When I think of Patricia Briggs I automatically think Mercy Thompson. With her feisty attitude and interesting adventures she’s one of my favorite Urban Fantasy heroines. And I’ll be honest, I really didn’t think to look for any other books by Mrs. Briggs. Mostly because I was content with waiting to read the Mercy books. However, after reading Masques, I have to wonder what was I thinking.
After an upbringing of proper behavior and oppressive expectations, Aralorn fled her noble birthright for a life of adventure as a mercenary spy.
Her latest mission involves spying on the increasingly powerful sorcerer Geoffrey ae’Magi.
But in a war against an enemy armed with the powers of illusion, how do you know who the true enemy is-or where he will strike next?
Masques by Patricia Briggs was originally written in 1993. When I first opened the book, there was immediately an explanation about how Patricia felt that Masques needed to be rewritten, and that the version I was about to read was the result of that decision.
I don’t know exactly what was wrong with the first version, (maybe some one who’s read the original could enlighten me?) but this one held my attention effortlessly, and had me in love with all the characters involved.
Aralorn, the heroine, was strong and independent as any such character should be. Her heritage as a daughter to royalty provided more of a hindrance than a help to her chosen career as a mercenary. However despite what stands in her way she stubbornly does what she feels is right. I loved that about her character, even more so when she refused to abandon her companion Wolfe. He is a mystery wrapped in an intimidating conundrum, but Aralorn seems to be drawn to him none the less. The relationship between these two worked at a crawl, but it wasn’t anything that I found boring. It was almost sweet seeing these two apparently very tough individuals fight, and fail, to fall for each other.
Even the evil mage had a character that I appreciated. He wasn’t just somebody with a differing view point, he was truly evil and made it his personal mission to gain as much power as possible regardless of who he hurt. In fact, he seemed to enjoy it when others were hurt. Which made me all the more excited to see the final showdown where everything was put on the line.
The first book might have not been up to par, but whatever it’s original failings this version of Masques by Patricia Briggs had a fantastic story and intriguing characters. If the next book, Wolfsbane, is anything like this one, then I cannot wait to continue reading about the adventures of Aralorn and Wolfe.
Steal the Dragon
When Demons Walk