Review: Masquerade

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MASQUERADE
LAURA LAM
SERIES: Micah Grey, #3
GENRES/ SUBJECTS: YA, Fantasy
REPRESENTATION:  Genderfluid Intersex Bisexual MC, Bisexual Love Interest
★★★★★

GOODREADS — BUY A COPY

Reviews for Pantomime (1) and Shadowplay (3)

Masquerade (Micah Grey, #3)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.


 

Masquerade is the third and final book in the Micah Grey trilogy. I came into this series a little hesitant, but the magic and the characters have completely swept me away.

masquerade.pngMasquerade does a really solid job of completing the story. Characters and loose ends from both the previous novels are brought back and combined with an entirely new plotline and everything comes together really smoothly by the finale. As I got closer to the end and I saw the number of pages still to come dwindling, I really began to worry if Lam was going to have room to tie up all those story threads in a satisfying way — but I wasn’t disappointed.

This book moves away from the performances and stage magic side of things from the first books (the circus and pantomime, Maske’s theatrics and the magicians challenge) and focus on the politics of the country more — The Foresters group we’ve seen growing in influence over the series and the monarchy — and dips briefly into a medical, almost Jack the Ripper mystery. There’s a lot going on, but nothing feels underdeveloped or unnecessary. Personally, I might have liked a little more of the performance and wonder because that was my favourite part of the previous books, but I enjoyed what there was, and it made sense to shift the focus a little for the ending.

Lam’s world-building is wonderful and her descriptions are vivid. I can always picture exactly what’s going on and the series as a whole has a really strong visual aesthetic. Together with the straight-forward, clean writing, it’s easy to lose yourself in this world.

As always, the biggest strength of Masquerade is the characters. I really liked that although there were a few new characters – I adored little Frey – and quite a large cast, the real focus is on the key characters I’ve grown to love. Micah and Drystan are brilliant, strong and complex, well-written characters, and I’m so glad I got to know them through this series.

I’d love if Lam ever goes back to these characters (there’s a brief line in the Acknowledgements that the series was meant to be a short story, and originally she planned to write about adult Micah as a detective — I’d pick it up in a heartbeat!) but if not, Masquerade had a nice sense of closure and the Micah Grey series will hold a special place in my heart.

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