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The Bone Season #4

The Mask Falling

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From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bone Season and The Priory of the Orange Tree, the stunning fourth novel set in the world of Scion.

Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion's downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim's puppet empire.

The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.


As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them . . .

The Mask Falling is a gripping, fantastical new addition to this “intoxicating urban-fantasy series” (NPR.org) that will leave readers begging for more.

528 pages, Hardcover

First published January 26, 2021

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About the author

Samantha Shannon

21 books17.5k followers
Samantha Shannon studied English Language and Literature at St. Anne’s College, Oxford. The Bone Season, the first in a seven-book series, was a New York Times bestseller and the inaugural Today Book Club selection.

Her next novel, The Priory of the Orange Tree, was published in February 2019 and became a New York Times and Sunday Times bestseller. Her work has been translated into twenty-six languages. She lives in London.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 1,427 reviews
Profile Image for Samantha Shannon.
Author 21 books17.5k followers
Read
September 27, 2020
Hi, Goodreads:

Thank you for your immense patience in waiting for the fourth book in the Bone Season series. The latter half of 2019 was very difficult for me for personal reasons, which slowed things down a little, but I'm thrilled to reveal that the title is The Mask Falling and it will be out in January 2021.

There's also something on its way this summer to break up the wait, as I know it's been a long one.

I absolutely love this book – it's my favourite in the series so far, and I really can't wait to share it with you. Just got my first glimpse of the cover and it's stunning. The Mask Falling is officially done now, off to the typesetter to be transformed from a manuscript to a book, so there should be no further delays.

This is the first instalment in the series that will have a character list. I've designed this to double up as a recap, so if it's been a while since you read the first three books, I hope this will be a big help.

On a cover-related note, Bloomsbury has decided to switch back to the classic hardbacks for the Bone Season series, so they'll all be in the old colour style. Not sure what's happening with the paperbacks yet, but I'll keep you informed as and when I can.

The Republic of Scion France looks forward to welcoming you soon . . .

Love,

Samantha

Edit, June 2020: Some news – The Mask Falling will have a mini-prequel, The Dawn Chorus, out 9 July 2020. I hope it helps break up the long wait.

Edit, August 2020: We have a cover! I hope you love it as much as I do.
Profile Image for Kai (CuriousCompass).
448 reviews18 followers
Shelved as 'lost-interest'
January 26, 2022
description

I have no interest in continuing this series, but I have something to say... It doesn't matter how long this takes to come out. It doesn't matter if before she writes and publishes this book, Samanta Shannon decides to go to the moon or mars with Elon Musk and Grimes, goes bungee jumping in every country in the world, and writes and publishes a series of vegan cookbooks before getting back to this series. It. Does. Not. Matter. You can be sad, you can be angry, but for the love of God, leave her the fuck alone, and leave other writers alone too. I've genuinely seen people saying 'Hmmm, well, she is on Twitter a lot.'

SO WHAT?

Let this woman live her life. Let George R.R. Martin live his life. You do not get to pretend an author is a bad, selfish, or entitled person for how much time they're on social media, what they're posting on Instagram (Wow why is she at the museum when she could be writing my precious book?!) or anything else they're doing!

Short of coming into your house in a burglar outfit in the middle of the night, poisoning all your houseplants, and punching your mom in the face, you do not get to have an opinion on how this woman, or any other writer or artist, spends their time.

Let humans be humans and try to have some damn understanding that:

1) Writing is hard, hard work.

2) People are people and not robots who can work 24 hours a day.

3) Art and writing are not typical work, some writers can approach it as such, but for most of us we require time to think and ponder and plan and live and glean inspiration and, you know, the will to even exist in this world, before we can pour all that into the page.

4) Samantha Shannon has been far more prolific than most authors (especially considering her books are huge) and has had a pretty damn impressive run so far. I've been waiting for a new Arthur Golden book for more than a decade and you don't see my ass online bullying him. (I'm aware this book is never coming - he got that sweet, sweet Memoirs of a Geisha money and BOUNCED, and good for him.)

5) A series this long is a huge undertaking and most writers would want a break to work on other projects here and there as a creative refresher. The skills gained from those works will be put back into this series, no doubt.

PLEASE STOP TORMENTING WRITERS OR AGITATING THEM FOR HAVING A LIFE AND INTERESTS OUTSIDE OF PLEASING YOU.

Thank you, this has been a PSA. Now go plant some trees or Google which plants native to your area/region in particular are good for/attract WILD bee populations, and then go plant a bunch of them. We need them bees, y'all.
Profile Image for Nicole.
371 reviews12.6k followers
January 25, 2022
Ta książka zmiażdżyła mnie jakbym była niczym. Płakać mi się chce przez to zakończenie.
4,5/5
Profile Image for Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction).
441 reviews6,511 followers
December 27, 2020
Everything hurts. Please bare with me through these trying times.

This book just blew this series onto a whole new level. Every page felt like a shift in the system as more was discovered, and I loved seeing the progression made. The combination of dystopian politics and spirit magic has always been my favourite thing, and this book really shows its strength in this aspect. Though introducing a lot of new power dynamics, mysteries, and problems to be confronted, not for a moment did it feel overwhelming. It's so easy to get pulled in, especially when you're this far into the series.

