Masques for Tai. He's almost caught up in a couple of serial books he reads and I thought Briggs' early fantasy might be something he'd enjoy. After he read it he gave it to me and said he thought I might enjoy it more than he did. And he was right. I really enjoyed Masques.
Now this is the first book Briggs' wrote. The version I got from the library was a a re-release and had been "tidied up". Briggs is clear Masques was rough even in its first published form so if you are a fan of her later books, you might be surprised by how unpolished Masques is. But despite all that I was drawn into Aralorn's world quickly and adored my time there.
Aralorn is our heroine. We meet her on a mercenary mission. On that mission she finds an injured wolf. Something draws her to the wolf so she rescues it and nurses him back to health. After that Wolf becomes her sometimes companion. Frequently Wolf leaves Aralorn for reasons she doesn't know but he always comes back. I loved the interactions between Wolf and Aralorn. Wolf is very mysterious. Aralorn's got her own secrets so maybe it's ok for everyone to just keep them for now.
Mages, dragons, and shapeshifters, oh my! I loved the fantasy aspect of Masques. I especially loved the difference between green magic (something that you are born with that comes from the earth) and human magic (something that you learn and is limited). There are a lot of characters and not all of them are fleshed out. I'm glad this is the beginning of a series. There's a lot to work with.
Overall, I enjoyed Masques. I was able to get past the rough writing and lengthy descriptions quickly. I'm looking forward to its sequel, Wolfbane. Others who shared their thoughts on Masques: Dear Author, Book Addicts, and The Speed of Write.