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The Mask of Mirrors

(Rook & Rose #1)

by
3.91  ·  Rating details ·  23 ratings  ·  17 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
Expected publication: January 19th 2021 by Orbit
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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)

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Average rating 3.91  · 
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 ·  23 ratings  ·  17 reviews


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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
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
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
Emily
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020, arc, e-book, to-buy
*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).
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
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
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
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
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
Amber
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great start to a fantasy series. I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel. This novel is filled with magic, intrigue, and great characters. The writing was lush and atmospheric. I was just instantly transported to the world in this novel. We follow two characters, Arenza and Renata who are each unique in their own way. If you love magic, political intrigue, characters you will be invested in, and fantasy novels, you should read this.
Joelene Weeks
Sep 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
I need more!

Full review tk
Kaylee Clark
I loved the world-building, but at times it was a little too complicated to understand. The court intrigue was interesting, but it quickly got tiring. I also wanted to see more of Ren and Tess: their hidden desires, hopes, and fears, not just them performing the con.
Priyanka Krishnan
rated it it was amazing
Aug 05, 2020
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Oct 19, 2020
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bookcaked
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Oct 07, 2020
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Sep 29, 2020
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Oct 07, 2020
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Sep 27, 2020
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Sep 06, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  (Review from the author)
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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

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