The characters will always remain some of my favourites, and again with the shift in situation showing a different side to them all, I can only say I fell more in love. I just want to give everyone a hug and one hell of a large coffee. Lord, do they need it.

I feel like there's not too much I can say, with this being the fourth in my favourite series, besides it really is an emotional rollercoaster that I didn't know whether to love, hate, or all of the above. I already know I'll be reading it in the next few months, and I'll love it even more when taking in the details for a second time. But for now I'm just in awe, and shock, and possibly a stage of recovery too.

CW: PTSD, Self Harm

Profile Image for Anna.
93 reviews3,655 followers
May 18, 2021
i've got s o m a n y questions
Profile Image for Charlotte May.
670 reviews1,026 followers
December 18, 2022
Bloody love this series!!

Paige and Warden are in Paris, working for an undercover group called Domino. But Paige also has her own agenda, she is determined to find out more information to bring down Scion.

With all of the action we come to expect from the Bone Season series, with quite a few twists thrown in. I am hooked and I shall wait excitedly for the next book.

************************

Just bought myself a copy with my birthday book voucher 😊

**********************

Me: Now has this from the library and is desperately trying to reread the first three before it needs to be returned.

***********************


February next year release date!!! Hell yeah!!! Maybe I can fit in a reread of the series before it comes out?
Profile Image for Becca & The Books.
299 reviews6,126 followers
February 9, 2021
The Bone Season series is one that continues to keep growing with every instalment and The Mask Falling was no exception. The world opened up, giving us a glimpse of another City crippled by Scion as Paige joins a covert network of spies trying to take down the government from the inside.
Paige continues to remain true to her impulsive nature while also taking the time to process the events of the last year and rebuild relationships that have suffered as a result of the constant turmoil of her life.

The pacing in here is a well balanced mix of slow-burn character development & dynamic action scenes with shocking plot twists. The twist that this book ends on should honestly be a crime.

I loved getting closer to the truth of the Bone Season world throughout this instalment. 4 books deep and there are still a lot of mysteries to unravel and I enjoyed inching closer with every chapter.

Overall The Mask Falling just further cemented The Bone Season as one of my favourite series of all time and I am eagerly anticipating book 5.
Profile Image for Jenna.
Author 1 book1,266 followers
January 29, 2021
(spoilers ahead)

LITERALLY WHAT THE FLYING FUCK

I'M SUING SAMANTHA SHANNON FOR DAMAGES

i cannot express to you the REACTION i had when all the shit started happening at the end like i was LYING ON MY FLOOR, SCREAMING AT THE SKY, NEAR TEARS, YELLING, and it just kept GETTING WORSE??? like the last 3-4 chapters i barely read any of the words i was just skimming trying to get to the end bc it was all over the place holy shit did i just run a marathon what even happened

me @ me: okay ma'am calm down and allow yourself to write some kind of review for this book
also me: *spongebob running around his brain screaming, everything's on fire*

OKAY OKAY WHEW DEEP BREATHS

i'm not kidding you i haven't had this kind of feeling about a book in like....months....years....ever? this is one of the CRUELEST endings i have ever read in my life and i don't know how i feel about that oh my god...this might be the worst cliffhanger i've ever read oh my god

ANYWAY

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Gavin Hetherington.
665 reviews5,304 followers
March 2, 2021
Without doubt my favourite book in The Bone Season series so far! The twists and turns, the events that lead up to the ENDING OMFWJSKLFHSLD

Also, the setting of Paris is just so beautiful and a real nice change of pace for the series. Can't wait to discuss this one for Boneathon!
Profile Image for Alexandra Elend Wolf.
516 reviews242 followers
June 2, 2021
100/10 for sure.

“It is a beautiful mask, but all masks fall. In the end.”


It's been a long time and process for me to feel even remotely ready to write this review because my emotions are still in such turmoil and excruciating pain after the ending of the book that I can barely go on. I'm sure I won't be able to make a lot of sense but I do want to give it a try and express all that this book meant to me, because it meant the stars and moon and so much more.

The Bone Season has been a wonderful series from the beginning but the way Shannon expands and amplifies everything with each book is a true marvel to witness. If I loved The Song Rising for its depth and emotional value as well as a wonderfully constructed world, well, The Mask Falling made a fall deeply in love and guaranteed that this is one of my favorite series.

A book of emotional distress and slow healing while still having incredible world-building and great action scenes I can never describe it as anything but breathtaking and incredibly enjoyable.

“You never can [go back to being the person you were before] That person is dead. So is the person you were yesterday. Death is not an ending. It is only a change of seasons. Passage from one state to another. Your new form is fragile, but in time, it will grow strong. Be patient with yourself.”


One of the first things that I want to point out is the fact that we pick up nearly immediately from the ending of the previous book. I say nearly because there is a small-time period of about a week in-between. A very important week where we can see more of the raw details and honestly told hard truths of Paige's start to healing. The good thing is that this time is not lost to be only mentioned but we can see it in The Dawn Chorus the novella that comes directly before this fourth book in the series.

I love it when novellas are very important and add to the story and that is exactly what that one did. I also think it was brilliant that the hardest, rawest, and more triggering part of the healing process was handled in a separate work, so if that is uncomfortable or triggering for you you can just skip it and you will not really miss anything.

