Received to review via Netgalley; publication date 29th August 2017
I was intrigued by the sound of Mask of Shadows, because the main character is non-binary and throughout the story, asks to be addressed by pronouns that match what they’re wearing — and by neutral pronouns (they/them/their) if they’re ambiguous. I thought it was reasonably well done; people didn’t get too obsessed with finding out, and not everyone was a total douche about it either. The narrative didn’t linger on it, either.
On the other hand, it’s basically Throne of Glass with a bit of The Hunger Games, apart from maybe the figure of the queen, who is intriguingly ambiguous in the end, although she starts as a saviour figure. There is some interesting world-building — the shadows — but really, it feels so much like Throne of Glass. I enjoyed Throne of Glass well enough, but I don’t want to read it again.
There’s a couple of issues with pacing too — sometimes the story seems to jerk forward, leaving me wondering where something came from. But for the most part, it’s fun; just not original.