but I'm grumpy about the second.
* The romance felt kind of unnecessary? Maybe that's not the right word, but I wasn't really feeling it and I wanted to get back to the assassion/Left Hand plot.
* It would have been nice to see other nonbinary characters, or at least mention them, because the way Sal was talking about their own gender, it kinda sounded like they were the only one in the world who is like that. Fingers crossed for others to appear in the sequel.

But most of all:
* I really, really dislike the solution that it's Sal's clothes that signal their current pronouns to people. That just raises so many questions. How do you even dress neutral? Why is a dress inherently female? etc. ( )
1 vote runtimeregan | Jun 12, 2019 |
This story had several things going for it, it just was too boring for me. I loved that Sal was genderfluid and confident in themselves. Sometimes Sal felt like a girl and wore a dress, sometime Sal wore men's clothes and wanted to be addressed as he. Occasionally, Sal felt like neither and wasn't afraid to tell people about it. And most people had no issue with it and I liked that a lot. I also enjoy books with deadly competitions, so this should have been great, but I found myself struggling to pay attention. I'm not sure if it would have better better if I physically read it instead of audio, but I needed more to happen and quicker. It wasn't terrible and hopefully others enjoy it more than I did. ( )
  AlyP59 | Apr 25, 2019 |
Genderfluid (sometimes he, sometimes she, sometimes they) Sal is a thief and, quickly, a killer, setting out to become the Opal, one of the Queen’s trusted servants/assassins. To do so, Sal must kill the other contenders (which has always struck me as a really inefficient way to get the top person—so destructive to a true reservoir of talent!). Suffering from PTSD from the deaths of their family—in fact their entire nation—because of the perfidy of nobles in the destructive war that resulted in the end of magic in the land, Sal has a secret mission to kill all those responsible while rising to the post. It’s a decent palace intrigue, but I couldn’t really get over the “kill all others with the guts and training to the job” part, even when it turned out to have a small asterisk. ( )
1 vote rivkat | Mar 8, 2019 |
I loved this book and can't wait for the final book in this duology! there was action, romance, and great character development! 5 out of 5 stars for me! ( )
  ReadingwithLynn | Sep 25, 2018 |
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