Vance novels are usually worth reading for the fantastic language and wordplay alone, and this is no exception. Maske also contains the usual tropes of disaffected wealth, disillusioned youth, and a fair amount of no-longer-appropriate sexism. It also has, however, one of Vance’s more human and likable protagonists.
In brief, Jubal, from a disadvantaged group, sets out on a wanderjahr to find fame, fortune, and his way in the world. He encounters and employs the usual Machiavellian tricks, but eventually wins through. Aside from a brief excursion, the action takes place on one world.
If not highly different from Vance’s other work, Maske is at least as enjoyable, and in some ways a more sympathetic read. I recommend it to all Vance fans. If you’re not one yet, this is a good place to start.