I'm trying to find a fantasy book I read about 15 years ago, or so. It was about an upper-class society that wore masks, and anybody who saw one of them without their masks was killed. There was a journey going on to the castle of the king and queen, and the main protagonist, a juvenile, falls in love with the child of the king and queen. I know there was a sequel to this book dealing with these two being kidnapped, but I cannot remember the author or the title. Any help you can offer would be most appreciated.

  • 2
    You're almost certainly thinking of Richard Pinto's Stone Dance of the Chameleon - see this other question for a more in depth answer: scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/49627/…
    – andrewsi
    Jan 22, 2017 at 4:57
  • Just by reading the synopsis in the link you provided, I'd say you are correct. It's shocking, though, how few of the details of the book actually sounded familiar. I guess it really didn't make much of an impression on me, either good or bad. Jan 23, 2017 at 6:33

1 Answer 1


So that the question has a listed answer, it was provided in a comment above and accepted by the querent as correct, this is the Stone Dance of the Chameleon trilogy, by Richard Pinto.

Pinto's The Stone Dance of the Chameleon trilogy follows young nobleman Carnelian as he is thrust into the dangerous political arena of the Three Lands. In this slave-owning civilisation of dazzling beauty and ancient ritual, the purity of noble bloodlines is paramount to the strict and ruthless caste system headed by the God Emperor and his Chosen. The faces of these self-indulgent Masters, held as deities, can never be seen unmasked by lesser people, under threat of immediate death. As the series begins, Carnelian follows his father Sardian, Lord Suth, from their outlying home to the capital of Osrakum as the current Emperor lies dying and a successor is to be named. Carnelian's own lineage puts him at the center of court intrigue, and in mortal danger.

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