The start of the book works perfectly and picks the flow neatly from where we were left off so it's very easy and comfortable to get back into the world. And we will still get to partake in the ramifications of the last book.

“To disappear between shadow and stone. To walk the buried places of the world and still draw breath. To be everywhere and nowhere, seeing all, known and unknown. To rise from the depths, never seeking the sun. To live as one already dead, and with the dead beside.”


Shannon is, I think, a revolutionary in the way she has treated this dystopian world.

I am more than used to dystopias being very concentrated in a small part of the world and the very isolating feel that they have. The Bone Season, on the other hand, feels like a very open and big world that is very involved.

We have gotten to see the world already, and this new setting, the ever beautiful Paris, was a wonderful location for all the shadows and secrets, healing, and pain that we get involved with on this location.

Not just that, but the way that we continue to uncover just how big this whole thing is, just what we can expect of the world and the rules that we are playing with, well, it felt grand and like we are finally seeing the whole picture. With the domino pieces settling into place and the world being less unknown.

Paris, as a location, just added to the magic and mysteriousness of the whole ordeal. I can honestly not imagine a more perfect place for all of this to go down and feel as distinctive and alive and magical as it did in this wonderful city.

Add to that the fact of discovering the dynamics of the perdues and the Underground and we just have a very compelling and all-encompassing book.

“Let the aether bear witness. I will never keep from you what you should know. I will never conspire against you, nor betray you by word or thought or deed. I will never, by choice, abandon you to your enemies, nor forsake you in adversity. In body and spirit, I am bound to this oath. Seo í mo mhóid shollúinte.”


It is, to a degree, a slower book.

We take a lot of time to explore the relationship between our two protagonists and that is just the one thing I had been craving desperately for a while, and it is all done in a way that makes perfect sense for them to have that kind of time.

It was the sweetest most perfect crescendo and resolution of a tightly coiled story ever. I swear, it's one of my favorite developed love stories because is so incredibly careful in the slow progression of it and the incredibly believable build-up of trust and closeness.

The amount of trust and devotion they both show each other is just so soul-touching. And it is something that they both need to have in the messed up world that they live in. That trust that the other can do what is necessary and they will be okay, but also that the other will be there for them if, when, they need it and be the rock to steady each other is just... I have no words to properly describe it, really. I just know that it steals my soul every single time.

It's romantic and tender and really sweet but it's also comfortable and breathable and strong. Just, the sort of relationship I would want to have.

“I was six. I was stumbling over bodies and through lakes of blood. I was twenty and in hell and there was no escape. My past and present selves were side by side.”


Of course, I cannot forget that this is also an incredibly painful book. In more than one level.

Even before I started reading the book I knew it was not gonna be easy because there was no way that the events of the previous book did not take a toll on Paige and that we would have to deal with that.

That was handled beautifully and realistically through the whole book. Which I love because it's not something that can be done in a second or that wouldn't pop up in the most unexpected of times, and we do have plenty of unexpected - and other rather expected - times when we have to deal with it all. As well as the fact that Shannon took the time to process it all, or attempt to, and she did not shy away from any of it.

All of it was done respectfully and caringly but without sugar-coting the fact that is ever-present and hard and something that you need great courage to confront. It was a very beautiful thing to read and see.

Then we have the least expected ways that this book hurt me too. Well, maybe not so unexpected because I did see many warnings that a certain chapter was nothing but pain and misery, and I have to agree with it.

The way the story progressed and the places we went towards the end, well, let's just say that is one of the most painful cliffhangers/endings I have ever read. So incredibly wonderful and shocking.

Just the way that it opens the story for where we are gonna move from now and to draw lines in the sand is amazing and really rewarding and satisfying. Sure, maybe I could barely keep myself together and had expended the last bit of the book sobbing my eyes out, but it was all perfect.

“[…] I had to make him understand that this was real, that words spoken behind a mask were no less genuine.”


All the characters were amazing, as expected, too.

Paige is such a determined and resilient character that I always find great pleasure in reading of her exploits but I must say that her development and the ways she has matured and grown are my favorite thing to witness in her. She's a badass but she also knows how to be emotional and care a lot. It's a fine line that I think she manages splendidly.

Arcturus is such a fun guy, really, that is also crazy wise and, on occasion, really dumb, it all just works together really well and ensures that I always have a blast seeing whatever he is up to. Seeing all the ways he has grown, too, is just so rewarding and satisfying that I can't help but feel incredibly proud of them.

The new characters that we are introduced to are all so varied and different that it can't help but be really fun. I liked them all for very different reasons each and every one of them, but the one thing they all had in common that I enjoy it's their shadiness and mysteriousness about anything to do more personally with them. Of course, it makes sense why each and everyone one of them is mysterious, which only enhances everything.

It was also fun to get to see a few old faces that I was not expecting to see again. They did blow my mind on more than one occasion.

“Voyants don’t dream. And in the Mime Order, we strive for more than petty treason. We act.”


I will always find it satisfying and great when a story connects neatly with its previous installments and I can't fail to mention just how happy it made me, seeing the connectivity working great in this work.

From just remembering something that happens a long time ago, because flashbacks are just really nice and I always enjoy them, as well as the fact that they refresh my memory when it sags.

