Thanks to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for giving me this book to review.
Mask of Shadows is a likeable dark fantasy book. Slow paced and I would have liked more world building and a cast of characters I could relate to more. Apart from the gender fluid protagonist, it felt like I had read this story before. Also with the war and the magic being gone from the world, this book felt like a new story but in a world that had already been established in previous books. While I liked that this book added some unique diversity to the YA fantasy genre, I wish that Sal being gender fluid was either given more or less importance in the story. This is because I felt most of the characters understood and accepted Sal but Sal acted as if this was unusual and got very emotional when people did accept them. Also, I will admit that I do not fully understand gender fluidity but one thing that bothered me was that it was Maud who was choosing Sal’s clothing, therefore I felt like it was Maud who was deciding Sal’s gender not Sal.
Sal was determined, hell bent on vengeance and rough around the edges but I just did not connect to them. Maud was my favourite character as she was honest and did not mince her words but as we got to know her better we got to see how caring she is and how much she has struggled. Elise is an OK scholarly character who is kind and intelligent.