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Reviewed by Soumya Sreehari for Readers' Favorite
Mask of Dreams by Leigh Grant is a love story set in the 15th century. The setting is Venice and the Adriatic. Caterina is the only daughter of a Venetian merchant. She has the rare privilege of an education. That privilege does not extend to her marriage. She is betrothed to a man considered most suitable by her father. Her mother died giving birth and Caterina was brought up by her father and a loyal nurse. She has had a loving childhood until she is old enough to be betrothed. Rade is a Slav brigand who preys on shipping in the Adriatic. A strong twist of fate brings Rade and Caterina together. What follows is a story of love, longing, valor, adventure, and family bonding.
Driven by the pull of fate and a belief in prophecy, Rade makes a life-changing journey towards his destiny. When he first meets Caterina and her father, he is determined to take advantage of their wealth. Leigh Grant explores the ups and downs of what becomes a fated romance in Mask of Dreams. It is a story that unravels different aspects of each character like the layers of an onion. Set in a patriarchal society where women have minimal freedom of choice, it explores the mind and heart of a strong woman. Mask of Dreams gives the reader all the experiences of a love story – love, betrayal, jealousy, longing, rejection, separation, reconciliation, compassion. In the end, it makes one think of the true value in relationships, both romantic and familial.