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Masque (The Two Monarchies Sequence) Kindle Edition
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|Length: 335 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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A reimagining of the Beauty and the Beast tale, Masque has a remarkable freshness and a unique approach. It is light and funny with charming characters -- in spite of the rather dreadful murders that occur.
Lady Isabella Farrah is the daughter of Civet's Ambassador to Glause and a very independent minded, happily unmarried spinster in her late twenties. Attending the Annual Ambassadorial Ball, Isabella finds herself besieged by the much younger Lord Topher, who seems determined to fall in love with her. Isabella has no intentions of letting his budding interest go further, but wants to let him down gently.
In the meantime, Lord Pecus does catch her interest. Known as the Beast Lord, Lord Pecus is under a curse and always wears a masque. Her friend Dylesia has done her best to dislodge the masque, quite unsuccessfully. This piques Isabella's curiosity.
Then events at the ball go haywire when an old and trusted friend is murdered and suspected of espionage. And away we go.
Isabella is a daunting investigator. Gathering allies who are dedicated and a little in awe of her, she proceeds at will to tackle the twists that occur. Even when she ends up as a hostage, Isabella manages to untangle many of the threads to the mystery.
I loved the dialogue. Isabella is never at a loss for just the right words for the occasion. Gingell has created amusing, articulate characters who romp through the pages, enjoying themselves immensely.
A light, clever, and engaging fairy tale retelling that manages to be fresh and original.
I had 3 minor quibbles. I won't mention them here, but don't think that they put me off the book. It was great fun!
Kindle purchase. :) for .99 and well worth it!
Fairy Tale/Fantasy. 2015. print version: 335 pages.
I did find the conclusion a little bit abrupt and the epilogue a little less than what I would've wanted. However, that is really my only complaint in the entire book.
I do seem to have read the books out of order as this is my first W.R. Gingell book, but it will certainly not be my last . Since Gingell is an indie author, I was also extremely impressed with the editing as it is not uncommon to become so involved in the errors in an indie writer's book that you lose the pleasure of the book. That was certainly not the case here.
Gingell's spin on the story we know is refreshing. The heroine is clever, witty and just a bit too optimistic but that's what makes the rest believable as we meet our beast, Alexander, who is just as clever, witty, and dare I say not tragic in his role of Commander of the Watch.
This heroine doesn't wait for her adventure, she immerses herself in it as she investigates the series of murders with Alexander, making them partners, albeit not without some conflicts but since they're evenly matched, the credibility of these two characters eventually being more than partners is believeable.
I said almost seamlessly didn't I?
As much as I loved the characters and the dialogue, and I do, there were a few things that could have been dealt with differently or with more detail I should say, such as the introduction of her sister who ends up being more than a one note side character, and the villain's reasoning behind his killings.
I'm not saying that this was done badly or incorrectly but with additional details like mentioning early in the story that the heroine had siblings, the introduction of her sister wouldn't be such a surprise as it was for the last third of the book. Additional details of the killer would also establish his way of thinking more, maybe it's all the criminal minds here talking, but more of a backstory would have made it more believable to me but overall I completely loved this "re-telling" and would recommend it.
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I read it on the recommendation of several other readers, and I'm so glad I did.Read more