Mistress of Masks

Catalysts of Chaos Series, #1

C. Greenwood

Self-Pub, May 2014

Kindle, 279 Pages

Also available in paperback

Genre(s) YA Fantasy

Source Author

Other books in this series

Betrayer of Blood #2, Summoner of Storms #3, Clash of Catalysts #4

My Disclaimer:

I was provided a complimentary copy of this book. I am voluntarily providing an honest review in which all opinions are fully my own. I am not being compensated in any way.

~ Judi E. Easley for Blue Cat Review

What it’s about…

Rathnakar, the dark sorcerer, has escaped his tomb.

The First Mother chooses three champions. Eydis wants to live a contemplative life quietly tucked away in a convent. Orrick of Kroad is known as the traitor of his people. Geveral is a dryad mage who has little control of his seemingly small powers and no training.

This is Eydis’ story.

Technical Tidbits…

The cover is done by Michael Gauss and is wonderful artwork, as the author chose for her Legends of Dimmingwood series.

The storyline is a bit weak with the characters playing through it like puppets controlled by a puppetmaster rather than characters in a story.

The characters strings are all too visible. They are too obviously being controlled by the hand of a greater power.

The pace is pretty fast. As usual, Ms. Greenwood’s characters go swiftly from crisis to crisis.

The tension is the type you feel when someone just keeps pulling on the connection to keep things going and keeping things tight. You know you are rushing towards something significant, so you can’t help but be caught up in the strain of it.

And this is where you STOP if you don’t want to see any SPOILERS

The good, the bad, and the ugly…and how much it lit up my life… ✰✰✰✰

There is such a difference between The Legends of Dimmingwood series and this one, that I immediately classified this as a YA book. It was just written in simpler language. There is an innocence about it. But such a contradiction, it is longer than most of the other books in either series!

Even though this is Eydis’ story, we actually get to know very little about her. Well, she had planned on a life almost like that of a nun. A quiet life, withdrawn from society, a disciplined life. Now, she has the gift of life and creates masks on peoples faces. Once out of the box, can you really go back? I think not. And neither does Eydis. She has this gift, the gift of life, that she feels she should use. But she wants to learn about it and there just isn’t a whole lot of time to do that. How will she know how to use it or when to use it if no one tells her or trains her? Why do they always say, “You’ll know when the time comes”?

And this ability to mask people is fun and really cool. She can mask herself. Or she can mask someone else. And leaves decorative lines all over their faces to show that the masks have been there. They’re very subtle so not just anyone can see them.

And, it seemed that at one point, Eydis could see someone’s death. When she created the mask for Fenric at their parting, she saw his death by stabbing. She had never had such a vision before. It was the only such vision she had in the book. It was not explained, nor was it really discussed with anyone who could explain it. I’m hoping that at some point Eydis runs into someone who can answer some of her questions. And mine. Or that the First Mother continues to communicate with her.

The best part of the whole book was when we first meet Eydis. She has come to the Pool of Tears to receive guidance from the First Mother. Eydis steps into the pool with a clear mind and open heart and is first transported to speak with the Head Hearer of the seclusionary that she wanted to join. Then she is witness to a conversation between the Raven King and his functionary. Next, she is drowning. But she isn’t. She is listening to a voice. A voice she hears in her head that is telling her the secrets of life and death and the whole universe. The voice of the First Mother. Suddenly the Guardians of the pool are grasping her and breathing into her because she really is drowning. But Eydis needs to share what she has been told by the voice of the First Mother with the Oracle because the First Mother told her about the end of the world. And Eeydis had to stop it. This takes two chapters to cover and it is the primo part of the book. The writing in these two chapters is fabulous and you feel everything along with Eydis.

The fact that this is Eydis’ story doesn’t mean that she is the only one we meet. We actually meet all three of the catalysts here. But we delve into her magic more and see more of her journey in this book. She is the one that gathers the other two and starts them all on their great task. And we see more through her eyes.

But who is this puppetmaster? Who is the one guiding them and what is it he is ultimately after? The treasury of stones Eydis carries from the defeated seclusionary. What is their significance? What will they really lead the sorcerer to?

And while this book has almost 300 pages in it, the rest of the books all have less than 200 pages each. I’m not a fan of short stories. I like big books. Really. I’d rather sit and read 400-500 pages of riveting fantasy than four separate short books that to me are more like novellas. When I look at books in a store, I look for covers and size. Then I read the synopsis. After that, I open the book and read some of the dialogue anywhere in the book to see if it’s intelligent. I need to get better about checking out those things when I buy e-books. My suggestion for this series is to sell it in a bundle. And I notice that Amazon has done just that.

1054 wc

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