Title: The Mask Falling (The Bone Season #4) by Samantha Shannon
Published: January 26, 2021
Genre(s): fantasy, adult, dystopian
Read as: hardcover, owned
Dreamwalker Paige Mahoney has eluded death again. Snatched from the jaws of captivity and consigned to a safe house in the Scion Citadel of Paris, she finds herself caught between those factions that seek Scion’s downfall and those who would kill to protect the Rephaim’s puppet empire.
The mysterious Domino Program has plans for Paige, but she has ambitions of her own in this new citadel. With Arcturus Mesarthim-her former enemy-at her side, she embarks on an adventure that will lead her from the catacombs of Paris to the glittering hallways of Versailles. Her risks promise high reward: the Parisian underworld could yield the means to escalate her rebellion to outright war.
As Scion widens its bounds and the free world trembles in its shadow, Paige must fight her own memories after her ordeal at the hands of Scion. Meanwhile, she strives to understand her bond with Arcturus, which grows stronger by the day. But there are those who know the revolution began with them-and could end with them… (Goodreads)
As this is the review of the fourth book in the series please be aware that there will be spoilers for the previous installments in this review.
This book left me feelings broken. I’m not sure how else to put it. It left me broken and left out in the cold. Folks, I cried. I don’t get emotional over books, its not in me, but I cried. When I finished reading this I had to take a nap so I could just shut off for a little bit and have a reboot.
It was so, so good.
The Bone Season is a series of books that I hold very close to my heart. As a wee little adult, who had mostly stopped reading for a few years, it was the book that got me back into reading as an adult instead of a lost little teenager with an over inflated ego. If not for this series I would not be the person, the reader, I am today. I adore them and the characters are very close to my heart.
That being said, Samantha brutalizes them in every way possible and I love it.
Paige, if you recall, was beaten and broken at the end of The Song Rising. That poor woman had been through hell and recovery takes time, time that she doesn’t feel like she has. After fleeing to Paris with Warden they hole up in a little apartment curtesy of Domino, a vast organization set on stopping Scion with the agreement that Paige helps them on their terms. Paige has never been very good with rules and finds herself in cahoots with a group of Paris voyants that she keeps sneaking off to meet.
This book puts our beloved Paige through more than she has ever had to overcome before. Her already broken body and mind, barely on the mend, get crushed over and over again. I am convinced the only thing holding her together is stubbornness and bandaids(plasters). She has also become more reckless than ever and finds herself in even more trouble than usual which, quite frankly, is quite the accomplishment.
I don’t want to give a lot of spoilers but I will say that this book…hurt. It hurt my heart and my tender little reading soul. I love these characters so much and reading their struggles, how hard they try to overcome them, and their little victories along the way pulled on my heart strings. Although the entire series is told from Paige’s perspective, this one in particular focuses on her growth and determination to bring down Scion. There is backstabbing, tentative alliances, terrifying adventure, the tiniest flame of hope, and just so, so much pain.
The final page of this book left me feeling broken. But to have broken me, it had to suck me in first and make me care, make me truly feel for these characters and their lives and goals. I’m still hurting and I think it will only get harder before it gets better as there are still three full novels left in this series. I can’t wait to see how Samantha Shannon and her motley crew of voyants bring the pain in the next book.