Sunday, October 7, 2012

Masques by Patricia Briggs

book cover
by Patricia Briggs

ISBN-13: 9780441019427
Mass Market Paperback:
320 pages
Publisher: Ace
Released: September 28, 2010

Source: Bought through

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.

My Review:
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.


JuneA** said...

Do you prefer the newer version over the old?

Genre Reviewer said...

No, I prefer the original/older version of "Masques." It's technically not as well-written, but it's a fun and funny romp, which is what I liked so much about the story.

Purely in terms of a fantasy story, "Masques" is not that remarkable of a story. It was the sense of humor that made it stand out to me and drew me back to read it again and again. The later/newer version has changed the tone of the story enough that I won't bother reading that version again.

JuneA** said...

I haven't read it, so I'll look for the 93 version. I prefer my fantasy with a healthy dose of humor!

Genre Reviewer said...

The '93 version was a short run and is probably very hard to find, unfortunately. I just happened to buy mine when the book first came out. Good luck. :)