Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mask of Mirrors

(Rook & Rose #1)

by
3.89  ·  Rating details ·  44 ratings  ·  37 reviews
Darkly magical and intricately imagined, The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a rich and dazzling fantasy adventure in which a con artist, a vigilante, and a crime lord must unite to save their city.

Nightmares are creeping through the city of dreams...

Renata Viraudax is a con artist who has come to the sparkling city of Nadezra -- the cit
...more
Paperback, 672 pages
Expected publication: January 21st 2021 by Orbit (first published January 19th 2021)
More Details... Edit Details

Win a Copy of This Book

  • The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick
    The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose, #1)
    by

    Release date: Jan 19, 2021
    The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a darkly magical fantasy adventure in which a con artist returns to the city t ...more

    Format: Kindle book

    Giveaway ends in: a

    Availability: 100 copies available, 318 people requesting

    Giveaway dates: Nov 27 - Dec 11, 2020

    Countries available: U.S.

  • Friend Reviews

    To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

    Reader Q&A

    To ask other readers questions about The Mask of Mirrors, please sign up.
    Popular Answered Questions
    Alyc Helms Thanks for asking! Without getting too spoilery, LGBT+ is normalized in this setting, meaning there are same-sex relationships, romances, and marriage…moreThanks for asking! Without getting too spoilery, LGBT+ is normalized in this setting, meaning there are same-sex relationships, romances, and marriages among main, secondary, and tertiary characters. In addition, both of the main cultures in the novel have complex understandings of gender that go beyond the binary, and one of the secondary characters is a trans man.

    Cheers! -- Alyc Helms (1/2 of M.A. Carrick)(less)

    Community Reviews

    Showing 1-30
    Average rating 3.89  · 
    Rating details
     ·  44 ratings  ·  37 reviews


    More filters
     | 
    Sort order
    Start your review of The Mask of Mirrors (Rook & Rose, #1)
    Alaina
    I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

    The Mask of Mirrors was beyond addicting to me. I will admit it did start off pretty well for me but then dragged a little here and there because I kept getting distracted by work and other things. Yet, once I just focused on this book - well, I flew through it. I was honestly completely invested in every single person in this book.

    I am still not okay with what went down. Seriously. This book had so many twists in it that
    ...more
    Sana
    Apr 13, 2020 marked it as to-read-so-bad-it-hurts  ·  review of another edition
    Ooh, Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms writing an awesome-sounding epic fantasy under a pen name re: 'It has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, and miracles, and we’re only sorry we didn’t manage to get a giant in there; maybe we can make somebody really tall during editorial revisions? Also the kind of worldbuilding that happens when you let two anthropologists off their leashes. It has a con artist, a vigilante, and capers as flirtation. It has normalized que ...more
    Bookish Selkie
    Review to come!
    Aly
    Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
    Okay, this book was really good! It's so detailed, with a lot of worldbuilding and character development. There are all these families with various members, street gangs, countries with different beliefs and power structures. The authors really put a lot of time into making this book as fleshed out as possible and I enjoyed it.

    The main character is Ren, a thieving orphan who is doing the biggest con of her life to become part of a wealthy family. It was so much fun to watch her become different
    ...more
    Fanna
    May 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: 2021-releases
    May 22, 2020: You can give me a woman con artist with a stunning mask and I'll come running towards it. AND there's going to be a mysterious swordsman too. Nice. The cover has just been revealed! ...more
    Isabella (Stubbornly Bookish)
    E-ARC provided through the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
    *3.5 stars*

    The Mask of Mirrors (out Jan 19, 2021) is a the start of a new trilogy from authors Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms. It is a multi perspective novel following mainly the attempts of Renata Viraudax, a con woman attempting to ingratiate herself with the cities elite and secure a large fortune. She soon discovers that she is not the only person with something to hide and finds herself embroiled w
    ...more
    A.M.
    Nov 19, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

    After a slightly rocky start (the prologue feels too similar to the opening scene of The Name of the Wind), I am quickly sucked into this rich, immersive historical YA fantasy, and struggle to put it down.

