Monday, May 12, 2014

BLOG TOUR: What is Hidden by Lauren Skidmore


ABOUT THE BOOK

In a land of masquerades and mystery, Evie is a mask maker in Venesia, where masks represent rank and identity. When a cryptic bandit strips away Evie’s mask and destroys her home, she goes into hiding at the palace to find both a new identity—and revenge. Fantasy lovers will be caught up by the mystique, romance, and magic of "What Is Hidden."

Lauren SkidmoreABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Skidmore grew up in Kansas, with stints in Ohio and New York, and currently lives in Utah. She attended Brigham Young University where she earned a BA in English Teaching with an emphasis in Teaching English as a Second Language and Japanese. She then spent a year in Japan teaching and travelling. She hasn’t made it to Europe yet, but it’s on the list and has been to 30 states in the U.S. so far. When she’s not exploring new places, you can probably find her on the internet with fifteen windows open and looking at just one more thing before actually getting something done.

REVIEW

In addition to really enjoying this book, I absolutely love the cover.  I think it's one of the prettiest covers I've ever seen.  I wanted to read it as soon as I saw it.  And the book did not disappoint.  The idea of a land where everyone always wears a mask I found rather fascinating. This certainly forces one to look past the mask to the person beneath, but on the other hand, it also disguises people a great deal. Plus those masks have to get sweaty and uncomfortable after awhile.  The story though is an entertaining look at the dangers of secrets told through the eyes of a young mask-maker named Evie.

Evie and Aiden are best friends, despite being from different classes, Evie being an artisan and Aiden being a noble. But everything changes the day the bandit known as Chameleon attacks Evie and her father in her home.  Evie is left injured and homeless, but the loss of her father cuts the deepest. Evie is determined to get revenge on the Chameleon and she takes up residence in the palace to gain information.  She also wants to make her own way in life without relying on Aiden, despite his willingness to help her. But everything changes in shocking ways when secrets are revealed to the shock of both Aiden and Evie.  I guessed Aiden's secret fairly early on, but it was still interesting to watch events unfold.  I think what I enjoyed most about the story was the relationship between Aiden and Evie and how it grows over time as they face some difficult challenges and surprises.

There were several plot points that weren't completely cleared up by the end of the story that make me hope that a sequel will be forthcoming.  I would love to read more about Aiden and Evie.  There's is the kind of relationship that especially enjoy reading about.  There are some similarities to the Cinderella story, but enough differences to make the story fresh. I have no reservations at recommending this to readers who enjoy clean YA fantasy.  And isn't that cover pretty? ;)


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