We also had some of the things that we had been told early on explained and finally make sense and, well, I love how much sense it makes. The way the thread was right there but we were just not unable to really connect it or see it. And that happens on more than one occasion in the book. Blowing my mind every time.

Seeing again how of the threads that we have been following since the beginning just continues to have great importance and impact is really satisfying and nice to see, especially since at the beginning I had thought it wasn't that important, is nice to be proven so utterly wrong. I had theorized over it a bit but I must say that I wasn't expecting the route it ended up taking.

“You have risen from the ashes before, Arcturus had told me. The only way to survive is to believe you always will.”


To say that I really loved this book is to be completely right because I practically lived with it through all the action and pain and calm moments. All of it weaving to create a beautiful piece of art.

It's a story that has quickly risen to be one of my all-time favorites and to occupy a very special place in my heart for its deeply and well-created characters to the amazing emotional connectivity and action-packed world-building.

“Every moment, every breath, moved me closer to my end. There was no more time to waste. I had come so close to death again. Now I meant to live with abandon.”

__________________

That ending... I'll need forever to get over that ending. Honestly, a book ending hadn't chilled me so since Lord of Shadows.

My heart is in little pieces and I'm so anxious and shocked. The sole idea of having to wait years for the next book is making me suffer even more already. Like I wasn't in deep, agonizing pain already.

I'll need an eternity to get over this book.

RTC.
__________________

After the amazingness of The Dawn Chorus I've been super excited to finally be able to read this continuation, not that I wasn't excited before, and now it's finally here!!!!

I'm all here for the emotional rollercoaster this is gonna be and to get back into this very, very interesting world.

The fact that it takes place in Paris, and will probably give me an excuse to practice my French, is just a bonus that I'll take gladly and obsessed over for the foreseeable future.
Profile Image for Melissa (BookishMomo).
186 reviews34 followers
February 1, 2021
There's a quote in The Mask Falling that perfectly describes not only my feelings towards this installment but the whole series in general so far; "I am of the considered opinion that for every person, there exists a book that will sing to them. I trust that you will find yours." I always say, with each new one that I read, how fond I am of this series, how incredible it is, how potent it is, how dear it is to my heart. But when I read that quote I realized, to sum it up, it truly is a series that sings to me.

This book it took me on this unforgettable and unputdownable journey that had me so intensely trapped that a theory I had since book one flew straight over my head because I was so caught in Paige's experiences, trauma, healing, and reactions. It says a lot about Shannon's writing that I didn't see, not only the ending coming, but also that twist even though it was something I had found myself wondering about for so long. I also had trouble figuring out which characters I could trust and which I couldn't trust, again attributed to Shannon's writing and myself being so caught in Paige's perspective, and also a major factor in what led that twist to flying straight over my head.

Paige has gone through so much leading up this point in the series and the accumulation of all of that was beautifully conveyed and written. I don't think I have ever read a book that has so perfectly showcased the effects of trauma in a character that has been through anything similar to what Paige went through. I cried with Paige, I cried when she didn't even cry. It was heartbreaking and then experiencing her growth and her slowly beginning to piece herself back together was so potent.

Arcturus/ Warden. The romance that has been slowly building since book one. I don't even want to really go into detail about this in my review because it was such a joy to experience first hand that I don't want to spoil that for anyone else. If he hadn't already stolen my heart he would have surely stolen it ten times over in The Mask Falling. How gentle he is with Paige, how supportive. I'll never be over it. He deserves the whole world and will always be my favorite.

As always I am also completely blown away by the continued growth and complexity of the world in these books and how far reaching it spreads between the different countries and different voyant syndicates. There is no other series I have read to date that has been able to achieve this as seamlessly as Shannon does in The Bone Season. I can't wait to see where the next book is going to take us after the events of this one.

I don't want to say much else beyond the fact that my emotions as still all over the place after that cliffhanger and I don't know what I'm going to do while I eagerly await TBS5. (Probably come up with a ton of new theories.) The Mask Falling was a journey that definitely left me on the edge of my seat and left a lot unknown about the future. Bring on book hangover mode as I try not to just reread the whole series over and over again! As always this book was completely worth the wait.

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4.20.2017
When it's been nearly two months since you read The Song Rising and all you can think about is how you really want TBS4 now. *wishes for a time machine*
tumblr_nope0vsMEt1u7n015o1_500.gif

8.8.2019
Finished rereading the whole series up to this point again. Is it 2020 yet!? I need this book. Dx

3.11.2020
YESSS! Finally a title and a blurb, now next a cover! I need it to be 2021 now please and thank you.

8.12.2020
Excitement
WE HAVE A COVER AND IT’S GORGEOUS!! The excitement is building!! Is it February yet!?
Profile Image for Maddie Browse.
139 reviews1,906 followers
January 6, 2022
5 stars! No thoughts and all the thoughts all at the same time! I CANNOT WAIT OVER A YEAR AT LEAST FOR THE NEXT BOOK! and an estimated 5 years until the series is complete... I may just die
Profile Image for kate.
80 reviews63 followers
January 29, 2021


For me, the soul of this series has always been the relationship between Paige and Arcturus. It’s apt that this book, the exact middle of the series and as Samantha Shannon describes it, its heart, spends so much time with this pair. The intensity and uniqueness of their bond really emerges as the shining jewel of this series.

