A duel in the name of honor
Masque of Honor by Sharon Virts is a riveting novel that brings history to life in a very engaging tale of honor, pride, and ambition.
Our thanks to the author for the advanced reader’s copy.
Title: Masque of Honor: A Historical Novel of the American South by Sharon Virts
Publisher: RosettaBooks (February 9, 2021)
Print Lenght: 400 pages
“Set in 1816 and based on the true story of the rivalry between two Virginia gentlemen . . . an epic tale of romance, politics, ambition and power.” —Susan Koch, Emmy and Peabody Award–winning filmmaker
In this tale set in early nineteenth-century America, two sons of the Virginia aristocracy risk it all to defend their dreams and determine their own destinies.
Gen. Armistead Mason and John “Jack” Mason McCarty are brothers-in-law, second cousins, and descendants of Founding Father George Mason IV. Armistead—by nature a politician—demands respect and strives for perfection. Jack—by inclination a rover—looks to forge his own path.
When Armistead is challenged by corruption in the political machine and is denied a seat in the US Congress, the two become embroiled in a bitter dispute that sets in motion an irrevocable chain of events—leading them to the dueling grounds and an outcome that changes everything.
Based on historical events of the 1819 Mason-McCarty duel, Masque of Honor is a story of courage, conviction, and the cost of sacrificing one life to forge another.
From the Publisher’s Blurb
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Armistead Mason and Jack McCarty’s families were related. Their parents were cousins, they were neighbors, and eventually, they became brothers-in-law when Jack’s brother William married Armistead’s sister Emily.
Despite their family connection, the two men had opposing political beliefs and aspirations that kept throwing them against one another.
Their combative nature turned their political rivalry into outright offense and dispute.
Based on real facts, Masque of Honor brings the reader to the heart of their dispute, culminating in the fateful duel that bonded them forever in history.
The book is very well-written and an absolute page-turner. Both main characters were extremely flawed, but they had a soft side that begged for mercy and understanding.
There was political intrigue, society gossip, military strategies, and even a little romance.
The side characters were remarkable. My favorites were Jack’s mother, Sally, and Armistead’s sister Emily.
I recommend buying this one in paperback (or hardcover, if available), as the book is wonderfully illustrated.
Masque of Honor is a must-read to all fans of historical fiction, American history, and family sagas.
Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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About the Author
Sharon Virts is a successful entrepreneur and visionary who, after more than 25 years in business, followed her passion for storytelling into the world of historical fiction. She has received numerous awards for her work in historic preservation and has been recognized nationally for her business achievements and philanthropic contributions. She was recently included in Washington Life Magazine’s Philanthropic 50 of 2020 for her work with education, health, and cultural preservation.
Sharon’s passion truly lies in the creative. She is an accomplished visual artist and uses her gift for artistic expression along with her extraordinary storytelling to build complex characters and craft vivid images and sets that capture the heart and imagination. Sharon and her husband Scott live at Selma, a prominent historic residence that they saved from destruction and restored to its original stature. It is out of the love and preservation of Selma that the story of the life, times, and controversies of its original owner, Armistead Mason, has given root to her first novel Masque of Honor.