Mara lives in the capital of Aygrima where those with the ability to use magic are monitored very closely and trained to use it to serve the ruler and protector, the Autarch. To help prevent an uprising against him, he decrees that every citizen age 15 and up must wear masks that open all your thoughts up to the Watchers, his gifted police force, or face exile to a horrific mining camp. As daughter of the Master Mask Maker it is expected that she will follow in her father's footsteps, but everything starts to fall apart as she fights to hide the fact that her gift seems to be running wild as her Masking Day approaches. As Mara stands on stage in front of her family things go horribly wrong, as her mask rips through her skin and finally shatters, and she is set out on a train heading strait for the mining camp. And as if things couldn't get worse her wagon is attacked by a band of unmasked bandits. To find out what happens read E.C. Blake's Masks.
Masks by E.C. Blake is the first book in his fantasy series Masks of Aygrima and is set in what at first glance seems to a utopian society but as we dive farther in we find a war brewing behind closed doors. At first I thought that the main character seemed a little too sheltered for my tastes, but a few chapters into the book she is thrown into what many people in her hometown would consider a living nightmare and seems to come to terms with what the world really is like. Each of Blake's characters have surprisingly unique personalities, usually with stricking backstories to match, but somehow he manages to weave them into a perfectly cohesive storyline. Overall I beleive this is a good opener to the series and can't wait to see how the author manages to develope this story further. I would recomend this book to any teens or young adults looking for a different type of series than most everything that is currently out there.