The Shadowmask is the second novel in the Stone of Tymora trilogy, authored by R. A. and Geno Salvatore.
Inevitably, this review will give away plot details of The Stowaway, the first book in the trilogy. So, if you haven't read The Stowaway please don't spoil it for yourself by reading this review. My review of The Stowaway is right below this one - read that instead. You only get to read a book for the first time once. Don't ruin it by reading any further! ;)
Okay - here goes: Maimun is suddenly without the very thing that seemed to be causing all his problems and heartaches - the stone. Yet, it feels so horribly wrong to be without it. He can't help but be determined to retrieve what is, apparently, rightfully his. But first, Maimun has to get away from Asbeel, who has tracked him down yet again and isn't any more happy about the stone's theft than Maimun is.
I'm not going to give away any more than that. I can't, without ruining big bits of the cliffhanger! Not to mention, if you read The Stowaway I don't think you need to know what happens in The Shadowmask to want to read it!
The Shadowmask starts right where the first book left off - and I found myself quite worried about Maimun - not to mention wishing and hoping for certain deceased characters to not be deceased. Caring this much is always a good sign. :)
The Shadowmask is different from The Stowaway in that in the first book Maimun was running away from something, and now Maimun is running toward something. More so even than the first book, The Shadowmask is a titillating tale of survival, mourning, and courage. Also unlike the first book, this second novel finds Maimun alone quite a bit of the time - and it works very well as he easily carries the story and finds more growth and maturity because of it.
I will admit that there seem to be quite a few false alarms and story obstacles that seem there for no other reason than to prolong the plot - however, I want to make it clear that most of them feel organic and understandable as Maimun has every reason to be paranoid - and every journey needs its share of detours to really appreciate the destination.
As I was reading, and relishing, The Shadowmask, I found myself thinking how awesome a movie version would be of the trilogy. Of course, there would need to be the right aligning of all the different factors, but the special effects alone would be worth seeing on screen!
The way in which Maimun is telling his story to the pirate is still, happily, in place. I love this portion of the overall plot and continue to be intrigued over how this situation will eventually present itself.
Throughout The Shadowmask I was constantly surprised by the newly introduced creatures, such as halflings, and how they are represented and seem to have their own thorough history. There are many unexpected twists and shockers that occur - and I still have that "I feel like this place is real" sense that I'd gotten from The Stowaway.
Yet again, the last page left me super excited and highly anticipating the conclusion of the Stone of Tymora trilogy: The Sentinels. It's coming out in September of this year! I'm looking forward to it - are you?