In Masks, Mara Holdfast’s life changed forever. As the daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, she had a clearly defined future: working with her father to make the Masks that must be worn by all adults—Masks imbued with a magic that would reveal any treasonous thought about the ruling Autarch. But when her own Mask cracked and fell to pieces during her Masking ceremony, Mara was exiled from everything she once knew. Rescued by an underground rebel group known as the unMasked Army, Mara was recruited to their cause when she learned the shocking truth about the Autarch’s reign. And in a moment of crisis, Mara drew upon a volatile magical talent neither she nor her allies could understand or control.
In Shadows, Mara faces staggering new challenges as she struggles to master her terrifying, almost addictive ability to use all types of magic—and to rip magic from those around her to fuel her power.
When Chell, a young man from across the sea, is shipwrecked and washed ashore outside the rebels’ hidden base, it signals the first contact in centuries with the world beyond the borders of the Autarchy of Aygrima. But whether Chell and his people will help the unMasked Army or betray them to the Autarch is very much in question. His arrival, and Mara’s own need for answers that can only be found in the capital city of Tamita, sparks a covert mission to the seat of the Autarch’s power. It is there that an act of unspeakable brutality tips Mara dangerously close to madness…and in the midst of a desperate and bloody battle, she discovers just how horrifying her power can be….
Praise for Shadows
“The magic continues in this enthralling adventure, grabbing the reader’s interest and holding it until the final page. Each chapter brings a new twist in the already sensational story. Blake creates the perfect mix of adventure and romance…Mara’s struggle is relevant to readers of any age.” – 4 1/2 Stars, RT Book Reviews, Top Pick for August 2014
“Raw, powerful, emotional and intense. Shadows is a book that captivated me from page one and had me literally on the edge of my seat. A year until the next book?! It’s going to be a long year, I need it NOW!” – Candace’s Book Blog
“More action-packed and fast-moving than the first…I highly recommend this series for fantasy fans!” – Not Yet Read
“I devoured this story. I was hanging on to every word…The Masks of Aygrima’s dark magic, powerful young heroine, and group of rebels plotting to overthrow a tyrannical leader make this an addictive series that I would recommend to any fantasy fan.” – Addicted 2 Heroines
“Full of suspense, mystery, magic, and a bit of romance – the intensity builds to a climactic ending. I look forward to the next in this incredible fantasy series.” - SciFi Chick
Praise for Masks, Book 1 of The Masks of Aygrima:
r“The worldbuilding is solid…and Mara’s personal growth is a delight to follow. Sharp characterization, a fast-moving plot, and a steady unveiling of a bigger picture make this a welcome addition to the genre.” – Publishers Weekly
“(A) powerful fantasy novel, the first book in a series that should appeal to both YA and adult readers…Blake brings his fantastic world to life through offbeat links between magic, nature, and human behavior in a caste-ridden society.” - Locus Magazine
“Encapsulating the best features of a good teen title, Masks is sure to resonate with readers…With an intriguing setting and a suspenseful story line that will hook readers, Masks is the first of a promising new series.”- School Library Journal
“Not since the likes of Lirael or Sabriel have I enjoyed a YA with a female protagonist to the extent I did Masks…a novel that will emotionally touch you and leave you reeling through it.” - Fantasy Faction
“4 1/2 stars – Masks grabs the reader’s attention on the first page and holds it until the last….The characters are complex and relatable and grow throughout the story, and the storyline itself is fresh and never predictable. Masks is simply impossible to put down and will leave readers begging for the last two books in the trilogy.” - RT Book Reviews
“4 of 5 stars – I liked this book a lot; the story had me riveted from beginning to end, and there’s lots of potential for the main character and the series’ fantasy world.” - Bibliosanctum
“Tension building that will curl your toes and amazing world building!” 4/5 stars – My Shelf Confessions
“A must-follow fantasy series with a new heroine to root for!” – Addicted 2 Heroines
“[A] delightfully original and dark fantasy world…E.C. Blake’s Masks is a fantastic debut, set in a chilling and magical world.” 4/5 stars – A Reader of Fictions
“Masks is a great step up for older teen readers moving into reading adult fantasy. This book has a bit of a dystopian feel without the cliches that seem to be becoming common in YA dystopian fiction. Adult readers who have enjoyed series such as Terry Brooks’ Shannara novels should be sure to read Masks.” – Kari Lynn Writes
“A great read that I would recommend to anyone who enjoys fantasy novels and what is shaping up to be an epic journey.” 5/5 stars – Musings of a Hopeful Author