Published by Orbit on Oct 1, 2008
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback from Purchased
Find the book: Amazon, Goodreads
For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.
This was a dark and violent story with incredibly intricate world building. The storyline was filled with twists and turns, including a number of unexpected surprises right near the end.
In a book about assassins, violence is to be expected. There is a lot of it, in many different forms of abuse. But there is also hope and love. In an interview at the back of the book, the author says “There is darkness and grit in these books, but I think that’s balanced and ultimately overcome with hope and redemption”. I don’t think it’s overcome in this book alone, but I can see where the balance does come into play a bit. I assume future books will further this balancing act.
Speaking of which, this is defintely a series book, but it is an enjoyable standalone story. It will be interesting to see how the truth that Azoth learns near the end of the book affects his actions in the next book. I know that there will be an affect. Azoth’s constant moral considerations demand it. I loved how he was always analyzing situations and people to determine what he should do, and why other people act they way they do. It helped highlight Azoth’s wish for redemption and a new beginning, which made him easy to sympathize with.
Overall, this was a dark fantasy story that feature intriguing characters. It was a great start to a series, and I can’t wait to see what happens next.