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Masques (Sianim #1)

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  6,189 ratings  ·  449 reviews
Rewritten from the original story of 1993.

After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy.

Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi.

But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true en...more
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Ace (first published December 1st 1993)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa MH
If you've never read Patricia Priggs, please, dear God, please don't start with this book. I love Briggs. She's one of my favorite authors. I have not read her other straight fantasy books, but her urban fantasy series are on my 'instant buy' lists. She is an amazing writer. Unfortunately, this doesn't reflect her current skill.

This was her first novel, originally written twenty (or so) years ago. In her introduction, Briggs states she did not know much about writing then. She tried to polish th...more
M—
ETA July 2010:
Release date for the Masques reissue is set for October of this year! The sequel, Wolfsbane, will be released in November. New Briggs books in time for Christmas I cannot wait!

http://www.patriciabriggs.com/


Original Review, April 2007:
Oh, this book has given me grief.

This author is a favorite of mine and, with the notable exception of Masques, I have copies of all of her books. Masques, you see, is out of print.

When I first discovered Briggs, I did what I do with any new infatuation...more
CJ - Drop Dead Cute
I love Patricia Briggs. There I've said it.

Now you know that this is going to be biased.

You could tell it was an earlier book in that the storytelling was raw. The plot was interesting and the characters were intriguing but they felt a little underdeveloped. Again, it's what happens in a first book.

Still a really good read for two reasons: 1) It's an interesting and light fantasy read that will make you smile/laugh at the dialogue 2) It's Patricia freaking Briggs!

Wolf is a scarred and flawed ch...more
Traci
Briggs, perhaps best known for her Mercy Thompson series, writes an introduction to the reissue of this, the very first of her novels to ever be published. In said into, she says that she didn't think much about this first book, not until she found out that it was fetching some rather high prices on various websites (since there weren't many copies to start with, and it was out of print). She was preparing to release the second book in the series and wanted to reissue the first, but when she wen...more
Elena
3.5 stars. This is Briggs' first novel, which has been out of print for ages and ages but was recently reissued. She added an introduction that makes it pretty clear that she finds the novel kind of embarrassingly bad and agreed to the reissue because of fan demand and not because she actually thought the book deserved it. So I was kind of wary going in, especially since I'd read a couple of her other novels set in this world and found them kind of meh--I figured the very first would be even wor...more
Miss Clark
Jan 26, 2012 Miss Clark rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mature readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Karyn
Funny thing about this book - hard to find it in libraries and book stores, there aren't many hard copies available - but you can find it for free online.

Lady Aralorn is a shapeshifter who works as a spy. She's charming, humourous, courageous and has a knack for folklore. Wolf is a powerful magician with a scarred tortured past where he wasn't on the good side. He prefers to avoid human contact and stays in wolf form - hence the name. However Aralorn helped him once and he finds he keeps returni...more
Lynsey   • The Demon Librarian
Disclaimer: I read (listened to) the updated 2010 version which had been re-written and fleshed out considerably (according to the author's introduction), and was almost twice the length of the original 1993 release.

I really struggled to rate this one. It's so hard not to compare it to her Mercy Thompson series, which is a mistake because that really is in a class of its own. Not even the spin-off Alpha and Omega series compares to it, in truth. But it's hard not to at least compare writing styl...more
Z-squared
Solid book. A surprising number of reviewers didn't like this, or said something to the effect of, "I'm so glad I read other Patricia Briggs books first or I never would have read another." I just don't get it. Maybe because the version I'm reading was revised and expanded from the original, but I thought Masques was marvelous. Very well executed, even if it relied on relatively predictable cliches. Like excellent comfort food that way. I even enjoyed it as an audiobook, which is really rare for...more
Angela James
Not my favorite of her fantasy books. For those who are fans of her urban fantasy and have never read her fantasy, this may not be the best book to start with. I thought the pacing lagged a bit in spots. But it's still better than a lot of books I've read this year, because it's Briggs, who even at her "not my favorite" is still really darn good.
Kathleen
3.5 stars. A shapeshifter wolf, dreaded by all, fiercely protects the only one who doesn't fear him. Good thing, too, cuz she keeps getting into the evil wizard's clutches. She is tortured. He rescues her. He is caught. She rescues him. Love unfolds poignantly. She helps him forgive himself and accept his "green magic" nature. Sweet.

