I was sent Masks & Shadows by the publisher after winning a give away on Goodreads.com. The book, written by Stephanie Burgis, is a historical fantasy and is expected to come out April 5th, 2016.
While I did end up enjoying this book, it took me about 100 pages to get fully invested in the book and the characters. The book is written in a way where there is no specific main character but multiple POVs. Personally this confused me at first (figuring out who was who) but once I got past the 150 page mark the characters all stood out and were easily distinguishable from one another. So it took me about half way into the book to be able to follow all the characters without getting confused, which doesn’t happen to me very often. I ended up liking this writing style more then I thought I would.
The book is set in 1779, Prussia. The first character, introduced as Charlotte von Steinbeck, is visiting her sister in the Eszterháza Palace. The Palace is one of the main locations where the story takes place, a close second would have to be the Opera house. Charlottes fondness of Herr Haydns work stems from her love of the musical arts. She is a very talented pianist and that fact winds up allowing her to accompany Signor Morelli in his singing for the royal court. As the story progresses their relationship is one of the more interesting ones (at least it was for me) but there are many other things going on in the lives of the other characters.
The author, in my opinion, did a very nice job explaining each of the settings that the characters visited. I enjoyed the way the romance was written into the novel as it was not a major part of the story, it was more of an accent. I liked the writing style used in this book and I would definitely read a novel by Stephanie Burgis again.