    The story follows Ren, an orphan who decides to con her way into a life of wealth and privilege but soon realises she may have bitten off more than she can chew. As she navigates many layers of politics, family feuds and soci
    ...more
    bookcaked
    Thank you to NetGalley and M.A. Carrick for the advanced copy. This is a voluntary review.

    This started out strong, but quickly lost me around 250 pages in. There were so many concepts, complicated names, and secondary characters that weren’t introduced smoothly into the story so I often did not know who they were, mixed them up with others, or forgot what they were entirely. There was a lot of world building but it wasn’t explained well despite the level of detail. I was overwhelmed reading and
    ...more
    SSShafiq
    Nov 08, 2020 marked it as to-read
    Shelves: sff
    So I probably shouldn’t be adding this because I still haven’t read Natural History of Dragons ... but, look at the cover

    😍😍😍😍😍
    Emily
    Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: e-book, to-buy, arc, 2020
    *ARC provided by the publisher for review consideration. All thoughts are my own**

    Oh wow, this was an exceptionally imagined world- reminiscent of historic Venice, with twisty streets, bridges connecting islands, and cultural traditions featuring masks. This is one of very few books that I want to reread almost immediately to better follow the threads laid out by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms (writing together under a pseudonym).
    Taylor Hansen
    Oct 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Where to start? I LOVED this book, I was enmeshed, immersed - I was lost - in this beautifully strange and dark world. It was part historical-esque mystery and intrigue, with dreamy layers of dark folklore and magic added on. The setting is reminiscent of a historical Venice, injected with Eastern European Gypsy vibes, and implanted with the rookeries and docklands of a Victorian London.

    I read so much that a story can often leave me within a day or two of reading it, but these characters and con
    ...more
    Taylor Hansen
    Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Where to start? I LOVED this book, I was enmeshed, immersed - I was lost - in this beautifully strange and dark world. It was part historical-esque mystery and intrigue, with dreamy layers of dark folklore and magic added on. The setting is reminiscent of a historical Venice, injected with Eastern European Gypsy vibes, and implanted with the rookeries and docklands of a Victorian London.

    I read so much that a story can often leave me within a day or two of reading it, but these characters and con
    ...more
    L.
    Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    If I had to describe the recipe for Mask of Mirrors, it would look something like this:
    - Take Six of Crows (+ grishaverse) as the basis, and add...
    - The police and street force of Beka Cooper
    - The vaguely-Romani influences + child-napping of His Dark Materials
    - The Blue Spirit from Avatar
    - A dash of courtly Venice

    Overall, this was a strong first book in the new Rook & Rose series, and I am definitely planning on reading the second one. The aesthetics of the city and the magical clothing Ren wear
    ...more
    Donna Bull
    Nov 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
    The Mask of Mirrors is a great start to a new 2nd world fantasy series. The story is set in Nadezra, a city split in two by a river with connecting bridges. The main character, Ren, is a thief, who along with her blood sister Tess, is using magic to disguise herself so she can infiltrate the upper classes. While the con starts simply enough, Ren finds herself drawn into plots, schemes and political maneuvering that will have deadly consequences. One of her new acquaintances turns out to be a cri ...more
    Brittney Carden
    Thank you to NetGalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    I have to say I was slightly disappointed by this book. The plot was extremely heavy; with a lot of info-dumping and words and phrases, I couldn’t understand. I wish there had been a glossary guide of some sort for words and phrases that I believe were Italian. There was A LOT of characters and subplots happening at once that made it hard to understand and keep up. The biggest problem I had was
    ...more
    Grace
    Oct 22, 2020 rated it it was ok
    This book... Hm.

