Another exciting series by J.M.D. Reid! This Mask of Illumination series is a spin-off from his Jewels of Illumination series’ and focuses on the character Foonauri. If you’ve read Diamond Stained or any of the sequels of that series, you might think of Foonauri as an unlikable character. I certainly did! But this five-part series gives a whole new perspective on the woman who broke Obhin’s heart, and has a story of her own to tell.
“We all wear masks…
…to hide from our guilt.
Lady Foonauri is on the far side of the world. Her life of indolence and chasing wealth has left the young noblewoman empty inside. She wears a mask of happiness while she weeps inside for the two men she loved.
One man, however, sees her more than a beautiful ornament. He sees a woman who can change the world. Onyx offers Foonauri a new mask to wear and the chance to do something meaningful with her life. To be a thief and steal a dangerous artifact before it falls into dark hands.
Is this Foonauri’s chance to take off her mask of guilt and find purpose in her life? Will being a thief who takes her destiny in her own hands bring her peace?
Or is she entering a world that will swallow her whole?
You’ll be captivated by this exciting fantasy story because of the passion and drive of its characters will keep you reading!”
Reid’s got a genius way of weaving characters and their stories together, having multiple important happenings along the same timeline. You’ll come across an event or a date and think “wait a second! I remember reading another book from another perspective on this exact same event!” and coming across characters from another series is like greeting an old friend.
Mask of Guilt follows Foonauri’s journey after she and Obhin broke up, and where her life took her. In Jewels of Illumination, from Obhin and Avena’s point of view, we see Foonauri as a spoiled rich girl looking for her next sugar daddy, trading her “Red” (a lovely metaphor for passion) for a comfortable lifestyle. Where would a woman like this fit into a world of demons, street gangs, and jewelchine technology? What could she possibly do to help fight the good fight?
It turns out, a lot! I loved meeting new characters in Mask of Illumination Book 1 (Mask of Guilt), the new friends Foonauri makes, and how she grows from an egocentric little princess to a brave young woman who wants to help make the world a better place.
We get to see more of Reid’s fascinating jewelchine universe, too, which I just gobbled up. I first encountered this universe with one of his first short stories (and the first of his I read), The Assassin’s Remorse, and it’s so unique it’ll pull you right in.
Five stars for Mask of Guilt!