- Series: The Andari Chronicles
- Paperback: 446 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 15, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1519304811
- ISBN-13: 978-1519304810
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #519,753 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Traitor's Masque: The Andari Chronicles - Vol. 1 (Volume 1) Paperback – December 15, 2015
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"I absolutely loved what Davidson did with the tale, especially in adding a whole layer of political intrigue. Fans of fairytales retold should definitely read this story. If you loved the movie Ever After or are a fan of Robin McKinley or Melanie Dickerson's tales... add Traitor's Masque to the top of your to read list!"
―Kasey Giard at The Story Sanctuary
"Each scene and chapter feels full to the brim with intrigue and peril -supported by characters that are a joy to read about. Overall, a fabulous book that I devoured. Highly recommended for anyone who loves a bit of fairy tale and romance in their stories."
―Liberty Gilmore, Author of the Hart and Soul Series
"Elegantly and intelligently written, with sparkling dialogue... filled out with a great cast of supporting characters...Traitor's Masque is sure to appeal to anyone who loves retellings, suspenseful tales of intrigue in imaginary kingdoms, and subtle but ultimately heartwarming romance."
―Elisabeth Grace Foley, Author of Lost Lake House
About the Author
Kenley Davidson is a story-lover, word-nerd and incurable introvert who is most likely to be found either writing or hiding somewhere with a book. A native Oregonian, Kenley now resides in Oklahoma, where she persists in remaining a devoted pluviophile. Addictions include coffee, roller coasters, more coffee, researching random facts, and reading the dictionary (which is way more fun than it sounds). A majority of her time is spent being mom to two kids and two dogs while inventing reasons not to do laundry (most of which seem to involve books).
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Top Customer Reviews
I suppose one must technically call it fantasy, as it takes place in an imaginary kingdom/world, though there's no actual magic in the story. Had it been set in an imaginary European country I'd call it almost Ruritanian, with its themes of political intrigue—and that's largely what makes it so enjoyable. The kingdom of Andar is simmering with unrest over the issue of succession, with the scandal-plagued eldest prince having been disinherited in favor of his steadier younger brother, Prince Ramsey. The story's heroine, Trystan Colbourne (I admit, the one thing I never could quite get used to was her name; even with the different spelling it seems more like a boy's name to me) is offered a chance at escaping her stepmother's persecution in exchange for performing an apparently simple task: attending a masked ball in disguise to receive a message from an unknown contact. But before the evening is over, Trystan begins to realize that she may be playing a part in something much more sinister than she ever stopped to consider.
Another thing I liked is that the story squarely undercuts the insta-love aspect of the original fairytale by giving the hero and heroine a chance to meet and form a believable friendship early on—and then gives it a twist by making their unawareness of each other's real identity a major part of the plot's conflict later on. Both Trystan and Ramsey are well-developed, relatable characters with struggles of their own to work through—a Cinderella who's more prickly than sweet, and a prince who is seldom called handsome and is certainly not free from care. Elegantly and intelligently written, with sparkling dialogue a strong point; and filled out with a great cast of supporting characters (Kyril and Lizbet were among my favorites), TRAITOR'S MASQUE is sure to appeal to anyone who loves retellings, suspenseful tales of intrigue in imaginary kingdoms, and subtle but ultimately heartwarming romance.
The palace intrigue was very well done and kept my interest. It is interesting to see the interplay between Ramsey and Rowan. Kyle was a great character that kept Ramsey grounded and showed that family is not also blood. The whole conspiracy that was going on that caught Trystan up because she was naïve added a lot to the story. The woman who sent her to the ball was really not a fairy godmother but part of the conspiracy. The author made you feel sorry for Trystan and Ramsey because things were happening to them and around them and they could not see or understand.
This story is really well done and worth reading. You will find yourself not thinking you are reading a Cinderella story because Trystan, Ramsey and the rest of the characters are so complex and interesting.
First, let’s be honest with ourselves, there have been enough retellings of the Cinderella fairy tale over the years, that it takes something special to shine. I’m happy to report that TM is something special. I have to admit, I was skeptical at first, but the story and the deftness at which it was executed won me over. Sure, we might all know how our fairy tales end, but the journey to reach that Happily Ever After is what’s important. And for this reader, that journey was a lot of fun.
The major delight for me was the dialogue between Trystan and the prince Ramsey. Witty back-and-forth conversation is an art form, and Ms. Davidson is quite skilled at it. This novel feels pretty comfortable on your bookshelf right next to Pride and Prejudice (with or without zombies).
Cinderella’s story is used as a jumping off point, but the divergences from that plot are many—enough that in the end your mind may even reject the comparison out of hand. TM is something classic, but also something new—like a horse-drawn carriage, only the horses are robotic and have rockets for hooves.
So, if you like your classic fairy tales revved up, Traitor’s Masque has a shiny new engine lurking under its classic exterior. As it turns out, even after all these years, Cinderella’s story can still hold quite a few surprises.
Ethan A. Cooper
Author of What Happened On My Space Vacation