Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class- and the nobles who destroyed their home.
When Sal steals a flyer for an audition to become a member of The Left Hand-the Queen’s personal assassins, named after the rings she wears-Sal jumps at the chance to infiltrate the court and get revenge.
But the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. And as Sal succeeds in the competition, and wins the heart of Elise, an intriguing scribe at court, they start to dream of a new life and a different future, but one that Sal can only have if they survive.
(4.5 / 5)
So I was not expecting to like this book, but it impressed me so much by the end that I am eagerly awaiting the next one already. The wait is going to be horrible too my friends because this book isn’t even available to you until September of this year!!
WHAT I LIKED ABOUT THIS BOOK
First of all…Gender Fluid Character…YESYESYESYES. OK so this is pretty cool; I think that Sal could be whatever you wanted them to be, boy or girl, whichever you felt you liked more which I think is a very unique aspect of this book. Sal is also totally fab because they are still imperfect, even at the end of the story. Not super great at anything except surviving, they are still a super likable character. I really hate it when the main characters are magically good at something.
I thought that the world building was pretty good; I look forward to the next book where hopefully the author will fill us in on more of the backstory of the shadows and the political nature of the story. I loved the fact that everyone wore a mask all the time. The creepy faceless satin masks sound so terrifying and I LOVE it. It was hard for me to picture what they were doing when they were eating and drinking but shadows also kill people in this book so I was trying not to look to hard for answers.
Because the story is about a test of assassins and the object is to kill each other off so you can get the job, there is obviously a certain amount of violence in the story. It’s not the focus of the story though and while it can be brutal it’s not super graphic. That is my favorite kind of book violence: necessary but not over the top.
No silly love triangles or very much romance (some flirting, no sex) at all in this story really which is FABULOUS!! Both of those tropes are played out in this kind of book and it was refreshing to see that it wasn’t abundant in this story. Thank you Thank you for making Sal only have one love interest! You could have easily made it two but you didn’t and I love you for it!
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE ABOUT THIS BOOK
Actually, one thing only. At first I felt like there was a lot of dialog and I hated that, it was hard for me to push through the first few chapters. As soon as she cut off that guys hand and took it to the castle for the competition it picked up a lot for me and I was hooked. So if at first you can’t get into it you should try to stick it out until at least chapter six.
Final thoughts: I would recommend this book for teens 13 and up and mature readers as well. The tagline in the blurb says for readers of Sarah J Maas and Leigh Bardugo and I would agree, I think this book is going to prove to be popular with many readers. You’ll just have to wait until September to find out.
**I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**
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