cover image The Mask of Mirrors

The Mask of Mirrors

M.A. Carrick. Orbit, $16.99 trade paper (688p) ISBN 978-0-316-53967-8

Marie Brennan (Driftwood) and Alyc Helms (the Missy Masters series), writing as Carrick, join forces to launch the Rook and Rose series with this intricately detailed doorstopper. Renata Viraudax leaves her backwater hometown determined to con her way into a noble house in the City of Dreams—but Ren’s plans bring her face to face with a dangerous crime lord and pit her against a vigilante called the Rook, her childhood idol. Navigating the glittering society of the City of Dreams, Ren soon discovers she is not the only one pretending to be something she’s not: her landlord, Derossi Vargo, controls the city’s underworld, while Capt. Grey Serrado of the city Vigil is seen as a class traitor for serving the nobility. Meanwhile, old religious beliefs prove to be more than just superstition, and a new drug floods the city’s streets offering hallucinations that turn all too real. The authors devote much of this volume to detailing the names, places, and belief systems of this sometimes tediously complex world, causing the pace to drag. But readers who persevere will be rewarded with a tightly laced plot dripping with political intrigue. Carrick has built a strong foundation for things to come. Agent: for Brennan, Eddie Schneider, Jabberwocky; for Helms, Paul Stevens, DMLA. (Jan.)