Publishers Weekly: The dense but brilliant third volume of Dickinson’s The Masquerade series (after 2018’s The Monster Baru Cormorant) sees Baru Cormorant, haunted by memories of the woman she loved and lost, pushed even further into her self-destructive, all-consuming quest to save her family. In Baru’s effort to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest from within, she has risen to the position of cryptarch, part of the invisible cabal that controls the Throne from the shadows. But as Baru pretends to serve her master, Cairdine Farrier, in his attempts to conquer the empire of Oriati Mbo, she privately plots against him. Baru has discovered the secrets of the Cancriotha cult of cancer worshippers secretly ruling Oriati Mboand the plague they’ve weaponized to wipe out their enemies. Caught between two implacable empires and facing betrayal at every turn, Baru must sacrifice everything and everyone she loves in order to bring down Falcrest. Dickinson weaves a byzantine tapestry of political intrigue, economic manipulation, and underhanded diplomacy. The narrative oscillates between past and present and alternates between numerous perspectives to create a harrowing picture of social conflict on a monumental scale. This staggering installment pushes the series to new heights and expands the fascinating fantasy world.