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The Hidden Face

(Fifth Unmasking #1)

3.51  ·  Rating details ·  55 ratings  ·  50 reviews
A face without a face - an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years the sun god, the Akhen, takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he - or she - be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, ret
ebook, First, 350 pages
Published November 25th 2017 by The Hive
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Average rating 3.51  · 
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 ·  55 ratings  ·  50 reviews

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Dyrk Ashton
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Hidden Face is a fun and fast-paced fantasy adventure set in an imaginative Levant-like world where empires rise and fall at the whim of a god. Two young main characters become embroiled in a conspiracy of secret societies to overthrow the most recent emperor. The modern dialogue and feel in an epic fantasy setting might not appeal to everyone, but I found it refreshing and stylish. A fun fast read with puzzles to work out and mysteries to be solved.
Nick Borrelli
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 out of 5.

Click here for full review:

S.C. Flynn
Oct 07, 2017 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Second edition now available: includes blurbs from Dyrk Ashton, Charles Phipps and many more, and a freshly-edited text.
Nov 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy-heroic
"Once every few hundred years the sun god, the Akhen, takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another."

That, right there, is an ambitious opening to a cover blurb. It promises BIG things, with a mythology that doesn't just color the world, but which dominates it. It's risky, and I likely would have passed, were it not for the fact that I'd beta read the first 100 pages earlier this year, unencumbered by the blurb.

Having said all
Dec 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2018
*This is one of the #SPFBO entries for this year*

I picked this up hoping for good things as I have previously read another book by the same author and I enjoyed that one. This book was quite different to the previous title by this author, for example this is the start of a trilogy whereas that was standalone, and I think there was a slightly darker tone in this book too. This story does deal with sexual exploitation and manipulation, there are a few sections I found pretty dark, and yet it has s
Dave-Brendon Burgh
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
One of the reasons that I love reading Fantasy (whether it be Epic, High, Dark, Heroic, etc.) is that Fantasy writers take chances and aren’t afraid of doing things differently. Tales in which the exhausted trope of ‘the prophesied one’ are upended and refreshed; tales in which magic itself takes a backseat so that the world and he characters shine brighter. These kinds of tales give readers something new to experience, and The Hidden Face is on of those tales.

Looking at the great cover as a sta
Joe Crowe
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantasy novel begins with a map of the fantasy world? Check. Points awarded.

This one tugs at emotional strings really quickly, in an incredibly effective way. The hero Dayraven is the son of a deceased hero, and the author depicts the son's sadness in a moving, wrenching way.

The author constructs an elaborate fantasy world, which is good stuff. The story is a quest that moves along with a surprisingly well-done sense of humor. I don't mean a surprise as in I didn't expect the author could do i
Nov 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I don’t think I’ve ever read a fantasy quite like The Hidden Face before. The plot in this book reminded me of Uncharted (ye-haaay! look at me pulling a gaming reference), except the end result of connecting all of the clues and finding the ‘big prize’ doesn’t result in a big payout and Pina Coladas on a Carribean beach. Finding the big prize aka who and where The Face is, is a matter of life and death for all countries in the world Flynn has created. Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a heroic quest ...more
Martin Swinford
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was asked if I would review this book, and received an ebook copy from the author.

The Hidden Face is an interesting book. In summary, it’s like fantasy meets Dan Brown, so if you like both genres then you will probably enjoy The Hidden Face. I actually do like both, although I think with Dan Brown you need a hefty amount of suspension of disbelief.

One of the great things about this book is the mythology. In this world The Face of Ahken , a prophet of God, appears every 500 years or so, each ti
Dr Rashmit Mishra
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, adventure, action
You can find this review , along with all my other book reviews at my blog -


So ... Disclaimer , I was one of the few lucky individuals who were chosen to be given an opportunity to read and review this book by the author himself, But having had that opportunity has in no way influenced any part of this review .

