Publisher: Tor Publishing
Author: K.A. Doore
Release: Marsh 19th 2019
I received a copy of The Perfect Assassin from Tor in exchange for a fair and honest review.
The Perfect Assassin is the first book I’ve read by K.A. Doore, and I’m absolutely blown away. While the bright color caught my attention when browsing, it was the description and publisher (gotta love Tor) that really sold me here. And I couldn’t have been happier with my decision. If you’re looking for a new fantasy author to follow from the start, then you should look into this novel.
The world is set in a city with limited access to water – thus water is a precious commodity. In this same city there is a family of assassins, though they’re of a higher class than you’d expect. They are the Ghadid. They serve a higher power – keeping the city functioning at all costs. They train and work in secret, which one would expect. But there’s one major twist you wouldn’t expect of an assassin (read below my spoiler warning for more on that).
K.A. Doore’s bio describes The Perfect Assassin as ‘ an adventure fantasy about queer assassins who save the day’ and honestly? I couldn’t imagine a more perfect and concise description if I tried.
I was immediately drawn into The Perfect Assassin and I even ended up finishing it all in one sitting. I just couldn’t put it down. I love the world that Doore built. The characters are interesting and complex, and the situations they’re in were intriguing.
What really caught my attention was how conflicting some of the methodology the assassin family used. For example, one would expect that an assassin would have the greatest chance of success in getting away if the crime went unnoticed for an extended period of time. But in this city the assassins have to be sure that the bodies are found within hours (less than three, to my understanding) of the assassination. There’s a reason for that, and once it is made clear I was able to fully understand the reasoning behind it.
Then there’s the assassin in training that doesn’t want to kill people. Amastan is a brilliant young man, and he clearly wanted more for his life than he had. Maybe that’s why he agreed to the assassin training? It doesn’t change the fact that Amastan wasn’t sure that he wanted to kill anybody – regardless of how much they may or may not deserve it.
There’s more to the plot than all of that of course, but I really don’t want to spoil it all for you. I just really adored how different and unique the assassins are in this series (I’m so glad that it’s going to be a series).
Amastan was a really fascinating character. Getting to be inside his head right from the beginning, we knew all of his fears right away, and yet again and again and again we see him face those very fears. It’s impossible not to respect somebody after all of that. That he always tries to do what is right – even at great cost to himself, mind you – and he quickly became a character I supported and really liked.
The way the plot unfolded was brilliantly done. It really kept me on my toes the whole time I was reading. And while I was able to predict a couple of the larger twists at the end, I’m actually okay with that. For one thing it let me mentally and emotionally prepare for it, and for another it just made sense to have everything play out like that.
I’m actually a bit sad that I read this as an ARC, in an odd way. The book isn’t even out yet, but I desperately want to start reading the sequel. I guess that’s the price you pay though, huh? On a happy note, The Impossible Contract has already been already to Doore’s listing, and it’s supposedly due out in October 2019. I’ll take it!