by Patricia Briggs
Mass Market Paperback:
Released: September 28, 2010
Source: Bought through Half.com.
Book Description, my take:
Rewritten from the original story of 1993.
Aralorn is a mercenary spy, so it helps that she's a shape-shifter. She can change to look like anyone and can easily take on animal shapes like a mouse or goose. But her latest mission turns unexpectedly deadly. Few people knew that the ae'Magi, a very powerful and charming magic user, secretly kills people to increase his power. So Aralorn joins her mysterious companion, Wolf, to defend a handful of untrained magic users and to try to stop the ae'Magi.
Masques is a traditional fantasy novel. The 1993 version is one of my favorite novels, and I finally decided to read this re-written version. The author mainly added descriptions to the existing dialogue and action.
I love to read the 1993 version whenever I feel down because Aralorn has a wry sense of humor and can find humor in even the worst situations. And she loves to cheer other people up, too, and make them laugh at themselves for being so serious. She's a woman of action. Even when she knows there may be very bad consequences for her actions, she still does what's right. She risked her life to help others when she knew they wouldn't even thank her for it.
Due to the additions in the new version, Aralorn's humor is more muted. It's also a mask for her true feelings of utter terror and uncertainty about what to do and for her horrible nightmares. This is a more realistic reaction to the things she goes through (including torture), but it also isn't a book I'd read when I feel depressed about the world.
Though slower-paced than the original version, the new version still had a good level of suspense due to physical danger and relationship tensions. The added detail did bring the world more vividly alive, and the main characters still came across as intriguing, nice people.
There were no sex scenes, though it was implied that the bad guys raped women. There was a very minor amount of explicit bad language. There was torture, but the focus was more on healing the damage rather than the actual torture, so it wasn't very gory. There was fantasy magic and shape-shifters. Overall, I'd recommend this new version as an enjoyable fantasy. The old version is very difficult to find at a reasonable price.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.