The Perfect Assassin by K.A. Doore
Publication Date: March 19th 2019
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: The Chronicles of Ghadid #1
Blurb: Divine justice is written in blood.
Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.
Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.
Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.
High above the sands, the people of Ghadid are desperately waiting for the end of the season, but they will find that it’s not just running out of water that might kill them. Wild jaan are on the loose, a killer is stalking the streets and long buried secrets are being unearthed.
“Courage, after all, isn’t an absence of fear-it’s doing something despite the fear. I’ll know you’ll find that courage when you need it.”
The Perfect Assassin is what I can only call a cute assassin story. Don’t get me wrong there’s murders and assassins but it was such a soft, cathartic read. I think this comes down to the marshmallow that is Amastan. Amastan is an ace and homo-romantic assassin who has just completed his training but he’s not so sure he’s cut out to be an assassin, after all most don’t complete their training and feel relief that there have be no contracts for years and they might never have to take one. I loved following Amastan so much and I love him. The relationship between Amastan and Yufit was just so tender and it was a joy watching it unfold.
What I love about The Perfect Assassin is how it tackles the concept of assassins and murder. With Amastan at the front this isn’t a book that ignores the consequences of assassinating someone nor is it taken lightly, the Family don’t just run around murdering people willy-nilly. As Amastan says, they walk a very fine line between justice and murder.
Everything builds to a crescendo and as the story unfolds and the secrets come to light it gets intense. Even once the killer is revealed The Perfect Assassin still grips you until the very last word. I didn’t see that ending coming and even though it was bittersweet I couldn’t see it ending any other way. Which I think says something about Doore’s writing because I tend to prefer ending where everything wraps up nicely and the slate is wiped clean and everyone’s happy. Yet this was perfect because it didn’t do that, it was the only way to end it given how Doore doesn’t let any of her characters get off scot-free from the consequences of their actions.
“When you asked for tea instead of baats-was that a need or a want?” Amastan’s whole face grew hot. He fought the urge to tug his tagel up over his eyes and hide.
I’m hoping the finished copy has a of map of Ghadid. Whilst it’s set entirely in Ghadid or on the sands below to it, a map of the city and it’s sections would have helped orientate myself a bit.
I highly recommend The Perfect Assassin. It’s a beautifully crafted story with an amazing setting and wonderful characters. Even as the pace ramps up Amastan is like a soft hug where the world is a more beautiful place with him in it.
*I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own*