AUS Giveaway & Review: Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

August 11, 2014 by Jeann @ Happy Indulgence | 3 stars, Books, Reviews

AUS Giveaway & Review: Masquerade by Kylie FornasierMasquerade by Kylie Fornasier
Published by Penguin Australia on July 23, 2014
Source: Publisher
Genres: Historical, Young Adult
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It's the Carnevale of 1750 and Venice's ballrooms, theatres, palazzos and squares are filled with delicious gossip, devilish fun and dangerous games. In this glittering masked world, everyone has a secret...

Set in an age of decadence made famous by Casanova, Masquerade uncovers the secrets of seven teens, from the highest aristocrat to the lowest servant – their dreams, desires, loves, loyalties ... and betrayals.

All the world's a stage. Let the show begin.

Set in 1750 Venice, Masquerade is a sweeping, atmospheric story filled with love, drama and mystery during the month of the Carnevale. It features multiple points of views from seven teenagers, including a mysterious newcomer, aristocrats and servants, offering a varied viewpoint within a beautiful historical Venetian setting.

Masquerade needs to be read slowly to absorb the beauty and detail of Venice during the 1750s. The population celebrates Carnevale during the course of the novel, and seeing people walk around with masks and extravagant ballgowns during the festival is the norm. The novel is a treat for the senses, as its characters will attend extravagant balls with masks and ballgowns, visit an island of glass blowers, experience the theatre from the private booth, travel on gondolas and more.

While the setting is certainly extravagant and accurate, the novel takes a while to get off the ground and I had trouble connecting with the high number of characters throughout. There are seven characters in the novel and I must admit, I had trouble recalling who they were as they were mentioned. The third person perspective could be the cause of this, as we mostly related to the characters through the people they interacted with.

Of the ones I did connect to, I found the newcomer Orelia to be the most relatable, as she arrives in Venice with a hidden past. As she explores Venice in search of her deceased mother, it was Orelia’s secrets throughout the novel that were fascinating. I also liked Veronica, the older daughter of an aristocrat who is a gifted painter. She has a creative way of avoiding marriage by blackmailing her suitors with paintings of their secrets, which I thought was quite clever and admirable. Bastian was also an interesting yet cliche one, as he courts Orelia based on a friend’s bet and finds himself falling for her. Each character will have their own story and secrets set out during the course of the novel.


Masquerade is a dramatic, extravagant historical account of Venice in the 1750s. It’s reminiscent of a play or an opera filled with different acts, with each character having their own secrets and stories revealed spiraling into an epic, final conclusion. While it’s not without it’s flaws, due to a high volume of characters, the beauty of the novel is in its amazing setting.

Historical fiction has never really been my thing, but for those who enjoy it, definitely pick up Masquerade. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5


I received a review copy from Penguin Australia in exchange for an honest review. 

Giveaway – Win a copy of Masquerade plus some swag (Australians only)


To enter, fill in the applicable rafflecopter form below. No cheating! Any fake entries will disqualify you for the prize. 

Entry conditions

  • Over 13 years to enter
  • Winners will be picked at random and must respond within 48 hours
  • Winner will be announced on the rafflecopter form.
  • Happy Indulgence does not take responsibility for packages lost in the post.
  • Fake entries will be disqualified.
  • Ends 19 August 2014.

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Jeann is an Aussie YA blogger and mum who loves to read and recommend books! You can usually find me fangirling about books on my various social media channels including Twitter @happyindulgence, Instagram and Youtube.

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44 responses to “AUS Giveaway & Review: Masquerade by Kylie Fornasier

  1. Hmm… I don't like historical fiction at all, but I may have some exceptions… You're the one who first introduced me to this through your haul, and I couldn't wait to hear your thoughts on it! Those kinds of settings aren't the best to read about in my opinion, but I think you have convinced me with that detail! Gorgeous review!

