The Hidden Face by S.C. Flynn

Rate: 3.5­­/5

Medium: Kindle

Of Note:

Happy (belated) Release Day for The Hidden Face!! My review for this initial installment of The Fifth Unmasking was originally posted back in late October, deliberately sans the spoiler laden additional insight section.  In this repost you’ll find my thoughts and questions regarding The Hidden Face restored in the aforementioned section.

Overview (No Spoilers):

As the first book in The Fifth Unmasking series, The Hidden Face is a dangerous, fast paced race against time and unknown enemies to solve an intricate puzzle, spanning throughout this fascinating realm. Flynn has developed a unique literary world in which the Face is Unmasked approximately every half millennium, causing a massive upheaval of present ruling class.   Filled with intriguing characters, of which the potential depth feels as though it has only been just tapped, it was the shadowy villains that stole the show with their eccentricities. With the ambitious world building, I felt as though I finished the book with veil of mystery only slightly drawn back. As such, Flynn established a solid foundation to continue the series and I’m excited to see where he takes this story in subsequent novels. Following multiple points of view, from assassins, an Emperor, a traitor, a seductress, to our main two protagonists, the narrative takes the reader on a wild chase to solve a complex riddle, on which the future of the current Emperor is hinged. Overall, The Hidden Face introduces readers to an entertaining new literary realm that lays the basis for ensuing novels to further the development of the both the world and the characters.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • What happens to the Hidden Face after they disappear? Are they killed? How are there no accounts of what they look like? How do they wield so much power?
  • If they are so powerful how can people hope to manipulate them? Likely in the past other people hoped to influence them and must have failed.
  • How interesting the next Face will be Malombra and Dagon’s child. Where is she hidden? What happens if she if killed before the unmasking?
  • Poor Twister. His tale was so sad. Is his father really repentant about sending him away? Will there be a reunion between them? Will he be able to forgive his father?
  • Another heartbreaking character was Maugris? Could he have been saved from Malombra? Also, how did he know the child was going to be the Face?
  • With Astolf dead will Dayraven find out who betrayed his father?
  • How heartbreaking for Sunniva to find out her father died in such a gruesome way. As beekeepers it is such a cringeworthy, nightmare invoking death to be killed by bees.
  • Will Sunniva and Dayraven continue on their quest? How will that impact their relationship? If the child is 15 years away from the Unmasking will they put everything on hold until then? What if they want children of their own?
  • Also, with the Unmasking, is it right at 30 or at any point prior to 30?
  • What happened to Dagon and Malombra at the end of the book? Will they continue to work together? Is Malombra still holding out hope to have revenge on Dagon? Since she is the mother of the upcoming Face, it seems like that will be a way for her to manipulate the child.
  • Will Death’s comrades come to seek revenge for his death?

Vocabulary Builder:

When reading it is common that I encounter words that I’m not privy to the exact definition, however it is easy to infer the meaning of the aforementioned word based on the context of the sentence and story. As such, relatively new to the Critiquing Chemist, you’ll find an additional section that includes vocabulary words that I encountered upon reading the book being reviewed and either had to look up the definition or it is a word in which I would like to add to my repertoire. This endeavor is easier when in the Kindle format, and potentially impossible with audiobooks, however I’m going to attempt to continue this section for all future book reviews. I’ll be using the definitions from the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Reliquary: a container or shrine in which sacred relics are kept

Comprehensible: to grasp the nature, significance, or meaning of

Amphora: an ancient Greek jar or vase with a large oval body, narrow cylindrical neck, and two handles that rise almost to the level of the mouth

Pomades: a perfumed ointment

Juddering: to vibrate with intensity

Candelabrum: a branched candlestick or lamp with several lights


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