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Shadows (Masks of Aygrima, #2)
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(Masks of Aygrima #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  192 Ratings  ·  28 Reviews
In Masks, Mara Holdfast's life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: a quiet, ordered life in the capital, making Masks with her father and doing work important to the ruling Autarch. But when her Mask, specially made by her own father, cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled fr ...more
Hardcover, 292 pages
Published August 5th 2014 by DAW
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

I think Masks slipped under a lot of radars last year, and even as someone who read the book, I really had no idea what a strong impression it made on me until the sequel Shadows showed up and I found myself wanting to dive right in. I do remember being struck by the richness of the world and magic, and realized that I was very much looking forward to continuing the story of protagonist Mara Holdfast.

One thing I should men
Jul 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review is also found at

After another round of ‘what should I read next?’ I picked up Shadows by E.C. Blake. This book is not under a Young Adult imprint, but it’s young adult in my opinion. It’s not that it’s dumbed down in any way, in fact the author doesn’t hold back, but the main character is 15 and for me it reads like a young adult book. Not that adult readers wouldn’t like it because that’s not the case at all. But it’s on the lighter side for fantasy (
Melissa Wilson
Mar 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
I love the feeling of starting a new book series, and also dread it at the same time, especially when the story has you hooked and you know that you will want more even though the series will be over. Masks was a fantastic story filled with magic and mystery and Shadows did not disappoint. The story picked up right where Masks left off. The world that E.C. Blake has created in this trilogy is a dystopian society ruled by magic. These books are an enjoyable read, no dry spot or chapters that bore ...more
Aug 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
Previously published at

E.C. Blake provides an excellent sequel in Shadows. We continue Mara Holdfast's journey in discovery of her magical gift and how to properly control it, before it controls her. I still really enjoy this magical system. It's not your basic rainbow spectrum magical system. I found myself thinking about the magical system even when I wasn't reading the book, trying to figure out all the facets it might hold. In general, Blake does a great job of building on th
Viviane Crystal
Aug 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Mara Holdfast returns in the second novel by E. C. Blake to a frightening past and future. In Masks, she failed on her Mask Day, causing death and having to flee the land where the evil Autarch rules tyrannically over every man, woman and child. Her father, the official Mask-Maker, it seemed, had either not put enough magic in her mask or a bad combination of something; either way she seems very confused about that awful day!
Now she has been rescued by the group called the Unmasked who want her
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
This book was enjoyable and a fairly smooth read. As with Masks, Blake caught my attention with a rather inventive magical system. It's funny, but I'd read some of the goodreads reviews for Masks and I felt like some, though not all, complaints about the first book were addressed in Shadows.

In Shadows, we finally see Mara training her magical abilities rather than instinctively using them as other users disliked. The parts devoted to training were useful in further understanding Blake's magical
Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines)
Unlike its predecessor, Shadows had a slow beginning. It wasn't until Chapter 7, about 60+ pages or so, that I found myself really absorbed in the story. This may be to blame on the introduction of a strange young man that Mara discovers along the shore. A lot of the focus in the beginning is on this boy and, of course, Keltan and Hyram's hostility toward him. Since my interest is in Mara and her developing powers, this part of the story line just couldn't hold my attention. But after this littl ...more
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books-2014, fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Shadows kept me involved from the start of the book. The world building developed gradually, but the author held true to its rules. The characters were interesting and the twist between Mara and Chell I didn't see coming. It was unexpected and interesting in that it kept the story moving, but allowed the character to find the truth of her heart which wasn't Chell. The ending, left the reader wanting more and loop holes to be filled. But over all with writing style and pace kept me involved w ...more
Nicole Luiken
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Satisfying second installment in the series that began with Masks. Mara continues to be an interesting heroine, with both agency and vulnerability and some very hard choices. I liked how she "leveled up" magic-wise and how the world expanded. While still focussed on Aygrima and the ovethrow of the evil Autarch, we find out about other lands from the new character, Chell, a young man who washes up on the shore and has his own secrets. Some nice plot twists, especially the one at the end.
Mae Sekhmet
Sep 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I'm really loving this series and I can't wait to read the third one! Wonderful, and I would love to see this trilogy made into a series of feature films one day! Psst...I'm an my agent! ;) Just throwing that out there!
Apr 13, 2016 rated it really liked it
Not what I was expecting, but it left me even more firmly hooked than Masks.
May 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Way too short. I eagerly anticipate the third installment.
Charl van Niekerk
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
A really strong sequel. Lots of action, believable plot progression, and I have little choice but to read the next installment when it comes out. Well played, Mr. Blake.
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Without spoilers, this book suffers the problem of most second books in that it ends I a cliffhanger. But outside of that quibble, I very much enjoyed it. Just read it in one sitting.
Apr 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
An interesting sequel to Masks.
Aug 07, 2014 rated it really liked it
loved it!!
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