Creepy black magic, child eating, torture. Ick. Those Uriah! Zombie flesh eaters. A one-dimensional villain, cardboard, a cartoon.

Decent enough story, but Kellgrin's...more
Daisa
Booktube-A-Thon Challenge: Read a book someone else picks for you.

Patricia Briggs man...I swear on everything I love, this woman is my favorite author...I don't care if she doesn't write deep or life changing stories...Her books are entertaining and captivating and always gets me invested in the characters and their well being.

Masques is a paranormal fantasy book involving Shape-Shifters, Magicians, Dragons OH MY! And I loved every minute of it. The characters, the story, the world they lived i...more
Jacob Proffitt
Mar 16, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody ready to enjoy a good fantasy story simply told.
Shelves: audible, fantasy
The author, Patricia Briggs, added a forward to this Audible.com re-release of the book. In it, she described how it was her first book and that she had the opportunity to edit it for re-release (in preparation for turning it into a series). She talked about how impossible editing was because she had changed so much as a writer and editing would have meant creating an entirely differet work. She says that she ended up mostly adding-to rather than actual editing. I'm not sure how much or where sh...more
Melissa Proffitt
Patricia Briggs deserves a medal for being brave enough to re-release this book, her first novel and one that doesn't make her look very good. On the other hand, it's interesting to track an author's progress from early books through later ones, and I doubt Briggs is in any danger of losing readers because of this one.

I'm not sure why I read this, except that I had some notion of getting the background for Wolfsbane, which has been recommended to me. Briggs's added chapters at the beginning (for...more
Sylvia Sybil
This is the reissued edition, not the original.

Aralorn is a mercenary, sent to ascertain a potential threat to a charismatic and beloved mage. While in his palace, she uncovers evidence that he is manipulating the emotions of everyone around him to adore him - even as he tortures and kills them. Returning home, however, she finds that the effect has spread. No one will believe her, and worse, friends she's known for years turn on her for daring to criticize the great mage. With the help of an el...more
Tracy
She may be a Lady, but Aralorn was never comfortable with the idea of a noble life. Being a mercenary and spy suit her much better. Well, it did until she was sent in to the castle of Geoffrey ae'Magi, a powerful and beloved mage, to spy on him in an effort to substantiate rumors of assassination. But the powerful ae'Magi isn't what he seems, and the truth is far more grim than Aralorn could have imagined. Death magic, corruption, and an unquenchable thirst for power taint the ae'Magi like a sti...more
Lisa Shea
Masques is an intriguing book. Back when author Patricia Briggs was young, she wrote a story, Masques, about a feisty sword-wielding woman and the wolf / man she comes to love. Masques was admittedly extremely rough. Then Briggs grew and polished as an author. Many years later, she came back and revamped Masques to make it much more solid. This is the version we have now.

I've reviewed hundreds of books, and often by the time I finish a book I have pages of notes about the issues I find with it....more
(´*•.¸ღBexღ¸.•*´)
Masques is traditional fantasy - with romance, mages, shapeshifters, empaths, slaves, displaced kings, magical weapons, dragons, etc. Masques doesn't break new ground in the fantasy genre, but the characters are so vivid that you're willing to overlook it.