What I Liked :


For an Epic Fantasy book , this book is pretty thin , however this in no way makes the book any less entertaining than it s
The Hidden Face was an interesting read - it's a YA style adventure with a smattering of adult themes and some slightly risqué content. While I hate to do the "it's X meets Y" thing in my reviews, I genuinely think in this instance it would be fair to say that it's The Da Vinci Code meets Indiana Jones in a fantasy setting. Not my typical fare these days, but as a teenager I guarantee I would have eaten this up with a spoon.

The Hidden Face is a mystical entity, the Sun God, who appears every fe
C.T. Phipps
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
An excellent historical fantasy which deals with the nature of messianic myths and cyclical prophecy. In a dying Roman Empire-like environment, the people pray for a savior like the kind who founded their empire but what sort of savior are they going to be getting when the Sun god returns? It's a fun book with intrigue, betrayal, and lies spread throughout. The beginning is a bit slow but it eventually becomes a very engrossing tale.

The Nerd Book Review
The Hidden Face is a novel that I really wanted to love but just had some issues that kept me from really getting into the very good storyline. This is a novel that in many ways was a mystery thriller novel set in a fantasy world. Our two main protagonists are Dayraven and Sunniva, two very distinctive names for sure.
Dayraven is a 30 year old man whose father was a great hero who died because of treachery. When he was a teenager he was sent in a hostage exchange between his empire, Faustia, and
Phil Leader
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, amazon
After a period where it became quite tired and unimaginative, fantasy writing over the last decade or so become a good vehicle for interesting story telling. The Hidden Face is no exception for this, being in the epic fantasy mould but with some fresh ideas thrown in.

The premise is that every few hundred years the god Akhen manifests in human form and reveals (unmasks) itself, resulting in a huge shift in the balance of power between nations. If someone could know ahead of time who was the vesse
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
The Hidden Face is a simmering tale of revenge and legacies, of politics and old religions, of puzzles and ambitions. Flynn creates a world stoked in political intrigue and family loyalty. A pair of creepy and deadly hunters. The double cross, or even a possible triple cross. As a writer, it seems Flynn always knows what to hold back, that missing piece you look for that keeps you reading until the end. It wasn’t without its troubles. There are some forced plot points and a troubled romance, but ...more
S.J. Higbee
Nov 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I liked both protagonists, Dayraven in particular. In common with a lot of high-born children, he has been sent to a neighbouring kingdom as surety for good behaviour and brought up in their court. But while he expected to return home within a handful of years, he has to wait a lot longer before returning home to discover all is changed – and not in a good way. Flynn’s unfussy writing style quickly drew me into the story as Dayraven finds out just who his enemies are, while he hurries to meet up ...more
Mark Redman
Sep 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Firstly a big thank you to S.C. Flynn for sending an e-arc copy of The Hidden Face for review.

Every five hundred years or so, the Face of the Akhen is unmasked. Each Unmasking raises a new Empire, making the ruler of whichever land the Akhen favours wealthy, powerful and strong.

And allowing it to eclipse those who benefitted from previous Unmaskings.

The Fifth Unmasking is now overdue, and Calvo, the Emperor of Faustia, which was raised to dominance by the fourth, waits to see what will happen n
Oct 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very original with memorable characters and a rich historical background!
Nov 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017-reads
This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader.
There's so much of the world-building, the overall mythology and political structure of this book that drives the plot and is given in bits and pieces to the reader, that I'm having a hard time knowing how talk about it without taking away anything from your experience in reading the book.

Essentially, you've got Dayraven, returning to the Emperor's court from being a political hostage for 15 years -- he's pretty smart, a better than avera
James (ObservantRaven)
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Firstly a big thank you to S.C. Flynn for sending an e-arc copy of The Hidden Face for review.

I first heard about The Hidden Face months ago and upon reading the synopsis I was very intrigued by the premise. Fast forward a couple of months later when S.C. Flynn offered me a review copy, which I was excited to receive and very quickly said yes.

What I have come to notice over the past number of years reading Sci-fi and Fantasy books is that they generally tend to focus on one particular area (e.g.
Oct 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review is here, on my blog.

