The Darkwood Mask by Jeff LaSala
The Darkwood Mask is the fourth (and final) book in the Inquisitives series set in the world of Eberron. The Darkwood Mask is a murder mystery with twists and turns and exciting sub-plots which make it a great story. This is Mr. LaSala’s first published book but it read like it had been written by a veteren. This is high marks for Mr. LaSala and I hope to read more by him in the future.
The book centers around two main characters, Soneste Otansin, a recently successful inquisitive from Sharn send to Korth to investigate the murder of a Brelish ambassador, and Tallis, a Karrnathi ex-soldier wanted by Karrnathi officials for dispensing his own kind of justice.
There are multiple stories lines that weave deftly through the book. One of the most interesting parts of the book are the “Interludes” that give the reader a bit more insight into past events and further add to the mysterious feel of the book.
Mr. LaSala does a great job giving the reader a feel for the politics of Breland and Karnathi from an outsider’s (Soneste) point of view. This makes her job all the more difficult but also gives the reader broader understanding of events in the Last War and just how tenuous peace really is between the nations.
And the best for last, Mr. LaSala’s prose. I love the way he writes. The words flow and never feel choppy or disjointed. As a reader, you get to use your imagination by getting just enough description that you can fill in the rest. I really like when a writer uses techniques like this. It makes the story much more memorable.
The Darkwood Mask is out of print in it physical version but has reached immortality as an ebook, it has been re-released in electronic format for the Kindle and Nook.