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A Symphony of Love and Heartbreak set in distant land of West Africa | A Review of Masquerade by O.O. Sangoyomi

I got this ebook from Netgalley. I would like to thank the Author O.O. Sangoyomi for allowing me to read this beautiful book. let me gush about it a little....this book was fantastic, beautiful, heartwrenching, and breathtaking. After a long time, I read a book that just take a special place in my head and in my heart.

This is the Goodreads description of the book;

Set in a wonderfully reimagined 15th-century West Africa, Masquerade is a dazzling, lyrical tale exploring the true cost of one woman’s fight for freedom and self-discovery and the lengths she’ll go to secure her future.
Òdòdó’s hometown of Timbuktu has been conquered by the warrior king of Yorùbáland. Already shunned as social pariahs, living conditions for Òdòdó and the other women in her blacksmith guild grow even worse under Yorùbá rule.
Then Òdòdó is abducted. She is whisked across the Sahara to the capital city of Ṣàngótẹ̀, where she is shocked to discover that her kidnapper is none other than the vagrant who had visited her guild just days prior. But now that he is swathed in riches rather than rags, Òdòdó realizes he is not a vagrant at all; he is the warrior king, and he has chosen her to be his wife.
In a sudden change of fortune, Òdòdó soars to the very heights of society. But after a lifetime of subjugation, the power that saturates this world of battle and political savvy becomes too enticing to resist. As tensions with rival states grow, revealing elaborate schemes and enemies hidden in plain sight, Òdòdó must defy the cruel king she has been forced to wed by re-forging the shaky loyalties of the court in her favor, or risk losing everything—including her life.
Loosely based on the myth of Persephone, O.O. Sangoyomi’s Masquerade takes you on a journey of epic power struggles and political intrigue that turn an entire region on its head.

Genre

Historical Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling of Persephone and Hades


My Review

So, let’s talk about it. The book gripped my attention from the start…why because Ododo was just an amazing character…innocent, down to earth, and struggling to escape her circumstances. She was a blacksmith living in a blacksmith guild and working and helping her mother in doing their usual stuff. Blacksmiths in that part of the land were considered witches and people usually did not treat them well.


Ododo creates beautiful golden flowers. And then one day she captures the eye of a homeless person who will change her life forever. She gives him one of her flowers and sings a song to him and then a few days after she is kidnapped and transported to Sangote.



There she was prepared to wed the Alaafin of the empire who is a king of Yorubaland. But when she sees him she remembers that he is the same person she gave her flower to. So in court, she is put through one hell of a life. She goes from an innocent and trusting person to a ruthless calculating queen who may be going to change the future of the whole land and the future of blacksmiths. 


I also have to talk about the ending (spoilers). I knew Ododo and Aremo wouldn’t be the same after Aremo made Ododo kill her mother. And I was so scared to read it further waiting for something to happen and then it happened and my heart was like…..I was so stunned and confused and I didn’t know how to explain my feelings. My heart is breaking for them and then I am thinking there was no other way for them to move forward… whatever Ododo did was inevitable. And she was somewhat right in her own way…Ododo knew she wouldn’t be happy again but she did it anyway and Aremo accepted it. This scene was beautiful and heartbreaking. Ododo would never have gotten her freedom any other way knowing how things work in that Land. I am happy and sad for Ododo.


The author pictured the ancient African culture so beautifully and I can’t help but fall in love with this distant beautiful land. I searched after finishing the book and there was an actual Oyo empire that was majestic in the region. I never read a book depicting beautifully the culture and the story of African empires. I knew there were warlords in Africa who were ruthless but I never knew that there were rich empires too. I will thank the author again for writing this beautiful beautiful book.


My Rating

Overall: ★★★★★ | 5 Stars

Plot: ★★★★★ | 5 Stars

Characters: ★★★★★| 5 Stars

Ending: ★★★★★| 5 Stars

Book Cover: ★★★★★| 5 Stars

Ending: ★★★★★| 5 Stars 


The Best Part:

The book is a whole package. Everything is the best part. The cover, the plot, the twists the characters. It’s just 💙💚💛💜


The Worst Part:

Nothing 


Best Character

Alale Ododo 

Aremo

Kolo


Worst Character

Aremo’s Mother


My Favourite Quotes:

Deception is a tool that Sahara uses well. Heat is the desert's strength, but mirages are the strategy it utilizes to make its enemies succumb to that power.

"This is useless", I huffed pushing the stick away. I am not learning anything." Ododo. "Nonsense. You are doing a wonderful job learning how to die. And once you recognize death, you can understand what to avoid." Aremo

The light in his eyes faded. I knew then that my world would be forever dimmed.

Do I recommend it?

Yes!!!! a thousand times yes...go read this book.





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