It’s clear that Samantha Shannon was intentional about putting Arcturus and Paige on equal footing for the first time in The Mask Falling. She manages the power dynamic between them with such attention and nuance, reversing their roles often and fluidly escaping gender roles. The protector role comes naturally to Arcturus, given his immortal strength and anxiety about losing Paige (it’s even part of the etymology of their names), but for much of The Mask Falling he is her silent shadow, trailing behind her and supporting her quietly. They negotiate their differences with refreshing candor and in good faith, their arguments free from ego. “My fear is not your cage,” Arcturus tells her. “I will never ask you to mold yourself to it.” His affection for her is empowering, supportive, never constrictive or diminishing. Paige herself is markedly independent, doing the bulk of her fighting and plotting on her own. When she does seek support from Arcturus, there is no sense of her own strength being diminished, and as often as he rescues her, she turns around and rescues him just as easily.

Indeed, while Arcturus is the immortal god, it is Paige’s power that really shines in this book. Her incredible ingenuity and strength is on full display, getting her out of certain-death scenarios at such a gripping pace I had to cover the pages with my hands to avoid glancing ahead. She couples her incredible powers with extraordinary mental fortitude and an acute conscience; each of her escapades has a satisfying emotional resonance that breathes life into her political quest. Whereas many YA heroines possessed of supernatural power oscillate between immobilizing moral anxiety and moral bankruptcy, Paige tempers her impulsiveness with reason (most of the time) and a powerful motive for justice. It’s clear that she has yet to access the full extent of her abilities, and I’m eager to see what roles she’ll play in the fight to take down Scion.

While previous installments show Arcturus/Warden on various levels of guardedness, The Mask Falling gives us time and space in excess to see his true character. I was struck by his compassion, his hopefulness despite all that he has endured. He is often reassuring and comforting Paige, his optimism clear-eyed and measured. The contrast is especially stark with his persona in The Bone Season, where he appears cold and calculating, morally gray at best. In this book, he is almost unbearably kind, devastatingly sweet and thoughtful. As Paige remarks, “there was nothing terrible before me now.” The almost unimaginable beauty of his character is achieved with such a soft touch; the books are not about Arcturus being the the epitome of goodness - he simply is.

A central thread of tension of this book follows Paige and Arcturus negotiating their relationship and coming to terms with their mutual attraction. Samantha Shannon manages this tension beautifully, carrying it forward constantly with poignant moments of intimacy interspersed with Paige’s honest internal dialogue. The smallest interactions and gestures between them felt so heightened. There are all the classic scenes - getting drunk and saying too much, jealousy spirals about past relationships, almost-kiss scenes interrupted, near-death confessions - all building up to a beautiful and satisfying climax.

Samantha Shannon writes intimacy incredibly well. The love scenes feel specific to the characters, managing to be both meaningful and erotic. Romances between an immortal man and a mortal woman in particular tend to translate the man’s primal instincts and extreme physical strength into a voracious sexual appetite that leaves little room for gentleness and consideration. Arcturus really breaks the mold in this respect. He is so reverent, so sincere, so generous with Paige in a way few male characters with female partners approximate. Rather than relying on an imbalance of power in order to convey eroticism, the sexiness of Arcturus and Paige’s dynamic derives from the equality of their relationship. It’s so difficult to create a heterosexual romance unsullied by patriarchy, and Samantha Shannon gets close to that here.

I wonder if it is Arcturus’ immortal nature that makes him such a uniquely engaging character. Samantha Shannon really commits to that aspect of him - he’s not just a hot teenager. The best word I can think of to describe him is mature. He is so beyond the petty concerns of YA love interests, so ego-less and self-reliant. One of my favorite ways he diverges from human men - and traditional male love interests - is his lack of fixation on Paige’s physical appearance. This book has several of the classic moments that would typically elicit a remark or a look from the love interest on the heroine’s appearance, often framed as a cute romantic moment. Yet when Paige dresses up, or dyes her hair - even when she asks him outright - he never comments on the way she looks. “A human might have whispered in my ear, told me I was beautiful or perfect, but not him.” I love that. I’ve never found that lustful, almost predatory demeanor in male love interests nearly as sexy as the author would like it to be, and it always rubs me the wrong way when the man telling the woman she’s beautiful is framed as the epitome of romance. It strikes me as a very lazy way to convey attraction, for one thing, and it reeks of benevolent sexism. Arcturus never plays into those supposedly romantic tropes of disparaging other women in favor of the heroine or being selectively kind. His love for Paige is so pure.

I continue to be impressed by the sheer scale of worldbuilding in this series. Many books attempt to create fictional tyrannical governments, but few succeed in building one as convincing and elaborate as Scion. The Mask Falling peels back even more layers of this complex world, bringing to fruition seeds planted in the very first book. Although the basic plot leans on some familiar tropes, Samantha Shannon always manages to add an additional twist of the screw. The complexity of this series is truly extraordinary, drawing on etymology and mythology, dropping mysteries and complicating loyalties with incredible dexterity. (I will be eagerly spinning out my theories on my Tumblr if anyone cares to join!)



