The Mask of Mirrors (#1)

Next: The Liar’s Knot (#2)

The Mask of Mirrors is the unmissable start to the Rook & Rose trilogy, a darkly magical fantasy adventure in which a con artist returns to the city that betrayed her, determined to have her revenge—only to find that her fate might be to save it.

This is your past, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .
Arenza Lenskaya is a liar and a thief, a pattern-reader and a daughter of no clan. Raised in the slums of Nadezra, she fled that world to save her sister.

This is your present, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .
Renata Viraudax is a con artist recently arrived in Nadezra. She has one goal: to trick her way into a noble house and secure her fortune.

This is your future, the good and the ill of it, and that which is neither . . .
As corrupt nightmare magic begins to weave its way through the city of dreams, the poisonous feuds of its aristocrats and the shadowy dangers of its impoverished underbelly become tangled—with Ren at their heart. And if she cannot sort the truth from the lies, it will mean the destruction of all her worlds.


"For those who like their revenge plots served with the intrigue of The Goblin Emperor, the colonial conflict of The City of Brass, the panache of Swordspoint, and the richly detailed settings of Guy Gavriel Kay."

Booklist, Starred Review!

"Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms, writing as Carrick, join forces to launch...a tightly laced plot dripping with political intrigue. Carrick has built a strong foundation for things to come."

Publishers Weekly

"This novel [features] an elaborate con, secret identities, political machinations, stunning revelations, and three really interesting and well-delineated forms of magic."


"This novel hits all of my sweet spots, featuring as it does an elaborate con, secret identities, political machinations, stunning revelations, and three really interesting and well-delineated forms of magic."

Locus (For Audiobook)

“THE MASK OF MIRRORS, by M.A. Carrick (Marie Brennan and Alyc Helms) is a novel of complex plot and rich characterization that does just what you want a first novel in a series to do: arrive at a strong resolution while also leaving you eager to see what happens next… The authors have woven a rich tapestry of plot and character, and I’m hoping not to have to wait too long to see the rest of it unfold.”

Fantasy Literature

"Lush, engrossing, and full of mystery and dark magic, The Mask of Mirrors is sure to please fantasy readers looking to dial up the intrigue... The richness of Nadezra—the class systems, the detail with which things like clothing are rendered—is a joy, but the story itself also brims with intrigue, wonder and real pain. Jump in and get swept away."


"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is a fantastic beginning to a trilogy I’m harbouring high hopes for, and I can’t wait to see where the second book in the Rook & Rose trilogy takes us! If you are a fan of fantasy fiction, The Mask of Mirrors is a book that should definitely be on your radar!"

The Nerd Daily

"The Mask of Mirrors is a blend of urban fantasy and mystery set within a world of nobles, vigilantes, magic users, and thieves. It is one of the most underrated fantasy books of the year, but that doesn’t mean it deserves to be overlooked by fantasy fans and readers. Be ready to fall under the magic of this book."

Fantasy Faction

"[A] fantastic beginning to The Rook and the Rose trilogy...enjoyable and highly entertaining."

Adeel Reads

"Utterly captivating. Carrick spins an exciting web of mystery, magic, and political treachery in a richly drawn and innovative world."

S. A. Chakraborty, author of The City of Brass

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS has it all: complex, believable characters; a fast-moving, intricate plot; rich details of attire, cuisine, religion, and so much more, all of which lead the reader to believe that Nadežra exists in more than dreams. This novel starts off strong and only gets better."

Jane Lindskold, New York Times Bestselling author of The Firekeeper Saga

"The Mask of Mirrors kept me up reading way past my bedtime. A web of intrigue, magic, and the art of the con this novel will catch hold of your dreams and keep you from sleeping."

Mary Robinette Kowal, author of The Glamorous Histories series

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is an intriguing and exciting opening act with show-stealing characters, mysteries, simmering tensions, and a worldbulding that is simply exquisite."

The Fantasy Inn

"THE MASK OF MIRRORS is an excellent fantasy novel. The characters are fun, the setting is magnificent, and the writing is smart and accessible."

Los Angeles Review of Books

"Narrator Nikki Massoud captures this epic fantasy-adventure with her smooth, clear diction. Massoud's blend of tones and timbres differentiates the characters in an engrossing way. The political intrigue begins when Ren arrives in Nadezra determined to use whatever con it takes to form an alliance with a noble house. But she soon discovers she's not the only con artist who is intent on bettering her future. Massoud's narration style enables listeners to stay on track through the world-building and complex plot. As the world comes to life, Massoud ensures that listeners connect with the story's many characters."

Audio File

"I expect we’re going to be seeing a great deal of chatter about THE MASK OF MIRRORS in the next few weeks and months, and for good reason. This was excellent. The main character is pulling a con that Locke Lamora would be proud of. We’ve got underworld kingpins, a Zorro like figure, traumatic childhoods, tarot readings, flirtations, and talented dressmakers. It’s all a delight."

One Mike to Read Them All

"Overall, this book really swept me away. I love the world building, the different types of magic mentioned, the characters… so much!"

Powder & Page

"I absolutely loved this book! It blew away all my expectations. I’m so grateful I got to read a copy, and I would 100% recommend it! I positively can’t wait for the second book to be released, and I wonder what else these authors could create!"

Scribe Owl

"Rich in detail, this is a slow burn, good for those who like complexity in their books."

Witty & Sarcastic

"Overall this is a well done epic fantasy with a lot of interesting characters, an amazing world, and an intricate and complex plot."

Hidden in Pages

"The Mask of Mirrors was an excellent start to my 2021 reading and really pumped me up for everything to come this year. It has style, it has grace, it has passion ... if you like political intrigues or heists, you will love this book. I am already counting the days until I get my hands on the next book in the series."

The Quill to Live

"This is the first book in a new fantasy series and it has completely captivated me with it's strong world-building, expansive and developed cast of characters, and overall compelling and richly layered plot."

Forever Lost in Literature

“An excellent start to my 2021 reading.”

The Quill to Live

"the delightful product of a collaboration."

San Francisco Book Review

"Compelling, addictive, twisty and it’s left me thirsty for more. I can’t wait to read the next Rook & Rose book and if you’re a fan of fantasy, magic, politics, romance and mystery (and probably so much more that I’ve not added) then I definitely recommend you go and grab a copy of The Mask or Mirrors."

It's All About the Book Blog

"Ren is an immensely likable protagonist, someone who has been through hell, and is willing to fight tooth and nail for the people she loves."


"Completely brilliant! The best secondary world city fantasy I've read in years."

Ben Aaronovitch, author of the Rivers of London series