**I was provided an advanced readers copy for reviewing purposes**
Pages: 352 pages
Book: ★★★ 3/4
Publishing Date: September 5th 2017
Sal is hard to pin down, courageous, at times vicious, and one of the last of a small nation decimated to save it’s larger, richer neighbor. Raised by the streets and under the sway of a street thug named Grell, Sal hasn’t had it easy. Sal robs a lady on the road, in an effort to pay his due and comes across a flyer that talks about a competition for the position of Opal, member of an elite group of assassins known as the queens left hand. Sal suddenly has the opportunity for revenge, unfortunately, revenge is often unpredictable and never as sweet as one imagines. This is a good fast paced read with all of the intrigue and poison one would expect from a novel about an elite assassin.
There was only one issue for me, I felt the story went farther than it should have and then ended really abruptly. It would have been better (in my lowly selfish opinion) to finish the book with the Opal being chosen and then pick up the rest in the following book (mostly because I read my favorite character was killed off and two seconds later the book was over) It was a metaphysical punch in the gut. If it had been done at the start of the second book, I could have looked forward to the retribution for his death. Now I have to wait for the release of the sequel, knowing he is dead….majorly bummed over here.
Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class―and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand―the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears―Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can have only if they survive.
The cover and the title of this book combined with the mystery of the title and the fact that it had been likened to books written by Sarah J. Maas convinced me to pick this book before I ever read the synopsis. Once I did, I admit to a moment of confusion. What was trans fluid? Would it have an effect on my ability to connect with the main character?
About the author:
A wayward biology student from Arkansas, Linsey has previously worked as a crime lab intern, neuroscience lab assistant, and pharmacy technician. Her debut novel MASK OF SHADOWS is the first in a fantasy duology coming in September 2017 from Sourcebooks Fire. She can be found writing about science and magic anywhere there is coffee.
Find out more about her at :www.linseymiller.com