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(Sianim #1)

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  10,670 ratings  ·  657 reviews
Before #1 New York Times best-selling author Patricia Briggs created her two hugely successful urban fantasy series, Mercy Thompson and Alpha & Omega, she wrote her debut fantasy epic, Masques. Newly revised and expanded, and available in audio for the first time, Masques arrives in our store just in time, with the fourth book in this series, Wolfsbane, coming soon.

After a
Audible Audio, Unabridged, 10 pages
Published September 28th 2010 by Audible Frontiers (first published December 1st 1993)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
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 ·  10,670 ratings  ·  657 reviews

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Lisa M
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 story
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
I have the paperback, but since I haven't had as much luck actually reading books right now, I listened to the audiobook. I am a huge admirer of Patricia Briggs, so it was really great to read her first book. I like that she includes a foreword about the novel with a disclaimer. I like her humility in admitting that her first novel isn't what she would want it to be now, but also her practicality in admitting that she did not believe she could rewrite it after all this time. Instead she has buil ...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  ·  review of another edition
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
3.5 stars

My review and an extended sample of the audiobook are posted at

I’m a huge Patricia Briggs fan. I’ve been reading her Mercy Thompson series going back to when there was only three Mercy books and one Alpha & Omega book. But up until this point, I’ve only read Briggs’s stories set in the Mercyverse. I’ll be honest when I say that I grabbed up this audiobook not knowing much about this story other than it was written by Patricia Briggs and that it is more fantasy than Mercy
Lisa Kay
Black Wolf, Blue Eyes
★★★½✩ (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
Sep 27, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, nook
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  ·  review of another edition
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)
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
Jul 02, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: did-not-finish
I love Patricia Briggs, her Mercy Thompson books are great fun. But this just didn't do it for me. She would probably have been better served to leave it as it was and never re-publish it or do a complete re-write. I finally tossed it last night after struggling through the first 70 pages and hoping it would eventually grab me. But no, it did not happen. It felt a little like bad fanfiction.
Niki Hawkes - The Obsessive Bookseller

As a long-time fan of Briggs’ Mercy Thompson series, I went ahead and bought these before I even knew what they were about. Thinking it was another urban fantasy, I was surprised to discover it’s actually a classic shapeshifter fantasy novel. I find it rather amazing how well Briggs can tell one story about werewolfs and another about shapechangers and have them sound nothing alike. It is a true testament to her creativity as an author to be able to capture each genre so we
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  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mature readers
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
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!
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.
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio-books, fantasy
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
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.
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
Jul 05, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basic story: Aralorn is a shapeshifter spy in the Sianim mercenary army and finds herself opposing the most powerful magic user in the world.

So I was walking through the bookstore, looking for new books by my favorite author, when I saw this on the shelf. HOLY CRAP! I'd been looking for it for years, since I read Steal the Dragon back when it first came out. For the uninformed, This particular book has been out of print since Steal the Dragon was published. I had pretty much decided that I'd nev
Oct 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
Masques is traditional fantasy - with romance, mages, shapeshifters, empaths, slaves, displaced kings, magical weapons, dragons, etc. Masques doesn't break new ground in the fantasy genre, but the characters are so vivid that you're willing to overlook it.

Masques was Patricia Briggs' first published novel, which was painfully clear from reading it. However, despite the flaws, Masques still remains one of my favorite novels. What Masques lacked in sophistication, it made up for in emotion. You c
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
3 1/2
It would be generous to bump this up. It is good and really good in parts but much of what is going to happen next is predictable. As soon as she says the green users shape shifting abilities, secrets, I got why the magi was so intent. The characters are much more flat than later novels of Briggs but the snark of Aralorn is something I think more of with Ilona Andrews rather than Briggs. Briggs' Mercy or Anna characters are not as snarky or humorous usually. This might be the only thing I l
The author explains this as her first published book and a failure at the time (1993.) It's been republished to accompany Wolfsbane which she published in 2010, revitalizing these characters.

I found it an enjoyable light read that would be well suited to the Tween reader and school libraries. The shapeshifter half-breeds are an engaging concept, there is light romance and an evil mage who raises the dead, to destroy along with a short appearance of a dragon.

The Mercy Thompson series is one of my
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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)

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