The Traitor Baru Cormorant

(The Masquerade #1)

paperback, 400 pages

Published Nov. 28, 2016 by Tor Books.

ISBN:
9780765380739

View on OpenLibrary

5 stars (2 reviews)

Tomorrow, on the beach, Baru Cormorant will look up from the sand of her home and see red sails on the horizon.

The Empire of Masks is coming, armed with coin and ink, doctrine and compass, soap and lies. They'll conquer Baru’s island, rewrite her culture, criminalize her customs, and dispose of one of her fathers. But Baru is patient. She'll swallow her hate, prove her talent, and join the Masquerade. She will learn the secrets of empire. She’ll be exactly what they need. And she'll claw her way high enough up the rungs of power to set her people free.

In a final test of her loyalty, the Masquerade will send Baru to bring order to distant Aurdwynn, a snakepit of rebels, informants, and seditious dukes. Aurdwynn kills everyone who tries to rule it. To survive, Baru will need to untangle this land’s intricate web of treachery - and …

2 editions

Didn't want to put it down

5 stars

Wow this was one of those "can't put it down" books for me. It's hard to review without spoiling but basically it is a fantasy novel with extremely interesting and incisive things to say about how imperialism works. Most of the action takes place in a federation of dukedoms that is currently being occupied by a big bad Empire. When I looked at the map at the beginning of the book I thought "there is no way I am ever going to remember who these dozen different dukes are and where they sit politically" but by the end of it I was like "oh my god I can't believe Duke So-and-so decided to ally with Duke Whats-her-face! That will have horrific ramifications for petit bourgeois craftspeople!"

Anyway this is one of the best books I've read in years. The human drama is really gripping and it also has left me …

avatar for cblgh@bookwyrm.social

rated it

5 stars