The Masque of Count Milado
A long lost Masque created by ancient majics comes to light, one capable of transforming the wearer into the identity of another. Xavier Gaines is employed by the Sybellines to steal it before harm can come from its use, though he never gets the chance. It’s owner, Count Milado, dies in mysterious circumstances and the Masque has disappeared once again.
While the surviving royals struggle for control of the Milado estates, a troop of mercenaries and a lone wizard find their way into the intrigue. As Xavier struggles to discover the whereabouts of the Masque, deeper plots are uncovered that prove the Masque hasn't vanished at all, but central to a plot involving kingdoms.
Nothing and no one is as it seems.
Literary Titan Review
The Masque of Count Milado by GJ Scherzinger is a fantasy mystery centered around a powerful masque thought to be long lost. Xavier Gaines, a man from Earth who found his way to the magical world of Terranovae, has been asked by a friend to use his magical and physical abilities to retrieve this mask from Count Milado, who has acquired it. So Xavier sets off to infiltrate the count's court with his wife and daughter in tow. Shortly after arriving, the count is found mysteriously dead, and the race is on to locate the missing masque before it's lost forever.
This was a fantastic story. This world had excellent story building. There was some nicely done backstory that really brought the characters to life and made them richer. The magic was beautifully described. I love how each transformed state was kind of its own being and not the magic user in just a different form. They each had their own personality and were treated as such, complete with different pronouns. There was a beautiful mystery that I wanted to solve. There were twists I wasn't expecting that kept me guessing how the story would play out. I got excited when things were revealed to me, making the story more engrossing. This kept me reading on, captivated.
The beginning has a slow burn as things get set up but really picked up as the plot progresses. I felt that it was redundant that every time Xavier became a tiger, the beast was described to us. Seeing as how it was the same tiger each time, I feel the initial description was enough to give us a clear picture of what it would look like from then on.
The Masque of Count Milado is a fascinating new fantasy novel with mythology and folklore elements. A world filled with magic, mystery, and mischief to keep readers engaged. I definitely want to read more of this world.
GJ Scherzinger does it again! Another great story set in the world of Teranovae. This mystery adventure involves characters we have met before in Chambers Court, some as short appearances but others, namely Xavier Gaines and Kendra, along with their daughter Haviana take centre stage. They have been tasked to retrieve a magic masque that is being used to ill effect.
As always, the author crafts the environment meticulously, transporting the reader deep into his world of magic and nature. I particularly enjoy the passages of animal transformation which immerse the reader into the nature of the beast. Xavier has a further gift of transformation into his female form which the author handles convincingly and with a sense of humour.
The mystery of the masque builds quickly and the supporting cast members include wonderful characters like the sea captain Pergrine, the Countess Baizhen and the Count himself, who provide colour and curiosity keeping the reader guessing the wearer of the masque until the conclusion.
A nice inclusion are the maps, allowing the reader to place themselves in East Teranovae. I enjoyed following the path the characters take from the coast along the Veteran Plains and by the Beddingham Highlands on their journey to Baso Faltrone.
This story stands alone and is a real page turner. I can fully recommend it to those familiar with the author and those new to the world of Teranovae.