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(Sianim #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  10,003 ratings  ·  626 reviews
Rewritten from the original story of 1993.

After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy.

Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae'Magi.

But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true en
Mass Market Paperback, 294 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Ace (first published December 1st 1993)
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  10,003 ratings  ·  626 reviews

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Lisa MH
Oct 21, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
If you've never read Patricia Priggs, please, dear God, please don't start with this book. I love Briggs. She's one of my favorite authors. I have not read her other straight fantasy books, but her urban fantasy series are on my 'instant buy' lists. She is an amazing writer. Unfortunately, this doesn't reflect her current skill.

This was her first novel, originally written twenty (or so) years ago. In her introduction, Briggs states she did not know much about writing then. She tried to polish th
Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)
** Note: This novel is an updated edition of Patricia Briggs first book. It includes an introduction by the author herself explaining the updated edition. **

I’m a huge Briggs fan and wanted to try out her other works. I love her Urban Fantasy series Alpha & Omega along with Mercy Thompson. This is nothing like those series. This is high Fantasy. We are treated to action, intrigue, mercenaries, mages, wizards, shape-sifters and engaging characters. All of this made it a highly entertaining st
Jacob Proffitt
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anybody ready to enjoy a good fantasy story simply told.
Shelves: fantasy, audiobook
The author, Patricia Briggs, added a foreward to this re-release of the book. In it, she described how it was her first book and that she had the opportunity to edit it for re-release (in preparation for turning it into a series). She talked about how impossible editing was because she had changed so much as a writer and editing would have meant creating an entirely differet work. She says that she ended up mostly adding-to rather than actual editing. I'm not sure how much or where s ...more
Briggs' first novel, re-released with some tweaks. According to Briggs she couldn't tweak too much without re-writing the whole thing, but she did add a bit of polish and perhaps a chapter to the beginning.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Briggs herself admits she knew nothing about writing at the time and it is obvious she has grown a lot over the years.

This is classic sword and sorcery type fantasy set in a medievalish world. A super evil sorcerer's malignant influence is s
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Briggs, perhaps best known for her Mercy Thompson series, writes an introduction to the reissue of this, the very first of her novels to ever be published. In said into, she says that she didn't think much about this first book, not until she found out that it was fetching some rather high prices on various websites (since there weren't many copies to start with, and it was out of print). She was preparing to release the second book in the series and wanted to reissue the first, but when she wen ...more
Hey look, I read a novel!

This was a solid 3.5.

I already liked Patricia Briggs so I figured this wouldn't be awful - which, yay, it wasn't. I liked all of the characters, the world, the story ... but it was missing something. Honestly I think it was just because this was Brigg's first novel and I know she's capable of better.

Good stuff, though.
Jul 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
ETA July 2010:
Release date for the Masques reissue is set for October of this year! The sequel, Wolfsbane, will be released in November. New Briggs books in time for Christmas I cannot wait!

Original Review, April 2007:
Oh, this book has given me grief.

This author is a favorite of mine and, with the notable exception of Masques, I have copies of all of her books. Masques, you see, is out of print.

When I first discovered Briggs, I did what I do with any new infatuation
Lisa Kay
Black Wolf, Blue Eyes
★★★✩ (This is a review of the audiobook.) Nicely narrated by Katherine Kellgren. I had to get used to her, or maybe she just got better, but she was using some kind of a weird “superior” tone at the beginning. Otherwise, her pacing and the inflections are right for the situations. She is good with both male and female voices. As an extra, we get to hear Patricia Briggs’ voice & thoughts for the intro as to why she chose to change some things and not others, since this
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nook, fantasy
If I didn't love Patricia Briggs (and know that there was a more recently-written sequel to this), I probably would have given up within the first half. The gives plenty of warnings that this is, indeed, a first novel, and that she only did minor polishing to get it ready for a re-printing, but that doesn't change the fact that parts of this are just down-right hard to get through.

The first 50-ish pages (after the prologue) are effectively a ginormous infodump, and for the sanity of other reader
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
I love Patricia Briggs. There I've said it.

Now you know that this is going to be biased.

You could tell it was an earlier book in that the storytelling was raw. The plot was interesting and the characters were intriguing but they felt a little underdeveloped. Again, it's what happens in a first book.

Still a really good read for two reasons: 1) It's an interesting and light fantasy read that will make you smile/laugh at the dialogue 2) It's Patricia freaking Briggs!

Wolf is a scarred and flawed ch
Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed, fantasy
3.5 stars. This is Briggs' first novel, which has been out of print for ages and ages but was recently reissued. She added an introduction that makes it pretty clear that she finds the novel kind of embarrassingly bad and agreed to the reissue because of fan demand and not because she actually thought the book deserved it. So I was kind of wary going in, especially since I'd read a couple of her other novels set in this world and found them kind of meh--I figured the very first would be even wor ...more
Lynsey   (A Bookish Life)
Mar 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Disclaimer: I read (listened to) the updated 2010 version which had been re-written and fleshed out considerably (according to the author's introduction), and was almost twice the length of the original 1993 release.

I really struggled to rate this one. It's so hard not to compare it to her Mercy Thompson series, which is a mistake because that really is in a class of its own. Not even the spin-off Alpha and Omega series compares to it, in truth. But it's hard not to at least compare writing styl
Jul 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Funny thing about this book - hard to find it in libraries and book stores, there aren't many hard copies available - but you can find it for free online.

Lady Aralorn is a shapeshifter who works as a spy. She's charming, humourous, courageous and has a knack for folklore. Wolf is a powerful magician with a scarred tortured past where he wasn't on the good side. He prefers to avoid human contact and stays in wolf form - hence the name. However Aralorn helped him once and he finds he keeps returni
Melissa McShane
Patricia Briggs deserves a medal for being brave enough to re-release this book, her first novel and one that doesn't make her look very good. On the other hand, it's interesting to track an author's progress from early books through later ones, and I doubt Briggs is in any danger of losing readers because of this one.

