The Eternal Masquerade
by R.J. Lehner
Lettra Press

"'A reflection of me cast through the universe,' the girl in the mirror responds."

Celia Walters’s life is pretty average. Aside from a spirited rivalry with her classmate Beckett, she does well in school and keeps to herself, practicing piano. But soon, Celia starts having peculiar dreams involving a haunting voice and finds those dreams crossing over into the real world. As fragmented memories come back, and Celia finds herself in danger more often, she realizes that her life as she knows it is not all it seems.

A story that involves reincarnated lives, magic, and love, this book draws on science fiction, fantasy, and anime influences where the young female protagonist either learns of a power that she has or a past life. In this instance, Celia is the Princess of Mercury, and her average high school life is the result of a curse inflicted thousands of years before. The author teases this information out through the use of Celia’s dreams, which eventually have real-world consequences, as the protagonist finds herself waking up outside of her home or experiencing soreness and pain on her body from these nightly visions.

Celia doesn’t start as the most likable of lead characters. Although extremely intelligent, she is guarded and has a bit of a mean streak. As the story progresses, however, readers see behind the façade, and she becomes more empathetic, loving, and loyal. Lehner successfully manages to keep the mystery of Celia’s situation intriguing by using elements of a masquerade ball throughout the story. A masquerade ball requires participants to wear masks, either simple or elaborate, to cover their faces as a way to conceal their identities or intentions. As Celia’s dreams seem always to take her to the masquerade, the suspense of figuring out what her true identity could be is maintained.

Return to USR Home