Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ Free Shipping
Masks and Shadows Paperback – April 12, 2016
100 (Fiction) Books to Read in a Lifetime
AbeBooks.com, an Amazon Company, recommends a unique list of must-read books. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
From Publishers Weekly
Burgis (the Kat, Incorrigible series), trained as a music historian, does justice to an unusual choice of time period and subject matter in this enjoyable historical fantasy. Charlotte von Steinbeck, recently widowed, accepts her sister Sophie's invitation to visit EszterhÃ¡za, the grandiose palace of the Hungarian prince Nikolaus EsterhÃ¡zy. The year is 1779, and the prince, Sophie's lover, is a wealthy patron of the arts and sciences. One of the arts he supports is music: his chief household musician is Haydn, and the famous castrato singer Carlo Morelli arrives to visit shortly after Charlotte does. The prince's court, however, is also full of alchemists studying dangerous, secret magic. Charlotte and Carlo learn that they and those they care for are in deadly peril as they attempt to attend Haydn's new opera and succeed at falling in love. The political intricacies and the details of court life and court music are intensely evocative, and the characters are charmingâthough not, unfortunately, as three-dimensional as their spectacular surroundings. Agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. (Apr.)\n
“Romance, music, and dark alchemy rise to a pitch-perfect ending in this wonderful historical novel. Memorable and utterly delightful.”
—Aliette de Bodard, Nebula Award–winning author of The House of Shattered Wings
“This deftly told and hugely engaging story weaves together the glittering court life of eighteenth-century Europe with a love for music (and Haydn), a thrilling taste of love and politics, and the bitter threat of a deadly magic.”
—Kate Elliot, author of Cold Magic and Court of Fives
“Elegant and exciting, Masks and Shadows celebrates diversity in taking us to a corner of the fantasy world few have ever visited. Stephanie Burgis plays her magical music with assurance and a profound knowledge that delighted and enlightened me as much as it entertained.”
—Ellen Kushner, author of Swordspoint and the Locus Award–winning The Privilege of the Sword
“Terrific. A lush adventure fueled by music and alchemy, and peopled with irresistible characters. Masks and Shadows blends history and magic into a rich, believable love story fraught with royal intrigue. I finished it in one sitting.”
—Donna Thorland, author of The Dutch Girl
“An intricate, passionate tale of love, difference, and danger. Loved it!”
—Laura Florand, international bestselling author
“A delightful tapestry of courtly intrigue, deadly magic, music, and romance. Stephanie Burgis has woven an unforgettable tale, steeped in eighteenth-century atmosphere and full of unique, well-drawn characters. This is a must-read for lovers of historical fantasy.”
—Leah Cypess, author of Mistwood
“Wonderful setting, fascinating characters, and beautiful music. It truly feels as if the author has lived with the people in that period and has written them from life—magic, demons, angelic singers, and all. I can’t wait to read the next. There will be a next? Yes? Please?”
—Judith Tarr, author of World Fantasy Award–nominated Lord of the Two Lands and the Hound and the Falcon series
“Passion reigns in this vivid work of alchemy and opera! Burgis conjures a world of dazzling splendor and intrigue, then fills it with a rich cast of characters. Lush descriptions of a baroque past delight the mind’s eye while the tension mounts. In this captivating fantasy romance, you can almost hear the music.”
—Elaine Isaak, author of The Singer’s Crown
“Masks and Shadows stole my heart from the very first page. Set against the lush backdrop of a prince’s estate and the Habsburg Empire, this is a story rich in music and dark magic, intrigue and romance, finding the courage to be a hero, and discovering that dreams can come true.”
—Jaime Lee Moyer, author of Against a Brightening Sky
“The story . . . is not just about opera, it actually is an opera. It is filled with passion and drama, evil plots and heroic rescues, spurned wives and pouting mistresses, demon-summoning alchemists, ambitious noblemen, and the most famous castrato singer in Europe. . . . You can practically hear the operatic score as each character steps onstage and each scene progresses.”
—Rachel Neumeier, author of The Keeper of the Mist and the House of Shadows series
“A romantic dance of intrigue, wit, and derring-do, Masks and Shadows enthralls from start to finish.”
—Justina Robson, author of Glorious Angels and the Quantum Gravity series
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
I have to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Though considerably darker than the Kat books (not surprisingly, since this is adult and those were middle grade), Stephanie shows her same deftness with character and setting. Though this book rotates through several POVs to convey the complex political and magical conspiracies, it remains grounded around two POVs, those of Charlotte, widowed sister to Prince Nikolaus's mistress, and Carlo, the Italian castrato invited to attend the grand estate. For those unfamiliar with Eszterhaza, it was known as the Hungarian Versailles--the fabulously wealthy Eszterhazy family (here, Anglicized to Esterhazy) built the estate on what was essentially swampland. For years, Haydn lived her while he composed operas exclusively for the family. In the 19th century, the estate was later abandoned, and while it has been restored and you can visit it, it's not exactly on the beaten path. But even today it's a gorgeous estate with a fascinating history.
But I digress. Charlotte was my favorite of the characters--I loved that she was subdued and understated and just beginning to find herself as an adult, having spent most of her adult life caring for an ailing (and significantly older spouse). Life at the estate is not at all what Charlotte envisioned, as the estate fills with a variety of characters, all visiting with ulterior motives: a Prussian spy; dangerous alchemists with questionable allegiances; the Princess Eszterhazy, who takes a liking to Charlotte despite Charlotte's relationship to her husband's mistress; young lieutenants making rash promises, and much more. Though it took me a while to untangle the different allegiances, the plot builds to a fast-paced, dark climax.
Worth reading for the setting alone--a criminally neglected place and time--but more so for the fascinating cast of characters, a stirring romance, and heart-pounding excitement.
I was not disappointed.
Masks & Shadows is an expertly written tale, divided into three acts to mimic the structure of the operas it so lovingly portrays within its pages, and it does so in such a seamless way, it’s absolutely masterful. The world of Eszterháza Palace is a vibrant one, filled with larger than life characters, and all the political, social, and romantic intrigue such a venue requires. The main characters, Charlotte and Carlo, both have a deep love for music and opera, and they are evenly matched, if at odds in the beginning of the story. And the rest of the characters provide such an entertaining supporting cast, dealing in both dangerous and magical plots, it was hard to put the book down once I began.
From a romantic view of music and theater to the dangerous sociopolitical conspiracies and secret magicks within its pages, this book leaves nothing out. And with a heavy dose of romance, it’s everything I could ever ask in a book. It left me laughing at times, heart racing at others, and by the time I finished, I genuinely cared about these characters, the lives lost along the way, and the unknown ever-after that awaited them beyond the final pages.
A fantastic historical romance that I would recommend to anyone who loves forbidden romances, social intrigue, and dastardly villainous plots, wrapped up in a world with a love of music at its heart.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am absolutely fluffed.Read more