I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Author: Karen Chance
Published by Penguin
Released: 18 March 2014
Genres: Urban Fantasy
“…once again Karen Chance has written a book that I had difficulty putting down.” ~Under the Covers
Set in fifteenth century Venice, Masks brings us the tale of how Mircea Basarab, a familiar character from Karen Chance’s Cassandra Palmer series, began his life as a vampire. Venice is a haven for masterless vampires and as a Mircea was cursed rather than made into a vampire, he is as masterless as he can get. But Venice isn’t quite the beacon of safety he thought it would be, captured by slavers and bought by a brothel mistress Mircea has gone from Prince to whore. But the senate is coming to Venice, giving Mircea an opportunity to become more, but with the senate comes an assassin with centuries worth of hatred and a plot to take down an ancient queen.
I am a huge fan of Karen Chance, I have yet to read a book by her that I didn’t love and Masks isn’t breaking that winning streak. Mircea is already a character I know and adore from her Cassandra Palmer and Dorina Basarab series, so having a book showing how he started vampire life is a real treat. However, although I do keep mentioning him in association with other series don’t be afraid to pick this up if you are new to Karen Chance, no prior knowledge of her other series are required for this book.
What I liked most about this book, was finally seeing inside Mircea’s head, he is normally so inscrutable and self possessed, seeing him so young (in a vampire sense), confused and struggling endeared him to me so much more than seeing any display of power. He is a classic hero, noble even whilst in the gutter, a natural leader doing his best to help those weaker than himself *cue heartfelt sighs* not to mention wickedly hot.
Masks was also more introspective than I was expecting, normally with a Karen Chance novel I expect to be dizzy afterwards from all the near misses with the grim reaper, from crazy flying car rides to battles with an impossible foe, and although there is a good amount of action in this book it also gave you room to breath. This allows you to soak in the atmosphere of Venice, the gaiety and decadence as well as the sensuality.
This was a fantastic read, once again Karen Chance has written a book that I had difficulty putting down, it had an interesting story with some great characters, both familiar and new leaving more excited to read whatever she has in store for us next
* ARC provided by publisher
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Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?