Dayraven Reviews The Hidden Face by S. C. Flynn – Guest Blog

A face without a face – an unmasking that leaves the mask.

Today’s post is written by Dayraven, a Faustian warrior and son of a great hero. Dayraven spent fifteen years as a hostage in the rival Magian Empire. The Hidden Face begins with his return to Faustia. Here he is, as described by a female character:

And what about Dayraven? Like her, he was not what he seemed. He was a Faustian like her, and the son of Urland, but she knew that he must be at least as much Jaelite or Magian; his tanned skin, his clothes, beard and hair suggested that. The slight lines around his eyes from squinting in bright sunlight showed that he had lived in a hot climate for a long time, and he talked so differently. Could she trust him on the quest? She didn’t know. The scene of him undressing and slipping into the bath flashed in front of her eyes and she saw again his tight backside, strong thighs and the rippling muscles in his back.

I can’t complain about how I am presented in this book – I am shown positively and as being good-looking – maybe too much so! I also liked being seen nude by certain women in the story, but this novel is not all about my rear end.

The author tells his story well: there is quite a lot of action, the solving of the central mysteries is intriguing and I like the atmosphere of impending doom in the Faustian Empire with the approach of the Fifth Unmasking. There is a nice contrast between the two parts of the novel. Part one takes place mostly inside the Octagonal Temple at Axo and in the minds of the main characters (Sunniva and I) and is therefore claustrophobic and psychological. Part two is more open and takes place in various settings. The puzzles that Sunniva and I must solve and the way in which the Octagonal Temple itself becomes a key to unlocking those mysteries are cleverly done.

My status as a returned hostage was evidently of interest to the author and may be of interest to readers, but felt rather invasive to me; living half my life in Magia changed me greatly and made my return to Faustia quite traumatic. Above all, I cannot approve of the revealing of some aspects of Jaelite mysticism. I understand the interest in that mysticism – that is why I studied it myself, after all – but such things should not be revealed so widely to uninitiated readers.

The Hidden Face (cover)Once every few hundred years the sun god, the Akhen, takes on human form and descends to earth. Each Unmasking of the Face of the Akhen ends one era and begins another; the last one created the Faustian Empire. Where and when will the Face next appear, and who will he – or she – be?

Dayraven, son of a great hero, returns to Faustia after years as a hostage of their rivals, the Magians. Those years have changed him, but Faustia has changed as well; the Emperor Calvo now seems eccentric and is controlled by one of Dayraven’s old enemies. Following the brutal death of his old teacher, Dayraven is drawn, together with a warrior woman named Sunniva, into the search for an ancient secret that would change the fate of empires.

Powerful enemies want the secret as well, including a dynasty of magician-kings who were thought to have died out long before, a mad, murderous hunchback and a beautiful, deadly woman who is never seen. Sunniva and Dayraven fight to survive and to solve the mystery while their own pasts come back to life and the attraction between them deepens.

The Hidden Face is a fantasy mystery drenched in the atmosphere of the Early Middle Ages and in Kabbalistic riddles, and is the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series.

The Hidden Face is out tomorrow, November 25, 2017. For its first week the ebook will be only $0.99/£0.99/€0.99! You can read more about the Fifth Unmasking series on S. C. Flynn’s website or you can follow him on Twitter @SCyFlynn.


By S. C. Flynn

S. C. Flynn was born in a small town in South West Western Australia. He has lived in Europe for a long time; first the United Kingdom, then Italy and currently Ireland, the home of his ancestors. He still speaks English with an Australian accent, and fluent Italian. He reads everything, revises his writing obsessively and plays jazz. His wife Claudia shares his passions and always encourages him. He has written for as long as he can remember and has worked seriously towards becoming a writer for many years. THE HIDDEN FACE is his second novel and the first book in the Fifth Unmasking series. S. C. Flynn blogs at He is on Twitter @scyflynn and on Facebook. Join the email list on his website to receive exclusive advance notice of new releases and offers.

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