Author: Laura Lam
Publication Date: 9. March 2017
Rating: 4.5/5. Stars
Diversity: LGBT characters, PoC
TW: child abduction, racism, terrorist attacks, death,
Summary: The gifted hide their talents, but dare they step into the light?
Micah’s Chimaera powers are growing, until his dark visions overwhelm him. Drystan is forced to take him to Dr Pozzi, to save his life. But can they really trust the doctor, especially when a close friend is revealed to be his spy?
Meanwhile, violent unrest is sweeping the country, as anti-royalist factions fight to be heard. Then three chimaera are attacked, after revealing their existence with the monarchy’s blessing – and the struggle becomes personal. A small sect decimated the chimaera in ancient times and nearly destroyed the world. Now they’ve re-emerged to spread terror once more. Micah will discover a royal secret, which draws him into the heart of the conflict. And he and his friends must risk everything to finally bring peace to their land.
Disclaimer: I received an e-copy of this book on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Okay so first off let me start this with a wow. Wow! WOW!! What an ending to a fascinating trilogy! New mysteries are uncovered, violence breaks out, family bonds are formed again, friendship becomes more important than ever, the political climate gets worse by the day.
But let’s start from the beginning. Micah who normally never grows sick has fainted quite a bit in the second book and right at the end he fainted again, Dr. Pozzi’s warning that it might be a sign of a mortal illness ringing in his ears. Drystan is forced to take him to Dr. Pozzi, who helps him with some medicine that strengthens his powers. But unfortunately its effects only last for a week and then Micah has to return to Pozzi. Does Pozzi really just want to help chimera like Micah? Or is there something far more sinister behind his actions? And if that was not enough an old friend of theirs is revealed to have been working as a spy for him. But do they do it out of their free will or are they also forced to help him?
Many of the questions you might have had from the first two books are answered. At least mostly. I still have no idea how Ellada looks like, the lack of a map is something that is probably one of the few things that still bother me, having finished the series now.
There are still a few scenes that felt very info-dumpy, more flashbacks, a lot of hints at what happened in the books before, which bothered me a bit, since I had just read the first two books, but if you don’t plan on re-reading them just before reading Masquerade they should definitely be very helpful. Also the ending was so neatly tied up, it bothers me a bit. It is just absolutely perfect, which felt like a bit too much. However, it fit well with the series and the character’s deserved this ending a lot, so it doesn’t bother me that much.
Despite all that the story was amazing. There was more focus on politics now, the demonstrations of the Forester Party grow violent and a rekindled hatred for chimera leads to a terrorist attack in which many people are wounded. Then a secret in Micah’s past is unraveled and he finds out another secret that might as well cost him his life. And then there’s also still those weird grave robber dreams that plague him in the night.
Micah and his brother also connect more again and their loving relationship really shows through, I love good sibling relationships, they are great. Drystan’s and Micah’s relationship grows even further and honestly I could cry because these two are so cute together and I honestly love them so much! Micah also grows more secure in his non-binary identity and realizes that while he likes being seen as a man more than he does a woman, he is still very much both and neither at the same time.
This story was, while still very focused on the characters, also good at giving us world building answers that we have been yearning to know since the first book. Not all questions are answered in the ending, but many of them are and so the ending is pretty satisfactory.
Also, don’t worry, there will be a real masked ball in the end, but even before the title of the book fits well with all the deceit and hidden identities in the book.
All in all this story was a worthy ending for a lovely trilogy and if you’re looking for diverse books, books with bisexual, trans- and intersex characters, a fantastical world building, amazing fantasy, then this is the story for you.