    I don't know how many pages it had, but it felt like a thousand. I also don't know if this is YA or adult fantasy. The characters were on the younger side, but they didn't seem like teenagers, and the sexual content, while not straight-smut-explicit, was pretty heavy.

    The familiar themes drawn upon here are legion. There were elements that reminded me of Ace of Shades. Definitely a Ketterdam feel in the long con being pulled and the strings of power manipulating both the nobility
    ...more
    Kelly
    Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
    What a wild ride! The Mask of Mirrors by M.A. Carrick is a book full of twists and turns. There is plenty of plot and subplot and sideplots and… characters galore! With 672 pages, there is a lot of ground this novel is able to cover. Just when I thought I knew where things were going, there was a new twist that took me by surprise.

    The Mask of Mirrors is about con artist Ren who is trying to trick her way into the noble house of Treamentis. Unfortunately, she had no idea just what she was getting
    ...more
    Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
    This book was just on the right side of Interesting but skirted Boring frequently. The writing was solid. The world building was done well. The characters were almost all dimensional and most were decidedly gray... like I like them... then why was I not completely won over? If a book was able to woo on technical aspects alone then The Mask of Mirrors would be a no brainer BUT, for some reason, it just didn't wow me. Then there was the Magic. The Magics were sporadically mentioned yet not explain ...more
    artemis
    Thank you to Orbit Books and NetGalley for providing me with an excerpt in exchange of my honest review.

    (i am on my phone so please excuse any grammar issues)

    this book was tough, least to say. sometimes with books ill start reading them and a 1/3 way through i realize i dont know what's going on so i will start over and usually im good. this happened with this book but i think my issue was mainly the fact that i was not in a mood to read fantasy and had no motivation to read any so please take a
    ...more
    Reece
    Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
    ARC from NetGalley

    This is a long, complicated book. If a novel has a glossary and a list of all the characters and their relations in the back, buckle up bitch because this is probably going to get confusing. There are far, far too many invented terms in this book which end up kind of muddying together and never actually end up understood, at least for me. There are invented names for time, directions, dates, pretty much everything.

    The magic is only very lightly touched upon and not explained w
    ...more
    Ashley Dang
    Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Magic, a con artist, a vigilante, deceptions, a little flirting, revenge and so much adventure in this book! This is the first book in the Rook & Rose trilogy and introduces us to our protagonists: Ren, a con artist trying to make a place for herself and her family while running from her past, Grey, a Hawk Captain (guard) who is trying to find his brother’s murderer and hiding a secret, Vargo, a manipulative and extremely charming crime lord who is willing to do anything to get what he wants and ...more
    Joelene Weeks
    Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    The Mask of Mirrors has been one of my most anticipated reads for what feels like forever. Learning that M.A. Carrick is actually a joint pen name for authors Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms only added to it.

    Ren is a con artist from the streets who would do anything to protect her sister. All she wants is to feel safe, longing for what life has denied them until now: the sense of security that only money can bring. Once her plan to join the register of a powerful house is in motion, she inadverten
    ...more
    Mackenzie Schley
    Thank you to NetGalley and Orbit Books for providing me with an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

    To make it simple for you, yes you should definitely read this book. Here’s a multi-layered story that will keep you hooked. On the surface, it’s about a long-con cooked up by former street orphans who want to take some of the nobility’s wealth for themselves, but as you read you find it’s so much more. Ren (AKA Renata AKA Arenza) finds she’s not quite as hard-hearted as she thought as she works
    ...more
    Shelby Riedel
    Oct 01, 2020 rated it liked it
    I really, really wanted to love this book. It started off strong and I loved the characters, but it just wasn’t for me. There was a lot of exposition in the first 100 pages or so, and it was hard to keep track of all the character names, places, and concepts mentioned. It felt like too much exposition but not enough actual information at the same time.
    I really enjoyed the basic concept, that a regular girl is trying to con her way into a noble house, but it got to a point where it felt so bogged
    ...more
    Mab
    Nov 19, 2020 rated it liked it
    The novel started strong; Ren and Tess’s introduction and their histories were exciting and to the point. The developing story is quick-paced and easy to be sweep away in. The issue I had was once the con was in full swing, many secondary and tertiary characters darted in and out of the story, some with similar names, that I was never sure who was linked to who and who to remember for later.

