Saturday, October 19, 2013

Masks-E.C. Blake


E.C. Blake

Daw, Nov 5 2013, $19.95

ISBN: 9780756407599

In Aygrima the Master Maskmaker proudly creates his daughter Mara’s mask that she will wear as a Gifted adult when she turns fifteen. At the rite of passage, instead of becoming her Daddy’s apprentice, her mask labels Mara traitor when she says she sees one color while concealing that she actually sees all; as a child she learned to hide that magical Gift. In accordance to the strictly enforced rules of the Autarch of Aygrima guards take away Mara to the horror of her parents. She will suffer the fate of the Unmasked masses by toiling in enforced slave camps and the mines until she dies.

On her way to a death camp, Unmasked rebels attack the wagon and liberate her. As she learns more about her Gift Mara fears her magical skill may prove lethal to the Masked and Unmasked populations of Aygrima.

Masks is a strong coming of age fantasy due to the vividly created Blake world that include the rules of enchanted Masks and a deeply developed two-caste society though the depth can slow down the pacing. Mara is a super protagonist who holds the entertaining storyline together while slowly understanding (like Spiderman did) that "… great power involves great responsibility" (FDR speech never given).

Harriet Klausner

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