27.1.17

Book Blurb Breakdown: Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

book blurb breakdown


Book Blurb Breakdown is a Sarcasm & Lemons feature where your anal English degree-holding author (gently) rips apart jacket blurbs to pin down what makes her want to pick up the book instantly--and what makes her want to throw it at the wall.  See the original post for more detail.  It's also just an excuse to talk about books I'm excited for in a fun way. 

If you'd like to do a breakdown, here's a snazzy little button!  Post your link in the comments. 








today's blurb





Status:  Unread



the blurb: as is 

from Goodreads


Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas and Leigh Bardugo, the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character, impressive worldbuilding, and fast-paced action.

Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home. 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. 

But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.


the blurb:  shredded 



Perfect for fantasy fans of Sarah J. Maas (Meh.) and Leigh Bardugo (Yay!), the first book in this new duology features a compelling gender fluid main character (Cool! LGBTQ+ fantasy for the win!), impressive worldbuilding (This is kind of vague.), and fast-paced action.

Sallot (We're going to have to talk about linguistically appropriate names, aren't we. Also I'm thinking of shallots now.) Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid (This seems like a weird place to throw this in, since nothing else about this sentence relates to gender fluidity.) Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery (Not sure I'd call it drudgery?) of life as a highway robber and get closer (This language is sort of weak.) to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home. (Ooh, I'm intrigued! There's a story here.) 

When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen's personal assassins, named after the rings she wears (We really don't need to know why it's named that in the blurb. It's superfluous.)―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge. (Cool premise. I can see the Maas comparison. A little weird to be auditioning assassins, but I'm willing to suspend a little disbelief.)

But the audition is a fight to the death (Nice.) filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers (This gives me a sense of the tone and kind of antics to be expecting, and I'm excited.). A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. (Nice. We know the problem and the stakes.) And (But) as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing (This is a weak description. Intriguing why?) scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive. 


the verdict 

3.5/5 stars
would i read it?:  yes 


This is pretty good over all.  It's a little generic in some of the language and could be more specific in places (and less in others).  However, it's short and to the point, which I like.   It outlines the backstory, the premise, and the stakes in a way that draws the reader in without giving too much away.  Half the blurbs these days tell you the entire book. 

Plus, the content is enough to forgive the stylistic annoyances.  It's awesome to see a genderfluid main character in a fantasy (Laura Lam's Pantomime comes to mind).  Books about genderfluid-ness and identity and all that are super important, but books about genderfluid people just doing their thing (in this case, their thing being robbery and assassin-ing) are just as important.  I adore fantasy, and it can only benefit from being more diverse.  

I'm also really intrigued by the game mechanics.  Game books (like Caraval) seem to be all the rage these days.  So even though the premise is a little hokey, a talented writer can pull off something whimsical and epic.  I'm definitely picking this one up.  


your thoughts

Does this blurb grab you?  
Do you agree with my thoughts?  If not, how so?  
Have you read it?  Does the blurb match the pages? 
Do you have any recommendations for blurbs I should shred?  

 



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