The Hidden Face (The Fifth Unmasking Book 1)

von S. C. Flynn 
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The Hidden Face (The Fifth Unmasking Book 1)
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Inhaltsangabe zu "The Hidden Face (The Fifth Unmasking Book 1)"

A face without a face - an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Once every few hundred years, the sun god, the Akhen takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face is a fantasy mystery drenched in the atmosphere of the Early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles, and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.


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Ausgabe:E-Buch Text
Umfang:403 Seiten
Verlag:The Hive

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    Catties avatar
    Cattievor 10 Monaten
    Rather disappointing

    The Hidden Face is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series by S.C. Flynn and my second book by the author. I enjoyed Children of the Different, however, The Hidden Face failed to thrill me and I was oftentimes about to abandon it.

    But first things first, I enjoyed the setting. Even though it is fantastical, it reminded me of ancient Greece and the Greek mythology. I could really imagine I was somewhere warm and sunny, bathing in a stream or travelling on horseback. Furthermore, I liked the female warrior Sunniva, more than the male protagonist Dayraven. She takes matters into her own hands and while Dayraven comes along a little bit whiny sometimes, Sunniva is tough and determined. Even though it is only a small aspect, the novel includes a list of characters and a chronology of the setting which I find very useful.

    Still, there were major aspects I disliked. Most of all, I could not get into the story and find access to the characters. Sunniva is overly sexualised in some scenes and I do not see this as pivotal to the plot. The story would have well worked without her being reduced to her body. Other parts of the novel show that this is possible and Sunniva is an independent woman and a good fighter making any such reduction not only counterproductive but unnecessary. Thus, I was disappointed when reading her being exposed to the male gaze in that way.

    Moreover, the writing was at times rather obvious and failed to thrill me. Especially one scene that included a series of riddles that had to be solved is more boring than exciting and the outcome is already foretold in the beginning. While the different ways in which the riddles have to be solved are interesting enough, the scene lacked passion and emotion. I believe this to be partly due to the fact that the novel tells more than shows. In my opinion, the dialogue is rather halting and emotionless and, thus, the story would have benefitted from being narrated to the reader more than being told by the characters.

    I also wish the story world would have been more extended. Despite the outlines of the world being huge, we only get to see a small bit of it in the story and the centre on Sunniva and Dayraven, although understandable and needed to bring the story forward, could have included a little more of the setting and to provide a bigger picture. I would have enjoyed reading more about the societies of the different cultures and have more characters interacting with one another. Nevertheless, I believe that Flynn will write more about these aspects and extend them in his sequels, so this is something I am looking forward to.

    All in all, I believe that some characters and the story have potential, but I fear this was not fully exploited and there is definitely room for improvement regarding the writing style. I really tried to give The Hidden Faces a chance, but as it turned out the story just did not connect with me.


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