This was a really interesting book. It took me a little while to understand what was happening, but after I really got into it, it was quite hard to put down.

This takes place in a world where every few hundred years or so, the god of this world, The Akhen, comes down as an incarnate being known as the Face of the Akhen in a move known as an Unmasking. There have been four of those so far, and the last one happened in the Faustian Empire, where this story takes pla
Kate~Bibliophile Book Club
I’m not going to lie, I found The Hidden Face really hard to get into initially. It was really laden with details and names and I found myself getting confused early on. However, once the main characters met, and they found themselves thrown together to unravel the clues left for them, it really picked up the pace.

Dayraven find his old teacher brutally murdered, ad he is left something that makes him question everything. Enter Sunniva, a female warrior who can help him on his quest for the truth
Nov 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
DNF - not really working for me I’m afraid. Pace is slowed down by exposition and really not grabbing me halfway through - not my cup of tea
Apr 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Is it weird to say that I feel... winded after reading The Hidden Face? The reason I say that is because this book is an extremely adventurous, fast-paced story that I really had a fun time reading. And really, if you like fantasy that moves at a quick pace and throws plenty of action at you on almost every page, then you should really give this one a go.

What grabbed my attention about this book was this little excerpt from the synopsis: "Once every
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This fictional empire has a strange force that makes its presence felt once every few hundred years. The sun god, Akhen, appears in human form and takes one region on to great heights. The two central characters in this story, Dayraven and Sunniva, are thrown together with challenging puzzles to solve, before the next incarnation. They face many obstacles, some life-threatening, in their bid to prevent evil protagonists using Akhen to increase their dominance over their neighbours.
Although this
Matt McAbee
Oct 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was gifted a copy of this book by the author for an honest review.

Mystery meets high fantasy in The Hidden Face. Dayraven and Sunniva are cast together in a race to uncover the Hidden Face. They find several other groups are also on the search for the face in order to control the face and turn it to their twisted plans. The story is full of plots and schemes as opposing groups try to achieve their ends before anyone else and will stop at nothing to get what they want.

A fast paced, wonderfully
Genre Book Reviews
Apr 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
The best way to describe this book is a mix of A Song of Ice and Fire with The Sword of Truth series set in a Roman Empire. I found the politics of the different clans very easy to follow. Each character had a unique name and whenever they appeared I did not have to go searching to previous spots to remind myself who they were. The love story between the two protaganists felt natural, not forced and the moment where they reveal their feelings for each other was not stretched over the course of t ...more
James Chatham
Nov 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
[3.5 stars]

The Hidden Face is the most fun fantasy story I've read in a while. It's set in a well-built world with a rich mythology and interesting political dynamics. Within this world, a sort of adventure story is told - main characters Dayraven and Sunniva are basically tasked with solving puzzles and figuring out the secret of The Hidden Face, an entity that visits the mortal world every few centuries. The writing and character development, while not outstanding, are serviceable and take a b
T.O. Munro
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
The Hidden Face has an intriguing central concept - the idea of a messiah like figure "the hidden face" who is born into the world anew once every several centuries and is "unmasked" on reaching the age of thirty. At that point the hidden face will use his/her power and influence to raise up another nation to power and dominion over the world, enabling a cycle of the birth and death of empires.

The identity and potential unmasking of the hidden face is therefore a matter of great political intere
Blodeuedd Finland
Oct 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I reviewed his previous novel on audio, and do think this one might be better in audio than in print. The talking ones often are.

I did enjoy it at first. We meet Dayraven who has come back to his homeland after being sent away as pawn in politics when young. I liked how their God sends someone every 500 years and that country and culture blossoms. And how this country seems to be in decline now. Evil priest behind an aging king and all.

But then Sunniva showed up and it just got so talkey. Clues,
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S C Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian.

He writes poetry and fantasy novels.

Other books in the series

Fifth Unmasking (3 books)
  • Blood Riddle (Fifth Unmasking #2)
  • Sands of Karna (Fifth Unmasking #3)

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