This was the kind of book that captivated me immediately, left me lying awake at night and had me eating energy bars for dinner so I could keep reading. It was such a visceral, immersive experience, the kind where returning to the physical reality is almost physically disorienting. It’s been two days since I finished it and I’m still clinging to that fictional world, wishing I didn’t have to leave. Books like these are rare for me, and I’m still marveling at the miracle of finding that book that in Arcturus’ words, exists for everyone: “a book that will sing to them.”
Profile Image for Beatrice in Bookland.
438 reviews845 followers
June 4, 2021
"It is a beautiful mask, but all masks fall. In the end."

1) The bone season ★★★★☆
2) The mime order ★★★★★
3) The song rising ★★★★★

nobody talk to me i want to cry in peace
Profile Image for Maxwell.
1,089 reviews7,946 followers
November 19, 2020
[4 stars]
Thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me an early copy of this for review. All thoughts & opinions expressed in this review are solely mine.

Longer review to come closer to publication date. I think I might even read this one again in January before it comes out so I can give more proper thoughts. But boy oh boy is this a heck of an installment in the series.
Profile Image for John Gilbert.
799 reviews77 followers
July 21, 2021
I struggled with this one. As so many authors do, Ms Shannon is badly in need of a competent editor, as this book is far too long for what it is. Like Sarah Maas, George RR Martin and others, early success seems to lead to over indulgence. This also marred Ms Shannon's previous tome, The Priory of the Orange Tree, it was just too long for the story it told.

Having said that, this is still an impressive fourth installment in the enthralling Bone Season series. It's failings noted, it is still a most enjoyable journey. I give it 3.5 stars, done up to four just for Paige and Arcturus if no one else.
Profile Image for Maryam Rz..
220 reviews2,547 followers
Read
July 3, 2022
So I might not be able to prove this with mathematics or geometry or whatever, but this cover is so aesthetically perfect it just changed the centre of gravity to my life. I’m actually falling sideways.

Or maybe that’s just me fainting. Interesting.

Okay, wait a sec I think I can prove it *picks up ruller and golden ratio*


Companions

Book series playlist: Spotify URL


Books in series:
The Bone Season (The Bone Season, #1) ★★★☆☆
The Pale Dreamer (The Bone Season, #0.5) ★★★★☆
The Mime Order (The Bone Season, #2) ★★★★✯
The Song Rising (The Bone Season, #3) ★★★★★
The Dawn Chorus (The Bone Season, #3.5) ★★★★★
⤷ The Mask Falling (The Bone Season, #4) ☆☆☆☆☆
1 review
January 28, 2021
Unlike pretty much all of the positive review here, I paid for this book and I am not a literary critic. Just a normal person who fell in love the The Bone Season many years ago.

I am finished with this book and I will say I am disappointed. The story line and activity is redundant and there is minimal character development and growth. The central activity, (i.e. Paige fights things) feels very similar to the other books... there is lots of running and jumping and fighting and crawling through tunnels and bleeding etc. The settings themselves are very familiar, underground tunnels, safe houses, and places Paige snuck into. This would be overlooked if not for the same central themes being redundant... Are they together or not? Is Paige capable of leading a revolution or not? Can Paige heal her wounds (internal and external) or not? Can Paige trust the people around her or not? Will Paige survive this self sacrifice or not? Who is Jaxon Hall working for? I mean literally these are the same questions/themes in the previous two novels. Also, for having been at the revolution/leadership game for awhile everything is still happening on such a small scale. I have trouble accepting that Paige is really leading a revolution when we are talking about 2 communities within 2 cities out of all the Scion held countries. She needs to grow and expand her horizons and push for real leadership with scale to make this storyline plausible.

I feel like I am reading the 2nd/3rd installation all over again but it takes place in France and there is some fancy French dialogue and pretty imagery. The first book in this series was original and had a storyline that felt like it was constantly developing. I feel that this series has been more or less the same for the last several books and that the author really is not putting her creativity to this series anymore.

Don't get me wrong, there are one or two new plot twists, but they are OBVIOUS to everyone except the main characters. Unfortunately, after waiting so long for this book I was just hoping for so much more than we get here.
Profile Image for Arbuz Dumbledore.
279 reviews228 followers
July 11, 2021
Poryczałam się, a jak zrozumiałam, że dopiero za kilka lat dowiem się, do będzie dalej, to poryczałam się jeszcze bardziej. Rany, co to było. Brak słów.
Profile Image for Mateusz.
11 reviews3 followers
August 1, 2021
POTRZEBUJE KOLEJNEGO TOMU TERAZ
CO TO BYŁO ZAKOŃCZENIE
NIGDY ŻADNE ZAKOŃCZENIE MNIE TAK NIE ZMIOTŁO
Profile Image for Anima Miejska.
335 reviews72 followers
March 31, 2021
Perhaps it wasn't the best moment to listen to this installment, or maybe the story somehow lost its pull. One way or the other, I didn't care about it. The third star is for the audio, apart from the content - performed superbly.
Profile Image for Raquel Flockhart.
423 reviews310 followers
April 18, 2021
ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

1. The Bone Season | ★★★
2. The Mime Order | ★★★★
3. The Song Rising | ★★★★

“With this, whenever you desire, you can conceal Paige Mahoney—all her fears, all her sorrow, all her rage—and inhabit Black Moth. You can write her story. You can sing it to the streets of Paris. And I promise you, this citadel will call eternally for more.”

