For the first few pages, E. M. Prazeman's Masks had my mind reeling—much the same feeling as culture shock. I read on, carried through my puzzlement by the luscious writing, until I realized that the feeling actually was culture shock. Young Mark Seaton, dreaming of becoming a sailor like his father, lives in a world similar to an archaic version of ours—similar but for the culture shock.
For Mark, there is nothing shocking about his world—until his mother is murdered, his father disappears, and he is kidnapped and sold into a world of perverted nobles to be trained in the masked arts of seduction, treachery, and murder.
Mark grows to manhood unable to escape this immensely rich, exotic world, but never quite accepting its immoral premises. When a duel kills both masked opponents, he seizes upon one of their identities and escapes to an island world in which he feels more at home. But this new world is just as beset with intrigue as the one he escaped, but now he finds himself at the conspiracy's center.
His hope for a good, honest life is not yet to be fulfilled. To save his new home, he must return to the one from which he escaped. Luckily for the delighted readers of Mask, Mark's adventures will be continued in Confidante, Book Two of The Lord Jester's Legacy.
(reviewed 15 days after purchase)