The Empress and the Assassin by Bekah Clark
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having read and enjoyed the prior Bekah Clark books I have read – I’m almost caught up with her work, I simply need to finish the last two books in the Rise of the Hawk series – I was more than willing to jump into The Empress and the Assassin. In fact, I’ve been extremely excited about this one from the moment I heard about it. It sounded so good, and I could not wait to find out more.
Thus, I was more than willing to dive in when it arrived on my Kindle.
When you’re excited for a book, entering with high expectations, one of two things happen. You’re either disappointed because you’ve made something huge in your mind or you find yourself obsessed because you’re given exactly what you’re wanting. With The Empress and the Assassin, I received the latter – I was given just what I wanted, a story I was more than willing to devour.
For those who have read prior Bekah Clark books, The Empress and the Assassin has the same kind of vibes as The Healer and the Warrior. The Healer and the Warrior is my favourite Bekah Clark read, and with The Empress and the Assassin having similar vibes it should came as no surprise to find out this book has earned the spot as my second favourite Bekah Clark book. For those who have not read prior Bekah Clark books, what you need to know is this is a book that combines romance and fantasy. I know we see romance in many fantasy books, but this is one of those stories where the romance becomes more central than you initially think. Thus, be warned, this is not just a simple high fantasy read, as you will be dealing with a romantic storyline as well.
No matter which part of the storyline it is that has your attention, this book is guaranteed to leave you turning the pages. There are so many elements to this one, so many wonderful things, and you quickly find yourself sucked in deep and unable to put the book down.
With high fantasy, I find you’re given one of two types of stories. It is either filled with lots of heavy action or things move at a somewhat slower pace as the world grows massively. From prior Bekah Clarke books, I knew to expect the latter. Although a lot does happen throughout this story – there is so much I could mention, but to do so would be to give away parts of the plot – the story does not move at a breakneck speed. Things progress well, with events happening when they need to, with the story constantly building up the world for us.
Honestly, the world building was amazing. I fell in love with this one almost instantly, and the deeper I went the more I wanted. I cannot wait to see what comes next in the series, I cannot wait to see what book two brings us. In fact, I’m so obsessed with this series I’m sure I’ll be demanding all kinds of extras. I have a love-hate relationship with short stories and series extras, but when a series grabs me I find myself more than willing to read such things. With this one, I find myself actually hoping for such extras. The histories and myths of the world, the backstories of certain characters, and other such goodies beg to be written. I want to know so much more, and I would devour such things. Even a thirty-page short story about certain characters would be enough to appease me. I would grab them straight away. Or a collection of such stories. I know plenty of big fantasy series do such a thing, and with this world I would not question to pick up such additional tales.
Such was my enjoyment of this story – I was sucked in so deep, I want everything and anything that will give me more about this world.
It wasn’t just the world I fell in love with – I came to adore the characters, also. The cast was amazing, with so many enjoyable characters. We get to experience so much alongside them, and I was constantly crossing my fingers they would receive the best. Even the things I was unsure about – there were some elements I expected to go one way and I didn’t know how to feel when they went another – turned out to create a fangirl response within me. I cannot wait to find out more about each of the characters, and really hope we get more stories for certain individuals. In fact, there are a lot of individuals I want more of.
Holding the wonderful world building and great characters together was a fabulous storyline. As I’ve already stated, so much happened throughout this one. Although certain things are brought to an end within this book, there is so much left open for the future of the series. There are so many possibilities for where things will go, and so much I cannot wait to find out more about. I cannot wait to see where the storyline takes us from here, I cannot wait to see what happens for the characters I came to adore so much.
There is no doubt about it, Bekah Clark has me hooked to another of her series.
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