As you might know, The Bone Season septology is one of my favourite series. After reading The Song Rising as soon as it came out back in 2017, I have been patiently waiting and highly anticipating the publication of this fourth instalment. And let me tell you, my experience reading The Mask Falling has been quite a roller-coaster. I didn’t love the first two-thirds as much as I loved The Mime Order and The Song Rising. I even thought this would turn out to be my least favourite instalment in the series. But then, the last third of the book happened and it completely blew me away.

Dealing with the aftermath of the previous book, Paige arrives to the Scion Citadel of Paris. She knows the clairvoyance cause needs more allies and, in order to accomplish that, she decides to explore the Parisian underground with the goal of finding its syndicate, also known as Le Nouveau Régime. At the same time, the mysterious Domino Programme and its network of spies are expecting Paige to carry out a mission that can get both parties the answers they need in order to take Scion down.

As I mentioned before, I had some issues with this book. I just think some aspects happen too quickly and very easily, with some revelations being pretty much convenient. Furthermore, and for the first time while reading this series, Paige got on my nerves. I just couldn’t understand a couple of very reckless and crucial decisions she makes in The Mask Falling. That being said, I absolutely loved the last part. There are so many insane plot-twists, shocking revelations and heart-wrenching scenes. It has been more than a day since I finished this book and I’m still thinking about everything that takes place in that last part. Samantha Shannon is a genius. A sadist genius. There is absolutely nothing that could have prepared me for those intense last chapters.

“Fear is a constant for us mortals,” I said, “but so is the knowledge that no matter how careful and afraid we are, life does end. So you might as well take every shot you get.”

I might re-read this instalment once my finished copy arrives so I can properly take it all in and formulate a more solid opinion. Because I feel that one of the revelations that takes place towards the end does justify Paige’s main reckless decision, the one that bothered me. Honestly, I just need to comprehend how this went from a 3-star book for me to an infinite-star instalment in the last third. Because those last scenes were truly a masterpiece.

As always, I cherished every scene between Paige and Warden. This book truly delivers in that sense, since it’s the one that has more scenes of these two together. Their relationship is so pure, complex, beautiful and angsty. I also liked how this book is so focused on how Paige deals with PTSD and aquaphobia, something we already got a glimpse of in The Dawn Chorus, a novella that takes place between the third and four instalment and that I highly recommend to every fan of the series because of how it focuses on mental and physical health—and because of the foreshadowing that includes.

Overall, and even though my start with The Mask Falling wasn’t as promising as I hoped for, I ended up loving this instalment. I honestly don’t know how I’m now supposed to wait two years to know what happens next after that ending. I never thought an ending could have shocked me as much as Golden Son did, but Samantha Shannon just proved me wrong and managed to achieve the impossible. If you haven’t picked up this series yet, I really don’t know what are you waiting for.

“Paige,” Kornephoros said again, spinning out the syllable. “An archaic word for a messenger or servant, as I understand it. Incongruous, since you appear to resist authority. Or perhaps you were named for a leaf of paper, blank, its tale yet to be written. Which is it?”


P.S.: I’m not English, so I’m sorry if there are any spelling or grammar mistakes.

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Profile Image for Gabriela Pop.
699 reviews155 followers
October 30, 2020
how dare Samantha Shannon make a perfect series even more perfect? This is the literary equivalent of an emotional rollercoaster and you can picture me screaming throught this entire emotional journey it feels like I've embarked along with the characters. The stakes of this series always felt so high, yet Shannon keeps escalating and rising the bar, both on a personal microlevel and on a broader scale. Bravo, my metaphorical hat off to you Ms Shannon, it is an honour to have my heart stomped on by you
Profile Image for Ashleigh (ash_and_books).
707 reviews50 followers
January 29, 2021
I was gifted this book in exchange for an honest review.
Songs for this book (all by Ruelle):
-Find You
-Hold Your Breath
-Closing In
-Daydream
-Madness
-The Other Side

TW for the book: aquaphobia, mentions of torture, death of a parent (before events of TMF)
TW for the review: aquaphobia
Representation: LGBTQ+ characters (demisexual main character, pan love interest, ace character, non-binary side character etc)

The Mask Falling (TMF) was one of my MOST anticipated releases for 2021. I knew I would absolutely love this book and I did. Samantha Shannon has a way with words that compels you to keep reading and makes it extremely hard to put the book down. I should know, as I binged this in one 16-hour sitting finishing it at 3.30am. While I may have had an emotional spiral thanks to that ending the next day, it was beyond worth it. Every emotion you could possibly feel was felt in this book and to be honest The Bone Season (TBS) series as a whole. TMF had me on edge the entire time, waiting for the other shoe to drop. Making me second guess EVERYTHING someone says or does and that in itself really puts you into Paige’s shoes after all she has been put through in the past 3 books.

Some things that I loved about TMF was Paige’s continued character growth on her own. It is hard to forget that Paige is now 20 years old in this series and has had to grow up quickly because of Scion. Shannon finds that balance between being a young leader making the hard, right and wrong choices and trying to survive as a fugitive. And all of that takes a toll emotionally and physically. Paige’s journey is far from over and there is still a lot for her to process from previous events and now the events in TMF.

