Saturday, May 17, 2014
Cedar Fort Blog Tour: What is Hidden
Here's a description of the book from the author's website:
"Step back in time to 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."
With a cover that promised beauty and mystery (with a Mardi-Gras flair that caught my eye!), and a tantalizing blurb that did the same, I couldn't resist this book. Not to mention the Cinderella reference - gotta love a good fairy-tale retelling!
And indeed, I really did love this read. While I would have enjoyed a little glimpse at the history of this fantasy country where the entire population wears masks whenever others might see them, I was still completely swept away by the gorgeous descriptions and enchanting Venice-style setting. The color and life and intrigue kept me glued to my Kindle. Despite the plot twists and surprises that weren't entirely surprising by the time they came to light, there was still enough mystery and "chase" to hold my attention throughout the story.
I really admired Evie's tenacity, her ability to recover quickly and discover ways to survive and thrive in new situations. (Although her lack of a real emotional reaction to a huge event in her life kind of made her a bit less "real" to me, for a time.) Readers who like heroines who can take care of themselves will appreciate Evie. And yet, she's a balanced character who also loves to tease, make pretty things, and dress up.
The one she loves to tease? That would be Aiden, who takes care of her in whatever ways she'll let him. He's a lot of fun! While he definitely stands out among the cast, there are some other great characters in this Cinderella story that mostly takes place right within the palace itself.
There are a couple of unrealistic reactions (one I've already mentioned) that frustrated me, but overall I had a ball immersing myself in this secretive world Skidmore created. The lovely masks were enjoyable to read about, and yet it's those times when masks are removed that give the story heart. If you enjoy romantic and creative fantasy/fairy-tale reads, What is Hidden is your ticket to a delightful masquerade.
*With thanks to Cedar Fort for providing me with a PDF copy of the book in exchange for my honest opinion.*
About 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.