4 out of 4 stars
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When a royal family is betrayed, it is time to look without and within for the traitor(s). When not even the gods will tell the true tale, who can the heir trust? The King's Assassin by Ed Cannon is a story of secrets within secrets. Sillik, the youngest prince of Illicia receives a dire message sent on the wings of magic. Immediate aid is commanded, but when Sillik arrives home, he finds his father and brothers dead. All were assassinated. All suffered greatly. The entire city of Illicia is filled with palpable fear and uncertainty. Sillik must quickly enlist those he trusts as personal counselors.
To further complicate matters, it becomes known that Illicia, as well as the surrounding cities with their trade routes had all been resting on a delicate balance of powers. Now that this balance has been upset by rumors, shadows, deaths, and traitors, it is up to Illicia's new Crown Prince to restore peace to the entire world. If he is to survive, Sillik must endure traps designed to kill, discover the meaning of clues left by his father, and embark on a perilous quest. Whose advice should he follow? The only sure thing left in his mind are the seven gods by whom Illicia was founded and the seven laws of magic that he has mastered. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the nine dark gods have gathered followers, and the welfare of the entire world is at stake. Can Sillik survive attacks by warriors, magicians, and dragons?
I found The King's Assassin to be a compelling read that drew me in and quickly became difficult to put down. As main character, Sillik is a study in contrast between humility and confidence; a righter of wrongs who does not seek his own glory. His oldest friend, Briana, was once an estranged lover, but is now Sillik's closest friend and adviser. All characters, both major and minor have an important part to play. Even though fantasy items such as gods and laws of magic are integral to the story, the characters were all completely believable and relatable. I found myself "living" in the fantasy world and feeling somewhat of a withdrawal when I read the last word on the last page.
Nearly everyone in the book has at least one secret from at least one other person. I am in awe at how the author designed all of this to fit so neatly together without running into major plot issues. I enjoyed the pace and "just right" unfolding of the story. I loved that as one truth was uncovered, another mystery or two arose that needed to be solved. The author succeeded in keeping my attention this way throughout the entire book. My only sadness was that while most secrets were made plain, the book ended with a major cliffhanger. I hope the next book is made available soon.
Thankfully, this story was overall well-edited. I found a few scattered errors, mostly items such as "you" instead of "your." This did not hinder my enjoyment of the book or stop the flow. I also liked that the author kept the book "clean." There were many opportunities for characters to indulge in adult-only scenes, but the author left any such details to the reader's imagination. Because this book has so many positive qualities, I am glad to rate it 4 out of 4 stars.
The Kings' Assassin
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