    In Part One, getting glimpses into Ren and Tess’s history with the city and how they integrated themselves
    ...more
    Whitney Gilbert
    Oct 27, 2020 rated it liked it
    I received an early release of this in e-book form so I could do an honest review on it .

    This book and series to follow has a ton of potential . The characters were great and had depth to them . The plot and its twists are good they keep you going through this book wondering what will happen next . I love that you keep guessing who the Rook is the entire time . I was constantly going back and forth between two characters so, the author did a great job of keeping me guessing.

    The only thing I di
    ...more
    Candice Ryan
    A very intriguing story full of mystery. A cross between court of miracles and six of crows. If you enjoyed those two I believe you will enjoy this book.

    At first I’ll admit I was confused with all the names and different words used to describe the different groups of people. If felt like a lot of info dump and was a little overwhelming. About halfway through I feel like it all started coming together and by 3/4 of the way I was soaking up every word like a sponge as fast as I could.

    There was en
    ...more
    Heidi
    Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
    Shelves: 2020-books-read
    I do love a good caper story. Renata has a plan along with her childhood blood sworn sister to get in good with a noble family by pretending to be the long lost daughter of an estranged sister. Of course if she gets caught impersonating a noble she’ll be sold as a slave so best not be caught. The old Venice like city has lots of unrest, a criminal underworld, a vigilante punishing the worst of the untouchable rich and plots on top of plots.
    It’s well written with interesting characters and you ca
    ...more
    Melissa
    This is a lush, well written fantasy. I became engaged in this world quickly. The characters were interesting and relateable.

    However, it took me some time to sort out and distinguish the secondary characters. I don't know if that's the fault of the author or my memory.

    Also the pacing of the plot was problematic. There were times where it plodded along and others where the action was non-stop.

    Overall, I liked this fantasy. It could use some polishing but I await the next book.

    I was given a free
    ...more
    Angie Gaule
    Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
    Holy cow. I'll be going back to give this book a re-read to see what all I missed the first time! The second book can't come soon enough! Political twisting and turning with some very dark magic and little con artist Ren is in (almost) over her head. The digital version has a cast of characters and a glossary at the back. I missed it, and it would have been easier to keep track of the cast with it. Other than that, this is an excellent book and I can highly recommend it to anyone who likes polit ...more
    « previous 1 next »

    Readers also enjoyed

    • Kingdom of the Wicked (Kingdom of the Wicked, #1)
    • The Bone Shard Daughter (The Drowning Empire, #1)
    • The Midnight Bargain
    • Black Sun (Between Earth and Sky, #1)
    • The Route of Ice and Salt
    • Raybearer (Raybearer, #1)
    • These Violent Delights (These Violent Delights, #1)
    • Malice
    • Of Wicked Blood (The Quatrefoil Chronicles, #1)
    • The Prison Healer (The Prison Healer, #1)
    • This Eternity of Masks and Shadows
    • The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4)
    • Lava Red Feather Blue
    • Flights of Marigold (Addicted to Heaven)
    • The Lady Rogue
    • Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5)
    • The Gilded Ones (Deathless, #1)
    • Igniting Darkness (Courting Darkness Duology, #2)
    See similar books…
    25 followers
    M.A. Carrick is the joint pen name of Marie Brennan(author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of the Adventures of Mr. Mystic). The two met in 2000 on an archaeological dig in Wales and Ireland — including a stint in the town of Carrickmacross — and have built their friendship through two decades of anthropology, writing, and gaming. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area. ...more

    Related Articles

    This June, as we observe LGBTQ Pride—the annual celebration of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning communities—we...
    199 likes · 73 comments