I've been reading a lot of nonfiction book lately. I was going to bring one of them to work with me yesterday when I changed my mind, opting to bring a fiction book instead. I was going to bring Mogworld, but at the last second changed my mind, choosing Masques instead. And I'm completely glad that I did!
Masques is Patricia Briggs' first book. It's been out of print for years, but was finally reprinted this past fall. Masques is the first book that takes place in Briggs' Sianim world. And while Briggs might think the book isn't as polished as her newer stuff, it was still fantastic to read! I didn't want to put it down!
Masques follows the adventures of Aralorn, a half-blooded shapeshifter, and her mysterious companion, Wolf. Employed by the Spymaster of Sianim, Aralorn is sent to spy on the ae'Magi, the head mage of the land. The Spymaster believes there is an assassination plot against the ae'Magi. But Aralorn uncovers something much worse - that the ae'Magi is not at all what he seems and is using dark magic to fuel his plots. So Aralorn finds herself and Wolf helping a dethroned King lead a ragtag army against the ae'Magi.
As I already mentioned, I really enjoyed reading Masques. I loved the characters, particularly Aralorn and Wolf. Aralorn was a young woman who wasn't afraid to stand up for herself (and who "Does not take orders, [but] will occasionally listen to suggestions"). She was funny, strong and just a joy to follow throughout the book. Wolf was in some ways her opposite, but he was still interesting. Together they were quite a pair! So if you're looking for a good tale with quirky characters, Masques is for you!