Masques was Patricia Briggs' first published novel, which was painfully clear from reading it. However, despite the flaws, Masques still remains one of my favorite novels. What Masques lacked in sophistication, it made up for in emotion. You c...more
Rebecca
I gave this four stars not because I thought the quality of the writing or story deserved it, but because having written my first novel-length story back when I was 13, I can rather painfully see how this is Briggs' first book. I guess there are certain mistakes that almost every author out there makes and Masques left me with that ambivalent, slightly uncomfortable feeling you get when you meet someone who's like a younger version of you. Let's just say that in that first novel-length story, I...more
Princessjay
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon
This is a rewrite of her first novel Masques, PB was in her early twenties at the time, & in the introduction she is quite candid at how bad her first published edition was. She wanted to put that right & fifteen novels & twenty years later she has. More has been added in the beginning, none of the original pieces have been taken out, just reworked & she even says she's left some of the cliche's & oddities of the original book, it's an expanded version of the original works,...more
Kat
So I was walking through the bookstore, looking for new books by my favorite author, when I saw this on the shelf. HOLY CRAP! I'd been looking for it for years, since I read Steal the Dragon back when it first came out. For the uninformed, This particular book has been out of print since Steal the Dragon was published. I had pretty much decided that I'd never be able to get my hands on it, and there it was on the shelf. I snatched it so fast that my husband actually asked me if something was wro...more
Caroline
If I didn't love Patricia Briggs (and know that there was a more recently-written sequel to this), I probably would have given up within the first half. The gives plenty of warnings that this is, indeed, a first novel, and that she only did minor polishing to get it ready for a re-printing, but that doesn't change the fact that parts of this are just down-right hard to get through.

The first 50-ish pages (after the prologue) are effectively a ginormous infodump, and for the sanity of other reader...more
Joy
The author explains this as her first published book and a failure at the time (1993.) It's been republished to accompany Wolfsbane which she published in 2010, revitalizing these characters.

I found it an enjoyable light read that would be well suited to the Tween reader and school libraries. The shapeshifter half-breeds are an engaging concept, there is light romance and an evil mage who raises the dead, to destroy along with a short appearance of a dragon.

The Mercy Thompson series is one of my...more
Cheryl
I really enjoyed Masques which is saying a lot since I am new to the high fiction genre. One of the things I liked the most is the way the friendship/relationship between Wolfe and Aralorn developed. There was a pace that respected all that Wolfe had been through and it was refreshing to see it not take over the book. I also enjoyed reading about all of the mythical characters and how the author introduced her own mythical characters. I read Patricia Briggs' comment that it was her first book sh...more
Barbara ★
Even though Patricia Briggs says this is inferior to her newer novels, I loved it!

I don't usually like political novels so I didn't expect to like Aralorn, a mercenary spy. But she is a terrific heroine who puts herself in danger to help her friends and allies. This is a political intrigue where the evil wizard wants the ultimate power of immortality and is willing to sacrifice whomever is necessary in order for him to succeed. Aralorn and Wolf join forces to stop him. I liked the sexual tensio...more
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
I really enjoyed this one. I haven't read any of Briggs' fantasy books in awhile, but they were good reads. This one was previously published (one of the author's very early works, I believe), and now she's added a bit to it, tweaked a bit (probably fixed editing mistakes). The main story is still the same. So if you've read every single thing Briggs has ever written, you've probably already read this.

I liked it - the characters were great, the romance in it was very believable. The characters h...more
Lynda Tatad
This is a re-release of Patricia Briggs first novel, and I am so glad I was able to pick up a copy at my local library! She has made a name for herself writing Urban Fantasy with her Mercy Thompson series. She started out with fantasy, first, and it was her publishers who asked her to try out something g in urban fantasy after she had finished the sequel to this novel.

In my opinion, Masques is an excellent example of Ms. Briggs' storytelling talent! She hadn't written anything longer than short...more
Jeannette
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jenny Schwartz
Masques was like a trip back in time to old favourites of the fantasy-with-female-lead from the '80s and early '90s, which is reasonable since this is a revised version of an earlier book. It felt like Patricia Wrede crossed with Robin McKinley and Barbara Hambly. Lots and lots of ideas (and fantasy cliches--I like cliches, though).

A comfort-read fantasy adventure and I'm really looking forward to the sequel, Wolfsbane.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name.

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a na...more
More about Patricia Briggs...
Moon Called (Mercy Thompson, #1) Iron Kissed (Mercy Thompson, #3) Blood Bound (Mercy Thompson, #2) Silver Borne (Mercy Thompson, #5) Bone Crossed (Mercy Thompson, #4)

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“When I die of heart failure the next time you frighten me like that, you can put that on my gravestone —‘I didn’t mean to startle her” 180 likes
“It was unsettling to be in love with someone who looked like the face in her nightmares.” 10 likes
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