The Mask of Mirrors

Hachette Audio. (Rook & Rose, Bk. 1). Jan. 2021. 2,313p. ISBN 9781549190919. $26.98. F
Nikki Misoud’s richly textured audioscape enlivens Carrick’s (pseudonym of the writing team of Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms) novel set in a city suggestive of medieval Venice. Con artist Ren attaches herself to a noble family by pretending to be a long-lost relative. She is hoping to secure a fortune for herself and her seamstress sister. She does not expect to become entangled in aristocratic feuding, corrupt magic, and the violence of an underclass yearning to break free of the foreign nobility that conquered the city centuries ago. By shifting her accent from a sort of British upper-class intonation to a more Central European mode, Misoud conveys the multiple characters Ren plays in her long game. Misoud handles Carrick’s worldbuilding, including fluid sexuality and vocabulary relating to the magical systems of numinatria and pattern, with ease.
VERDICT Recommended for those who enjoy dark fantasy with elaborate worldbuilding.
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