Two Kinds of Happiness


So, yesterday began with worries about my older son’s health that clung to me all day…but this morning (knock on wood! I hope I’m not jinxing myself by typing this), he woke up without a fever for the first time in six days…and a couple hours later, completing my happiness for the day, I opened up my subscription copy of the April issue of Locus Magazine – and found a wonderful review of Masks and Shadows inside!

I’ve been reading Locus ever since I was fifteen years old (not only for fun and for professional awareness, but also because, before the internet arrived, it used to be my main way of discovering new fantasy novels to read) – and I always loved reading Faren Miller’s review column there, because not only does she write really thoughtful reviews, but I always felt that her reading tastes matched mine pretty well – so if she liked a book, I should really give it a try!

So you can imagine how happy I was to see that she’d reviewed Masks and Shadows – and liked it!

Here’s a clip from the review:

“…An eloquent and offbeat mix of dark fantasy, alchemy, and spycraft with dire schemes of assassination, remarkable music, and the thoroughly unconventional love story of a castrato male singer and a widow who leaves the wilds of Saxony for the court of the prince whose mistress is her sister.

“As in Chappell’s novel [reviewed earlier in the column], key scenes take place during a masquerade – no less wild and licentious for its courtly setting – and Burgis explores the nature of shadows, over the course of interwoven plotlines with shifting (and complex) viewpoint characters. Here too the tension mounts, to an even more terrifying climax with a remarkably satisfying resolution.”

That review made me remarkably happy!

Masks and ShadowsAnd don’t worry – I promise I will not post every review of the book here! But this particular review meant so much to me that I couldn’t help sharing it. That’s partly because I’ve been reading that column in Locus for so many years – and partly because, to be honest, I’ve been really nervous about the reception of my first adult historical fantasy novel. It’s always scary to take a professional cross-genre leap! So it means an enormous amount to see it so well reviewed in one of the places that’s always meant the most to me, personally, as an f/sf reader.


My seven-year-old isn’t fully recovered yet…but I think (fingers crossed!) that he’s really getting better now.

And my nerves about my upcoming novel publication may not have been completely extinguished – but I’m feeling really, really happy about it right now.

Happy Friday!


  1. Hooray! Congrats on the review :) Hope your son feels better soon.

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