Fantasy Book Review: Faces

Faces by EC Blake

Mara Holdfast is a young woman gifted with the ability to see and use all the colors of magic. Two other people share this talent: the Autarch, who draws upon the very life-force of his subjects to fuel his existence and retain his control over the kingdom; and the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire, the only person who has ever truly challenged the Autarch’s despotic reign.

After a devastating battle that takes a dreadful toll on both the rebel unMasked Army and the forces of Prince Chell, their ally from across the sea, Mara and her fellow survivors have no one to turn to for help but the Lady of Pain and Fire.

As the Lady leads them to her haven beyond the mountain borders of the kingdom, Mara feels that she has found the one person who truly understands her, a mentor who can teach her to control and use her power for the greater good. Together, they may be able to at last free Agryma from the Autarch’s rule.

Living within the Lady’s castle, cut off from her friends in the village far below, Mara immerses herself in her training. Still, she can’t entirely escape from hearing dark hints about the Lady, rumors that the Lady may, in her own way, be as ruthless as the Autarch himself.

Yet it is not until they begin their campaign against the Autarch that Mara discovers where the real danger lies. Driven by the Lady’s thirst for revenge, will Mara and all her friends fall victim in a duel to the death between two masters of magic?

Faces is the third and final novel in the The Masks of Aygrima series. The majority of the story is about Mara learning everything she can from the Lady and how she begins to distance herself from her friends, and unknowingly becoming more like the Lady despite her refusal to become a villain. The pacing picks up later in the story as the resistance begins to attack the Watchers and mines. And Mara begins to learn who the Lady really is.

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.