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About The Masks of Aygrima

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The Masks of Aygrima tells the story of Mara, a 15-year-old girl in a land where the ruler, The Autarch, controls the populace by requiring every citizen to wear a magic-infused Mask from the age of 15, a Mask which reveals to his omnipresent Watchers anyone who is a threat to his control…or just doesn’t fit in.

Mara is the daughter of the Master Maskmaker of Agyrima, and one of the very few Gifted with the ability to see and use magic, which manifests to the Gifted as colors (each representing a different kind of magic) in the black lodestone in which it collects and is stored. All children can see all colors of magic, but for most, that ability fades until only one or two remains. Mara’s ability has not faded, and she is worried as she enters her Masking ceremony that perhaps the future she has always envisioned, a privileged life as apprentice to her father, and her own eventual ascension to the post of Master Maskmaker, is not as assured as she has always thought…and with good reason: on her 15th birthday her Masking fails, and she is instantly transformed from pampered city girl to abused and worthless non-person, sent into exile and hard labor at the brutal mining camp where the Autarch’s magic is extracted from deep beneath the ground.

En route, however, she is rescued by the Unmasked Army, rebels fighting (rather ineffectively) to overthrow the Autarch’s rule. As she learns more about her unique and powerful kind of magic, she must also figure out who to trust…and how to keep her Gift from becoming a curse that will transform her into a mad, destructive sorceress like the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire…

The three books of The Masks of Aygrima are Masks, Shadows, and Faces.

Reviews of Masks

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“Brilliant worldbuilding combined with can’t-put-down storytelling… Bring on the next in this highly original series!” – Julie E. Czernada, author of A Turn of Light

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

Reviews of Shadows…

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“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

“A strong sequel…the story and characters are unexpected and captivating.” – 100Story Reviews

Reviews of Faces…

Faces cover“The conclusion of this fantastic trilogy does not disappoint. From Mara’s inner turmoil and relationships with those around her to the final battle – it’s suspenseful and full of surprises. Don’t miss this intriguing world of magic and masks. It’s a dark fantasy trilogy with incredible world-building, interesting characters, and a heroic story.” – SciFiChick.com

“In his final installment in the Masks of Aygrima trilogy, Faces, E.C. Blake builds on the suspense created in the previous installment. Readers will see the characters grow and change…Blake creates a perfect balance between the action and emotion, forging a deep connection between the reader and the characters.” – RT Book Reviews

“Mara is…a fascinating character…I was never sure of how all the problems will resolve. The final results were unpredictable and more than once I was surprised at how things concluded.” – The BiblioSanctum

“Faces, the third book in the Masks of Aygrima series, closes out a spectacular story arc….Blake has done a marvelous job of creating a very sympathetic protagonist in Mara…Faces is a wonderful story with some great characters and world-building. I was completely satisfied with how Faces ended…Fans of realistic heroines will love Mara.” – The Qwillery

” Blake wonderfully uses magic and the state of the book’s society to weave in issues of power, abuse, and loss. He isn’t afraid to show the darker sides of humanity. This series delves deeply into pain and self-discovery — especially with the intricate portrayal of Mara both internally and externally — making this incredibly fantastical world feel real…Blake does not disappoint in his conclusion to The Masks of Aygrima series.” – 100Story Reviews

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