cover image What Is Hidden

What Is Hidden

Lauren Skidmore. Cedar Fort/Sweetwater, $16.99 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-4621-1429-0

Debut author Skidmore offers a romantic fantasy full of mystery and mistaken identity, set in the imaginary kingdom of Venesia. Everyone in Venesia wears a mask that indicates his or her station in life. Evie’s mask sets her apart as an artisan; like her father, she is a mask maker by trade. When Evie’s father is killed in a fire at their studio, the criminal who sets the fire also brands Evie with a mark that identifies her as a part of his criminal band, thus putting her life in danger. She then goes into hiding and turns to her friend Aiden for help bringing the arsonist to justice. As Aiden’s identity is slowly revealed, Evie’s relationship with him moves from friendship to love. But will their true identities prevent them from finding lifelong happiness together? Crisp dialogue and quick pacing propel the story, a riff on Cinderella, to an action-filled ending. Filled with gossiping servants, palace intrigue, and masquerading royal personages, this novel will appeal to romance and fantasy fans. Ages 12–up. (May)