I'm not sure why I read this, except that I had some notion of getting the background for Wolfsbane, which has been recommended to me. Briggs's added chapters at the beginning (for
Miss Clark
Jan 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Mature readers
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I can't believe this is her first book. Yes, she had done some minor changes, but still it is impressive. I have read the first works of many of my preferred authors, but even if I could see the small roots of the future talent, the books in itself weren't that good.

Masque on the contrary was a damn good book, even if not perfect on details. A light fantasy that's worth reading.
A newly updated edition of Patricia Briggs' first book and the inclusion of an introduction by the author herself had me one-clicking on this audio edition. Fantasy world, action, intrigue, mages, shape-shifters, and engaging characters made this a highly entertaining story from start to finish.

Masques is the first book in the Sianim series and the first in the Aralorn duology. It can be read standalone or one of several stories set in the same high fantasy world.

Aralorn is the shape-shifting, w
2.5 stars

This was Patricia Briggs' first published book, and unfortunately it very much shows. You can see some glimpses of the style she will fully develop later on, which I love in her Mercy Thompson series. I'll read the sequel to this book, which was written 17 years later, but I think I'll pass on the two other standalone books she wrote in this same 'world' but with different characters. I love Briggs, but not that much haha!
Lisa Shea
Oct 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Masques is an intriguing book. Back when author Patricia Briggs was young, she wrote a story, Masques, about a feisty sword-wielding woman and the wolf / man she comes to love. Masques was admittedly extremely rough. Then Briggs grew and polished as an author. Many years later, she came back and revamped Masques to make it much more solid. This is the version we have now.

I've reviewed hundreds of books, and often by the time I finish a book I have pages of notes about the issues I find with it.
Sep 10, 2016 rated it liked it
This was Patricia Briggs' first published book, and it shows. The edition that I read had later been edited by Briggs, but it was still fairly mediocre. The story is predictable, although enjoyable, and there's a distinct lack of tension. Even reading the last fifty or so pages, I wasn't drawn in. Important things were happening, but I felt an almost complete emotional disconnect from it. To put it bluntly, the climax of the book was anticlimactic. However, if you're a fan of the Mercy Thompson ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Solid book. A surprising number of reviewers didn't like this, or said something to the effect of, "I'm so glad I read other Patricia Briggs books first or I never would have read another." I just don't get it. Maybe because the version I'm reading was revised and expanded from the original, but I thought Masques was marvelous. Very well executed, even if it relied on relatively predictable cliches. Like excellent comfort food that way. I even enjoyed it as an audiobook, which is really rare for ...more
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was Briggs' first book and it really shows. Also, I do not like her as a writer of high fantasy, and in the future I think I will stick to her urban fantasy novels. If you are thinking about reading this author for the first time, I would start with another book, as I do not think this book is a good representation of her writing.
Oct 10, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a good book. But I couldn't help but see all the little "first book" flaws because it was a rerelease and the author wrote a foreword pointing it out. I probably wouldn't have noticed them otherwise because it was a good story. I will have to remember not to do that if I ever re release my first book :D
Angela James
Sep 19, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, 2010
Not my favorite of her fantasy books. For those who are fans of her urban fantasy and have never read her fantasy, this may not be the best book to start with. I thought the pacing lagged a bit in spots. But it's still better than a lot of books I've read this year, because it's Briggs, who even at her "not my favorite" is still really darn good.
Jo  (Mixed Book Bag)
I saw this several times and when Audible put it on special I picked it up. I love Briggs' Mercy Thompson and Anna and Charles books and wanted to give this a try. Briggs herself says this was not her best book. It is her first published book and it showed. In spite of that I found that I loved the two main characters. Aralorn and her wolf are at the heart of a large problem. Someone is trying to take over the entire world using magic and Aralorn and her wolf, both shape shifters, are the best b ...more
R.M. Archer
Mar 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2019, to-buy
Rating: 4.5 stars

I wouldn't recommend this one due to content issues (mostly of the violent, sexual [no explicit scenes, but a lot of implications/questionable situations], and [if this bothers you] magical variety), but I personally thought it was well-done and I really enjoyed the characters, their relationships, and the worldbuilding.
It was also really predictable, but with the author's foreword and with the characters and everything else to tide it over, I didn't mind terribly.
Nai Wang
Sep 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Being a Mercy Thompson fan, I've read all of Briggs' books and it's a delight to read her first work. You can totally see how her talent has advanced since then. This is still a good story and I really enjoyed the characters and world she built. A must for any MT fan!
Missy Jane
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my second time reading this great book. Another wonderful example of PB's amazing story telling.
Dec 12, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
She may be a Lady, but Aralorn was never comfortable with the idea of a noble life. Being a mercenary and spy suit her much better. Well, it did until she was sent in to the castle of Geoffrey ae'Magi, a powerful and beloved mage, to spy on him in an effort to substantiate rumors of assassination. But the powerful ae'Magi isn't what he seems, and the truth is far more grim than Aralorn could have imagined. Death magic, corruption, and an unquenchable thirst for power taint the ae'Magi like a sti ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Patricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a n

Other books in the series

Sianim (4 books)
  • Steal the Dragon (Sianim, #2)
  • When Demons Walk (Sianim, #3)
  • Wolfsbane (Sianim, #4 / Aralorn, #2)
“When I die of heart failure the next time you frighten me like that, you can put that on my gravestone—‘I didn’t mean to startle her.” 207 likes
“It was unsettling to be in love with someone who looked like the face in her nightmares.” 12 likes
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