The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a dazzling and darkly magical fantasy adventure by Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing together as M. A. Carrick.

About the Book

This is your past, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither...
Arenza Lenskaya is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadezra, she fled that world to save her sister.

This is your present, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither...
Renata Viraudax is a con artist recently arrived in Nadezra. She has one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune.

This is your future, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither...
As corrupt nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the city of dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled—with Ren at their heart. And if she cannot sort the truth from the lies, it will mean the destruction of all her worlds.

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Read an Excerpt

The lodging house had many kinds of quiet. There was the quiet of sleep, children packed shoulder to shoulder on the threadbare carpets of the various rooms, with only an occasional snore or rustle to break the silence. There was the quiet of daytime, when the house was all but deserted; then they were not children but Fingers, sent out to pluck as many birds as they could, not coming home until they had purses and fans and handkerchiefs and more to show for their efforts.

Then there was the quiet of fear.

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Praise for the Book

“Utterly captivating.”—S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass
“This novel will catch hold of your dreams and keep you from sleeping.”—Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Calculating Stars
“Escape into a vast, enchanting world of danger, secret identities, and glittering prose.”—Tasha Suri, author of Empire of Sand
“A tightly laced plot dripping with political intrigue. Carrick has built a strong foundation for things to come.”—Publishers Weekly
“For those who like their revenge plots served with the intrigue of The Goblin Emperor, the colonial conflict of The City of Brass, the panache of Swordspoint, and the richly detailed settings of Guy Gavriel Kay.”—Booklist (starred review)
“Ushers you into the fascinating city of Nadezra, replete with complex politics, intricate magic, and mysteries that readers will be racing to unravel.”—Andrea Stewart, author of The Bone Shard Daughter
“A fantastically twisty read.”—Fran Wilde, author of the Bone Universe trilogy
“Lush, engrossing, and full of mystery and dark magic, The Mask of Mirrors is sure to please fantasy readers looking to dial up the intrigue.” —BookPage
“From the first page, I was utterly entranced by this glittering world filled with masked vigilantes, cunning conwomen, and dark magic. A sheer delight!” —Katy Rose Pool, author of There Will Come A Darkness
“An intricate, compelling dream of a book that kept me turning pages, with a world and characters that felt deeply real and plenty of riveting twists and turns. I loved it!” —Melissa Caruso, author of The Tethered Mage
“The Mask of Mirrors is an absolute delight. A compelling tale richly layered with depth and complexity.” —Marshall Ryan Maresca, author of the Maradaine Saga
“A terrific heroine, intricate worldbuilding, and a bewitching combination of comedy-of-manners and action hooked me from the start and never let me go!” —Sherwood Smith, author of Inda
“The Mask of Mirrors has it all: complex, believable characters; a fast-moving, intricate plot; rich details of attire, cuisine, religion, and so much more, all of which lead the reader to believe that Nadežra exists in more than dreams. This novel starts off strong and only gets better.” —Jane Lindskold, author of The Firekeeper Saga

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About the Author

M. A. Carrick is the joint pen name of Marie Brennan (author of the Memoirs of Lady Trent) and Alyc Helms (author of the Adventures of Mr. Mystic). The two met in 2000 on an archaeological dig in Wales and Ireland — including a stint in the town of Carrickmacross — and have built their friendship through two decades of anthropology, writing, and gaming. They live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

M.A. Carrick taken by John Scalzi

Photo by John Scalzi