Last year, I read Masks and, much to surprise, I really enjoyed it, despite my cover-based skepticism. The world was really interesting and the characters, while young, seemed promising. Now, I’m left doubting my analysis from last year. Were my expectations so low I was easily impressed? Was I drunk? Is book two just worse? I’m not sure if it’s one of these things or maybe all three in tandem, but I was severely disappointed in
Oct 07, 2017 rated it liked it
the first one was better, too much lovelife involved to get the story going forward but an exiting end.
✨ Jessica
Shadows continues the story of Mara Holdfast, which started in Masks.

Mara's mission of making fake masks for the UnMasked Army is going nowhere, and quickly. During a brief stroll along the beach, she finds a stranded sailor, who she helps. Said sailor turns out to be a man named Chell who comes from a country across the sea - something that the people of Aygrima didn't believe still existed. At any rate, Mara needs to talk to her father and Chell's on a mission, so the two of them, accompanied
Sep 21, 2016 rated it liked it
3 stars

I thought this book was a pretty good improvement over the last one. There's less the threat of rape and more the threat of magic now, which was a huge problem in the last book as far as creating suspense and tension went. As far as the characters go, Mara is still fantastic at making mistakes, but she is also beginning to discover her powers more in full.

Perhaps the biggest problem with this one, and perhaps the whole series in general, is the largely forced love triangle between Mara, a
Daniel Brount
Jan 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
For more reviews, visit 100 Story Reviews.

The sequel to Masks isn’t quite as strong as its predecessor, but E.C. Blake’s Shadows is a captivating read nonetheless.

The world building in the second book is just as powerful as the first, as we learn more about the Autarchy and the world outside it. The magic system — already interesting in the first book with its almost class-based system of specific types and colors of magic — deepens as Mara learns more about her powers, which are surprisingly s
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashleigh Mattern
Feb 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shadows is a solid follow-up to E.C. Blake's Masks, continuing the story of Mara -- a teen with uniquely strong magical powers which everyone seems to want to use for their own purposes. My favourite part about this book is the push and pull of good versus evil happening within Mara throughout the novel. Will she become a magic addict who kills to fulfil her needs? All bad guys were children once, too, and they might not have started off so bad. It isn't really a spoiler to say she hasn't landed ...more
Diana Tenenbaum
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
I just can't get into it, but I know it's completely because of my age. The story is very intriguing to me, but it's just way below my reading level, which makes it really hard for my interest to last while I'm reading it. I find myself skimming. I wish this was around when I was younger! I would have loved it in middle school. I might just look up a synopsis for the last book, because I want to know what happens but don't know if I'll be able to make myself get through it.
Sep 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Although this is an easy read, it reads more like a young adult novel primarily because the protagonist is 15 yrs old and is just learning about her likes and desires. The characters are good and the plot is fast paced and keeps one's interest.
Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Amazing series, I truly love the characters.
rated it liked it
Jan 31, 2015
Rigong Zhuan
rated it it was ok
Jan 24, 2017
Delana Whitacre
rated it it was amazing
Jun 17, 2015
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Free Book Giveaway: YA Fantasy giveaway 1 20 Aug 03, 2014 04:57AM  
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E.C. Blake was born in New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment,” and the state’s nickname seems to have rubbed off: he started writing fantastical stories in elementary school and wrote his first fantasy novel in high school. He’s been a newspaper reporter and editorial cartoonist, a magazine editor, a writing instructor and a professional actor, and has written (under another name) more than 30 works of ...more

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