Title: Assassin’s Honor
Author: Gail Z. Martin
Publisher: Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agency
Plot: Friends since their orphanage childhood, Joel “Ridge” Breckinridge and Garrett “Rett” Kennard rose through the ranks of the Landrian army together, from teenaged conscripts to seasoned fighters. Together, they became the most feared team of assassins in Landria, surviving longer that most in their profession by virtue of excellent fighting skills, legendary bravado, peerless strategy, and an uncanny synchronicity. Henri, their long-suffering squire, tends to the thankless jobs of provisioning and logistics, while Ridge and Rett fight and recover.
When wandering mystic Yefim Makary becomes the darling of disenchanted aristocrats, Rett and Ridge fear Makary—or the Witch Lord, as his followers call him—is a threat to the crown. As treasonous whispers spread, Ridge and Rett go rogue to stop the threat, save the kingdom and protect the king—while landing on the “Most Wanted” list themselves!
I received Assassin’s Honor from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
You know you occasionally open a book and within the first few pages, you know it’s going to be a fantastic read? Assassin’s Honor did that for me: forbidden magic, assassins, a bond that within three lines makes you want to punch anyone who comes between them… It really had it all.
Rett and Ridge are assassins. They are also brothers: a brotherhood forged in an orphanage when they were children, learning to watch each other’s backs and never letting those lessons go to waste. They both have a touch of magic – a forbidden power they have to keep secret, even if it does help them in their job.
The bond between these two men left me grinning like a fool. They would die for each other without a second though, but are also more than prepared to tease and torment each other with an easy comradeship that is hard to get into words but Martin manages it perfectly.
Magic is an undercurrent throughout the entire story. It’s not explained in depth though – I couldn’t explain the rules of this magic. But it works – the characters themselves have never been able to explore it due to it being frowned upon and are only just starting to understand what they might be capable of. There were a couple of moments where the magic was just a little too convenient but not enough it was irritating.
Every job meant both men went all in, but Ridge seemed to enjoy tempting fate, while Rett eased his jitters with precise planning, even if in the end, their risk-taking pushed the bounds of sanity.
The narration switches between Rett and Ridge. There aren’t any dividing points between the two men though; it flows from one to the other. It works in a way: you know they’d think the same way due to their job, growing up together and being a team. But there were a few places where I had to backtrack just to figure out exactly whose view point it was from.
The secondary characters were entertaining as well. Henri – their “butler” whose talents seem to know no bounds and both men would be lost – if not worse – without him. Henri made me laugh; he’s always got a plan in place. Lorella is a medium, whose connection to the ghosts comes in handy when our favourite assassins end up in over their heads.
The book is described as an epic fantasy without the epic length and that is such an accurate description. There’s a mysterious bad guy, impending danger, a fast-pace that draws into a neat climax. I read this in just over a day, and while that was partly due to not being able to put it down, it was mainly because it’s a short, sharp story about loyalty.
This book doesn’t necessarily have the strongest writing or in-depth plot. But it has charm, fantastic characters and relationships that you want to root for from the very beginning. It’s the type of read that sweeps you up and leaves you smiling. You don’t need anything more than that.
If you’re looking for a light-hearted read where loyalty and friendship over comes everything, this is the book for you!