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Masques (Sianim #1)

3.85  ·  Rating Details  ·  8,130 Ratings  ·  534 Reviews
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 enemy is - or where he will strike next?
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 21st 2010 by Ace (first published December 1st 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Lisa MH
Nov 17, 2010 Lisa MH rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
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
Jul 22, 2008 M— rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
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!

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
Oct 31, 2012 Traci rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
CJ -Doctor can you help me, 'cause somethin' don't feel right
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
Начетох се на коментари как това е най-слабата книга на Патриша Бригс и как е пълна с клишета и проблеми. Затова очакванията ми бяха ниски и силно тревожни. За щастие, не се оправдаха. Да, някои събития и факти бяха лесно предвидими, но това не отне почти нищо от чара на приказката. Защото тази книжка е точно това - приказка за царе, магьосници, дракони и мечове. Добре де, и една инатлива дама шпионин за бонус.
Повествованието е такова, каквото свикнах да очаквам от фентъзитата на авторката -
Feb 23, 2011 Elena rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, reviewed
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
Aug 03, 2009 Karyn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Jul 25, 2015 Mara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I can't believe this is her first book. Yes, she had done some minor changes, but still it is impressive. I have read the first works of many of my preferred authors, but even if I could see the small roots of the future talent, the books in itself weren't that good.

Masque on the contrary was a damn good book, even if not perfect on details. A light fantasy that's worth reading.
Miss Clark
Jan 26, 2012 Miss Clark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mature readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa McShane
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
Lisa Shea
Oct 28, 2013 Lisa Shea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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
Oct 10, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. But I couldn't help but see all the little "first book" flaws because it was a rerelease and the author wrote a foreword pointing it out. I probably wouldn't have noticed them otherwise because it was a good story. I will have to remember not to do that if I ever re release my first book :D
Angela James
Sep 19, 2010 Angela James rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, fantasy
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.
Mar 31, 2016 Ilkay rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
The author herself mentions at the beginning of the book that this book isn't her best work, and it's from the start of her career. As a result I went into the novel good natured just wanting to read another book by Briggs.

It's exactly as she states - has potential, but the characters aren't as fleshed out as they could be, and the story itself is pretty 2x4 with no real sense of drama. That said, the world is lovely, and I did enjoy Aralorn and Wolf as the main characters. They feel like real p
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
Just finished and while its not as good as briggs' other stuff (obviously with it being her first) Masques was still a good read. More so in fact than quite a few other authors i have come across. Briggs clearly has talent in spades and has for quite a while.

Her characters where good. The evil Character (or as i like to call them, The Villain) was spectacular. seeming innocent and charming on the outside but was utterly filth and defilement in his soul.
My two other favorite characters being Aral
Jul 20, 2014 Daisa rated it really liked it
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
Jacob Proffitt
Mar 16, 2012 Jacob Proffitt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody ready to enjoy a good fantasy story simply told.
Shelves: fantasy, audible
The author, Patricia Briggs, added a forward to this 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
Sylvia Sybil
Sep 25, 2010 Sylvia Sybil rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: medieval-fantasy
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
Dec 12, 2010 Tracy rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
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
Oct 03, 2010 Bex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
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
Jul 26, 2012 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 23, 2010 Sharon rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 05, 2010 Kat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Laura (Kyahgirl)
Well, Patricia Briggs is one of my favorite authors and she didn't disappoint with this book. In fact, maybe my expectations were lower because several reviews talked about the book being a bit 'less' than the writing she does now. In my opinion it was not 'less' of anything. Yes, she wrote the original book when she was younger but in this edited and updated version any gross flaws were obviously corrected. I think the book was on par with the other Sianem books.

The friendship/love between Aral
3.5 stars. A shapeshifter wolf (Cain) dreaded by all, fiercely protects Aralorn, 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.

Nice touch with the
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
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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 about Patricia Briggs...

Other Books in the Series

Sianim (4 books)
  • Steal the Dragon (Sianim, #2)
  • When Demons Walk (Sianim, #3)
  • Wolfsbane (Sianim, #4 / Aralorn, #2)

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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.” 201 likes
“It was unsettling to be in love with someone who looked like the face in her nightmares.” 14 likes
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