Monday, March 12, 2012

Masques

Ever since I read the first Mercy Thompson book, Moon Called, I knew I'd be reading everything by Patricia Briggs.  This one is a re-release of one of her very earliest books, and she was able to do some editing before it was republished, but in the introduction she says that she did her best to maintain the intent of original manuscript.

This is a fairly traditional fantasy novel, but of course, as I hoped and expected, it is character driven, with complex characters that I quickly came to care about.  The main protagonist is Aralorn, who is a master of weapons and of disguise.  She works for the kingdom's spymaster, who sends her on a mission in which she learns of an imminent threat to the kingdom's safety - only because of the nature of that threat, no one can believe her.  She and Wolf - a mysterious creature she once saved from a pit trap - work together to neutralize the threat, but they are grievously outnumbered.

This is a solid traditional fantasy novel that would appeal to fans of Mercedes Lackey and Robin Hobb.  I read When Demons Walkthe fourth book in this series, a few years ago, not realizing that it was part of a series.  It is set in the same world, but features completely different characters, so I don't feel I missed out on anything by reading it out of order.  I particularly enjoyed the introduction, in which Briggs discusses her writing in general as well as the experience of reworking this early novel.

Books in the Sianim series:
1. Masques
2. Wolfsbane
3. Steal the Dragon 
4. When Demons Walk

Masques (#1 in the Sianim series) by Patricia Briggs (Ace, 1993; revised 2000)

Reviews of other books by Patricia Briggs:



Also reviewed at:
Janicu's Book Blog:  "It reminds me of books about female heroines having adventures written by Robin McKinley and Mercedes Lackey that I read in my teens and still hold a fondness for today."
The Written World:  "A lot of the foundations of her later work were there - strong heroine, romantic tension without being overtly romantic, interesting and memorable supporting characters and a story with a clear ending that also leaves an opening for future adventures."

4 comments:

  1. I just read When Demons Walk and just finished up this series. You are right, other than the first two books that share characters, the third and fourth books are basically standalones.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Kailana - That's good to hear. You know I hate it when things get spoiled from reading them out of order!

    ReplyDelete
  3. oh goodness, reading your review reminds me again why I don't want to read the Hunger Games, we both now how much I am NOT a fantasy fan. But everyone is saying I have to read that series. Sigh.

    ReplyDelete
  4. VA Gal - I went to The Hunger Games kicking and screaming because my kids wanted me to read it, and I ended up loving it. It's really just a story about a very strong young woman dealing with adversity in the best way she can. I ended it up enjoying it way more than I thought I would. I still have to write my review, but I'm taking the girls to see it tomorrow.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment!