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E.C. Blake

E.C. Blake is a pseudonym of Edward Willett who also writes fantasy under the name Lee Arthur Chane. Willett was born in New Mexico, “Land of Enchantment,” and the state’s nickname seems to have rubbed off: he started writing fantastical stories in elementary school and wrote his first fantasy novel in high school. He’s been a newspaper reporter and editorial cartoonist, a magazine editor, a writing instructor and a professional actor, and has written more than 30 works of nonfiction, ranging from biographies to science books to history books, but his first love has always been fantasy. He now lives in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, with his wife and a daughter whose favorite stories all involve “sword-fighting princesses.” Come to think of it, so do his.

Here’s our page for Lee Arthur Chane.

Masks

Masks — (2013-2015) Publisher: Masks, the first novel in a mesmerizing new fantasy series, draws readers into a world in which cataclysmic events have left the Autarchy of Aygrima—the one land blessed with magical resources—cut off from its former trading partners across the waters, not knowing if any of those distant peoples still live. Yet under the rule of the Autarch, Aygrima survives. And thanks to the creation of the Masks and the vigilance of the Autarch’s Watchers, no one can threaten the security of the empire. In Aygrima, magic is a Gift possessed from birth by a very small percentage of the population, with the Autarch himself the most powerful magic worker of all. Only the long-vanquished Lady of Pain and Fire had been able to challenge his rule. At the age of fifteen, citizens are recognized as adults and must don the spell-infused Masks—which denote both status and profession—whenever they are in public. To maintain the secure rule of the kingdom, the Masks are magically crafted to reveal any treasonous thoughts or actions. And once such betrayals are exposed, the Watchers are there to enforce the law. Mara Holdfast, daughter of the Autarch’s Master Maskmaker, is fast approaching her fifteenth birthday and her all-important Masking ceremony. Her father himself has been working behind closed doors to create Mara’s Mask. Once the ceremony is done, she will take her place as an adult, and Gifted with the same magical abilities as her father, she will also claim her rightful place as his apprentice. But on the day of her Masking something goes horribly wrong, and instead of celebrating, Mara is torn away from her parents, imprisoned, and consigned to a wagon bound for the mines. Is it because she didn’t turn the unMasked boy she discovered over to the Night Watchers? Or is it because she’s lied about her Gift, claiming she can only see one color of magic, when in truth she can see them all, just as she could when she was a young child? Whatever the reason, her Mask has labeled her a traitor and now she has lost everything, doomed to slavery in the mines until she dies. And not even her Gift can show Mara the future that awaits her—a future that may see her freed to aid a rebel cause, forced to become a puppet of the Autarch, or transformed into a force as dangerous to her world as the legendary Lady of Pain and Fire.

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Masks: An inventive adventure with a few flaws

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Masks by E.C. Blake

Like The Hunger Games,E.C. Blake’s Masks is the beginning of a "young adult friendly" trilogy about a young female protagonist who must overcome an oppressive system and defeat an evil dictator. In the isolated island-world of Aygrima, every adult must wear a magical Mask. Should the Mask-wearer think any disloyal or rebellious thoughts about the Autarch, then the Mask will reveal their crimes to the emperor’s private police force. Our heroine, a fifteen-year-old girl named Mara, looks forward to apprenticing to her father to become a Maskmaker in service to the Autharchy. She eagerly awaits her own Masking but — gasp! — the Masking ceremony goes awry, and she is swept off with the other teenagers who fail their magical test of citizenship. This initial premise is the most original and interesting piece of the book. The rest of the novel is a series of... Read More