Writing about trauma and phobias in any form is difficult to get right and with care. The aquaphobia that a character has developed because of trauma experienced in the previous book is not glossed over within the first few chapters as if it did not exist or was easily overcame, which is unrealistic. Shannon put this character into mundane situations where that aquaphobia does realistically affect them. Like drinking water, trying to take a shower, or having a bath. Reading these parts were sometimes difficult because my heart was breaking for them and how they were struggling.

Slow burn relationships (SBR) are something that I have a love/hate relationship with. Paige’s character growth and SBR with a certain character has organically developed more deeply because of their close proximity and they have had the time to do that in and around the events of TMF. But how Shannon has written how the 2 characters have come to care for one another not just platonically but also romantically has me loving the SBR and hungry for more.
Paige’s menstrual cycle being talked about openly and in a matter of fact way in an adult fantasy/dystopian/sci-fi is rare to find. I just loved that it was included.

TMF has a lot of travelling and new places to figure out. The back and forth between places and where characters were going was difficult to follow at times. Because as this is an unfinished review copy it does not have a map that can help navigate. When we do have maps in the final copies, personally I think this will make it much easier to follow

Now. The last 100 pages that cemented TMF as a 5-star read for me. I knew from past experience with this series that Shannon will give us small moments of happiness and then proceed to rip out our hearts and stamp all over them. I was not prepared for the 100-page emotional rollercoaster at the end in anyway and it makes me terrified for the next 3 books in the series and how Shannon will wrap up this story.

Final thoughts are: this book has exceeded any expectations I had for it both on what was going to happen and how emotionally destroyed I was going to be when I finished it. Bring on TBS5
Profile Image for Caylynn.
633 reviews89 followers
March 18, 2021
4.5/5 stars
"If you and I are to fight the gods, we must become mythic ourselves. With this, whenever you desire, you can conceal Paige Mahoney—all her fears, all her sorrow, all her rage—and inhabit Black Moth. You can write her story. You can sing it to the streets of Paris. And I promise you, this citadel will call eternally for more."

This book really said: "You waited four years for me? Girl, I gotchu. Buckle up, because this is the wildest ride you will be on in 2021. BET."

The Mask Falling DID NOT DISAPPOINT. Shit, I expected the slightest lull of plot since this is number four out of, what is is again, seven books total? THAT sure didn't happen. Hot damn, I was hooked from the very first page. You know it's a good book when I'm sorely tempted to cancel Saint Patrick's Day plans with friends. March 17th is my favorite day of the year , and I almost ditched it all to binge this book.

After barely escaping with their lives at the end of The Song Rising, Paige and Arcturus are escorted to Paris by the mysterious benefactors of the Domino Program, with the intent of embedding them deep in Scion France for mischief and subterfuge. However, Paige Mahoney is the damn Underqueen of the London syndicate, and she has her own plans with the underground of Paris.

I'm really not an espionage fan. I tend to avoid spy books and movies—except Inception, that movie is ALWAYS the exception—and so when I got the vibe that this book would center around such a deviation in the overall arc of the series, I will admit, my hackles were raised. But Shannon did such an impeccable job of transitioning between Paige's work with the Parisian syndicate and her missions with Domino that I thoroughly enjoyed every page. Just like in the first three novels, Samantha Shannon used every single word to her advantage in painting such a vivid picture of each street, each catacomb, each stained-glass building that Paige traversed that I could picture the scene in front of me. New characters were introduced—many of which I love already, including Leandre and Le Vieux Orphelin—and old ones were explored further than ever before.

I don't want to go too in-depth with anything regarding the plot, since this book had so many twists and turns, so I'll leave it at this: I truly didn't feel, at any point while reading this book, that it suffered from middle-book syndrome. If it weren't for the distressing absence of my FAVORITE character, Nick, I think I might have placed this one above The Song Rising in my list of favorites. Since I wasn't graced with his presence and his ultimate, OT-friendship-P with Paige, I unfortunately can't do that.



As for the limited number of cons that led to the half-star docking on my rating, I felt like Arcturus was a little...scatterbrained throughout the book. I found myself lost more than once when Paige mentioned certain things regarding him, and I had to go back every once in a while to catch up. His part in the book felt more like a jolting carriage ride rather than the roller-coaster that everyone else was strapped into. But, overall, aside from that final interaction at the end of the book, I can't consider it a true complaint.

I cannot WAIT for the fifth book!!

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Update: January 26th, 2021

I DIDN'T KNOW THIS CAME OUT TODAY WHAT THE HELL.

BRB gonna go speed REread the second and third books before I snatch this shit up at Barnes & Noble!!

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Update: August 17th, 2020

LOOK AT THAT COVER!!

Me currently when I see that we're back to the OG design and not the mess that was The Song Rising's messed up changes-



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Update: April 26th, 2020

What? The actual? Fuck?

When did this book get a title??? And an update from our beloved author herself??

January 2021??

WHERE ARE MY SUPPOSED FRIENDS AND WHY DIDN'T ANYONE INFORM ME OF THIS GLORIOUS UPDATE???



I NEED this book more than I NEEd air. But I'm also glad that Samantha Shannon took her time, because I just know that this is easily going to be the best installment yet of the series.
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