Review: This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight

This Eternity of Masks and Shadows is a wild ride of espionage, intrigue, reincarnated gods, and a seedy supernatural underworld.  Even after reading the synopsis of this book, I still didn’t know what I was getting into when I picked up an ARC.  It’s such an intricate and layered narrative that I really did enjoy from the first page.  Non-stop action from the outset, dynamic relationships, and interesting character arcs are the strengths of this book.

Cairn Delacroix is a normal teenager on the verge of adulthood, but there’s one thing:  Her mother is the incarnation of an Inuit goddess, and all of those myths about gods you’ve heard?  They’re real and they walk the earth like the rest of us.  When Cairn’s mother unexpectedly dies, Carin must pick up the pieces and set out on an adventure to understand who her mother truly was. 

The premise feels very reminiscent of American Gods, but it’s different.  Yes the gods live on earth with mortals, but their interactions are different and this book isn’t about a grand battle between old gods and new gods.  It’s part murder-mystery, part spy-noir novel, but also part detective serial that just doesn’t want to stop. 

One of my favorite lines:

“One horrible deed doesn’t make a person evil. When it’s time to be judged at the end of our lives, it’s the sum of our actions that ultimately defines us.” 

Knight, Karsten. This Eternity of Masks and Shadows. 2020.

The character are well developed, though I did want to explore the relationship with Cairn’s father more.  He seemed to be the odd character out that didn’t get as much interaction, though this is a small thing.  Cairn is an interesting character, struggling with the death of her mother and the seeming loss of her father to alcoholism.  Not only is Cairn trying to understand her mother, she is also seeking clarity for her path forward.  Detective Nook was fantastic, but who doesn’t love a polar bear god turned detective? 

I learned about many gods I’d never heard of, like Tane the Maori spirit of the forest, Sedna the Inuit goddess of the sea, and so many more!  This book has really inspired me to learn about more world belief systems.

Overall, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to most YA fantasy readers.  I know it’s in the YA category, but the content is really edging into adult and I feel like there should have been a trigger/content warning at the beginning.  But, it’s a detective/spy/mystery novel set in an urban fantasy, what can you do?

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a galley copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Publication date is June 2nd! Grab your copy today and follow the author on social media for more great book news!


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