Robin Waterfield's second Fighting Fantasy book is a vast improvement on his first. Whereas the environmental and geographical detail of `Rebel Planet' came across as relatively bland, `Masks of Mayhem' excels in those descriptions. The adventure spans icy mountain ranges, disorientating swamps, rich forests and vast plains, all created convincingly by the author. The forest fire scenario is particularly well done.
A lot of incidental characters are well portrayed as well as the leading ones. The loyal Kevin Truehand and Hever of Fallow Dale are given great characterisations. It is only the character of the main villain that is somewhat weak. This is because she is nothing more than the traditional Morgana lifted straight out of Arthurian legend. The author would have probably been better off to name her something original and develop her as his own character. This adoption of `Morgana' feels a little lazy. The whole traitor issue is well handled and believable though, and the author is careful not to give the traitor's name away even once you have identified him.
Although not one of the more difficult FF books (it certainly isn't as difficult as the later offerings by this author) this can still be quite tricky. There are multiple paths across the country which interlock and interact. You will need a certain amount of luck to traverse the area correctly but there are clues along the way for where you should head if you pay attention. A trial and error approach will probably be somewhat necessary. The right equipment and information is relatively easy to gain if you head in the right direction. Despite the urgency conveyed in the text this is another adventure, like the author's `Deathmoor', where it pays to take a slower, more circuitous route to your ultimate destination.
It is a well written and interesting adventure. Although it lacks in certain areas it is a worthwhile addition to the range from which most readers will gain reasonable enjoyment. Its main disadvantage is that it is somewhat similar to `Phantoms of Fear' by the same author, which is vastly superior.