Audiobook Review: Masques by Patricia Briggs

Posted March 17, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Audio Delight, Reviews / 22 Comments

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I received this book for free from Purchased in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Masques by Patricia Briggs
Narrated by Katherine Kellgren

One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Series: Aralorn #1
Genres: Fantasy Romance
Published by Audible Studios
Released on September 2, 2010
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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The Delight

A newly updated edition of Patricia Briggs’ first book and the inclusion of an introduction by the author herself had me one-clicking on this audio edition.  Fantasy world, action, intrigue, mages, shape-shifters, and engaging characters made this a highly entertaining story from start to finish.


Masques is the first book in the Sianim series and the first in the Aralorn duology.  It can be read standalone or one of several stories set in the same high fantasy world.

Aralorn is the shape-shifting, warrior daughter of a noble family.  She has left the pampered life of wealth behind to train and become a mercenary and spy.  Her latest assignment takes her to spy on the household of the most powerful mage in the land.  She is meant to discover a possible assassination attempt, but instead discovers the mage himself is corrupt and using his power to entrap minds, enslave people, and kill for additional power.  The mage must be stopped.  She faces him with the help of a mysterious shape-shifting wolf, a young king who is impervious to magical influence, and some surprising help along the way, but they are up against a mage who has summoned the undead along with some of the most powerful magic users he has tricked.

Aralorn was an engaging heroine.  She is clever, skilled, and compassionate.  She also possesses mild magic that helps her disguise herself and resist mental manipulation.  She is impetuous when her compassion is engaged which is why she rescues a wild wolf from a trap and ignores everyone including the wolf himself who tells her that he’s dangerous and possibly worse.  Aralorn does like to go her own way and work alone, but knows she is woefully inadequate to face off with a powerful mage.  This was an underdog situation and I do love those, but it was also a story of treachery and redemption.  I found Aralorn something of a ‘too perfect’ character, but Wolf was much more complex.  It is his story as much as Aralorn’s and gives the depth to this tale.  His past is slowly revealed and he must face it before he can take on the mage.  He must also learn to trust particularly the fierce woman who stands at his side.

I do love how the author weaves lore and legend into her stories so well.  This is a fantasy so it has plenty already, but within the story lore and legend play a strong role in helping Aralorn and their friends against sheer magical might.

The narrator is one whom I’ve encountered before.  Katherine Kellgren did well with this story mostly narrated by Aralorn, but also Wolf and a few others.  She really told a good fight scene and had a nice repertoire of voices for characters and situations.

All in all, it was great to step into Patricia Brigg’s fantasy world and I look forward to the other stories in the series.  If you enjoy fantasy that is carried by action and intrigue with a smaller dose of romance, try this one.


Mt. TBR #20
Literary Pickers #44 alternate world
Audio #16
COYER Winter #70


About Patricia Briggs

Patricia BriggsPatricia Briggs was born in Butte, Montana, to a children’s librarian who passed on to her kids a love of reading and books. Patricia grew up reading fairy tales and books about horses, and later developed an interest in folklore and history. When she decided to write a book of her own, a fantasy book seemed a natural choice. Patricia graduated from Montana State University with degrees in history and German and she worked for a while as a substitute teacher. Currently, she lives in Montana with her husband, children, and six horses and writes full time, much to the delight of her fans.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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Anne - Books of My Heart

I’ve heard of these and am thrilled to get your review on one. So it’s fantasy romance with only 1 flame? I guess it has to start somewhere. Lots of fantasy is low on the romance, especially in the first book. Excellent review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yes, only one flame because the romance doesn’t come on until really late in the story and they didn’t even kiss. I’m guessing the second book in the duology will give more attention to the relationship.

Oh yes, it is true high fantasy stuff with lots of movement and action. You can tell its her first book, too, but it is still good.

Melanie Simmons
3 years ago

Oh, I should try these. I love Patricia Briggs but I’ve only read books in the Mercyverse. I would love to try other stuff and have been meaning to for years. Maybe I’ll grab this one. Great review.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

It’s very different from the Mercy stories, of course, and its also her first book. But, that said, you can sense the similarities in writing style and appreciate the action and development of the story in the same way.

Carole rae
3 years ago

Oooo to the TBR pile!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Carole rae

Oh yes, its one for the pile. 🙂

Angela (Angel's Guilty Pleasures)

I grabbed this one when Audible did their first in a series sale. I’ve lessoned and loved it. The narrator did a fabulous job. I liked the fantasy, lore, and legends. It was very in-depth. I will say it’s complete different from her MT series or Alpha and Omega. Very different. I’m going to pick up the next one that has these two characters in it. Great review. Thank’s for sharing.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yay a fellow fan. I’m glad you loved it, too. This one is straight fantasies and her latest two series are urban fantasy so that is definitely different.
I’ve got the next book in ebook version. Hope we like it, Angela. 🙂

3 years ago

I’m so happy to read your review. Thank you for introducing me to this book!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Nasreen

Sure thing, Nasreen! Happy to make the intros. 🙂

Tanya @ Rantings of a Reading Addict

I have seen these other books by Briggs but haven’t had a chance to try them out. I always worry about fantasy because I never seem to get my romance fix. I will have to get to these though. I love Briggs and don’t want to miss out on her work!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

Yeah, the romance is really subtle in this one. It comes on late after a long friendship and secrets revealed. Now, maybe the second book in the duology gets there. 🙂 But, yes, worth it for Briggs’ writing. 🙂

3 years ago

Oh I liked this series. I did read it a while ago when it was translated in French

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Melliane

That is great. I’m just starting it and can’t wait to get the other three books. 🙂

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

I love Patricia Briggs!!! How do I not know about this series? I’m clicking over to check it out now. 🙂

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I think its her very oldest. I look forward to reading the rest of them.

3 years ago

ohhh! I like this and may have to check it out. I love her Mercy Thompson series.

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Sharonda

It was very cool to read her first book and see how far she has come and also see hints of style and magic that show up later in the Mercy Thompson series.

3 years ago

I like the sound of the main character and how she has some subtle magic. And underdog situations can be great to read. The wolf sounds interesting too. The world building sounds well done too. Great review!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago
Reply to  Lola

Yes, it was a winner all around for me. I think you’d enjoy it, Lola. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

Aralorn sounds like a great female lead! I love that she’s clever, compassionate and impulsive when she feels her compassion. I also like that she has magical power. This sounds like it was very engaging. I love stories of legend and lore! Wonderful Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
3 years ago

I’m picky about my heroines, but I loved Aralorn. Tough to believe that this was a first writing effort. 🙂