  2. I had seen this book around quite a lot but I hadn't read a review or… possibly… the synopsis- your review made me so keen to read this, though! I love the sound of the detail in Venice, the feel and affect that setting has on the story, and the cast of characters (though there are many) sound really quite wonderful. Though I'd say the title of "delightful" and most highly anticipated would have to go to Veronica, who sounds absolutely fantastic! Can't wait to meet them all myself, though possibly not Bastian.
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  3. Historical has never really been my thing either, apart from a few classics and anything set in Prague for some reason, but this one doesn't sound too bad. I love the cover, it's really bold and eye catching, but even though it let you down a little, it sounds pretty unique with being told in acts almost. I haven't come across many that have taken the kind of risk, which I'm sure pays off when done brilliantly. Great review Jeann <3
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  4. I love historical fiction and Venice in the 1750s sounds hard to pass up! I'm a bit wary about the seven characters thing, sometimes I have enough trouble remembering the MC's name let alone seven new characters, but it does sound intriguing and I'd like to give it a go!
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  5. This book sounds amazing, I love reading books with a historical setting, especially olden day Italy! There's just so much beauty and intrigue surrounding that time period that gets me all excited and giddy! Wonderful review Jeann x

  6. Ooh, I like this cover! And I'm such a sucker for Venetian themed stories! Glad to hear overall you enjoyed it even though historical fiction isn't quite your thing! The high volume of characters is very high fantasy, which sometimes can be a good and bad thing, haha.

    Great review, Jeann!

  7. Venice, 1750s, carnival! Oh sign me in. I have seen this one around and besides its wonderful cover this story sounds really amazing. Also I totally understand why you were confused with seven characters here. It's really hard to follow them all and I do have those troubles as well. Great review, Jeann 🙂
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  8. Thanks for hosting the giveaway! I have been eyeing this since PTA live and though I am not a big Historical fiction reader the synopsis is very interesting. Also I love the cover!

  9. Yeah, historical fiction isn't really my thing ever. I like to live in the now. Or in a dystopian future. Whatevs 😉

    I quite like the fact that it has all these different characters with their own secrets and plots and stories that kind of intertwine like a spider's web. Very nice!

  10. I was really interested in this because of Venice, and also due to my obsessions with Assassin's Creed. BUT 7 CHARACTERS???? I'm not sure I could distinguish between them. But anyways, I think this will stay on my maybe list for now. The setting just looks really cool though, but I'm looking for more :/
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  11. 7 characters does sound like a lot and I'm one of those readers who has a hard time connecting with characters when there are a lot of them in books. I do really like the sound of the concept though and a 1750s Venice setting is hard to resist. Still, I'm worried the 3rd person POV would kill the book for me. I'm going to have to maybe borrow this from the library to see if it's the book for me.

    Lovely review, Jeann!

  12. I have been pretty excited for this book ever since we found out about it at PTA Live in Brisbane 😀 I have always been obsessed with Italy + Masquerades + ye olde times, so I am pretty sure this book was written for my tastes, haha.

    However, I've never been too keen on numerous characters, as I always find it a bit hard to keep track of who is who and what their motives are, as well.

    I love the sound of Veronica. Painting secrets? Could anything sound more awesome?

    This is a lovely review, Jeann (as per usual) <3
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    • Glad to hear Chiara, it was one of the top books I was waiting for from PTA. Haha yes the setting sounds like it's totally up your alley! Veronica is awesome, I hope you enjoy! Thanks lovely.

  13. Ahh this one does not sound for me. I am tempted to read it but I know that in this case, the 3rd person perspective would make the book almost impossible for me to read. Plus I've actually read (or attempted to read) something similar to this book (Carnival of Souls) and I ended up DNFing it and considering it only had 3 characters (I think?) as opposed to the 7 in here.. I'd definitely end up giving up on this one. Maybe someday though. Especially since I really do like the sound of the few characters you mentioned and the setting really does sound marvellous!

    Great review, Jeann!!! 🙂
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  14. *whispers* It might juuuust be my internet mucking up, but I think the rafflecopter isn't working? As in there's no way to actually enter?? BUT IT COULD BE JUST ME.

    I've seen a lot about this book going around the Aussie goodreads group. 😉 I've been curious, but I get a bit worried with books with completely rich settings, because I get hopelessly confused at times. I didn't realise it was set in the 1750s! And Venice?!! Awwwesome.
    Cait @ Notebook Sist recently posted…Q&A with Darren Groth (author of Are You Seeing Me?) + Giveaway!My Profile

  15. Thanks for this GA, Jeann, although I am not qualified to join the raffle!

    We're the same, I'm not really into historical fiction. I am glad that didn't put you off from reading this one. Such a shame that the overwhelming number of characters and slow-paced plot somewhat ruined your reading experience. Good thing that the breathtaking setting compensated for the said flaws. 😀

    Have a nice day! 😀
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