Release date: February 2nd 2016
Seventeen year old Lea Saldana is a skilled assassin, a member of one of the nine families in the kingdom of Lovero who are paid to kill in the name of the Goddess who keeps them safe from the ghosts that roam outside their borders. Their motto has always been Family over family, your assassin Family has your loyalty over your blood family, but Lea is secretly dating Val, the son of her Family’s biggest rival, the Da Vias. When her Family is attacked, their home burned to the ground, she is the only survivor and she vows revenge. She knows the Da Vias were responsible and she will kill every last one of them – even Val.
I was really excited to start this book. It had interesting mythology, a main female character who was badass, and a revenge plot that I easily got sucked into reading. I enjoyed the world-building and the relationships that developed between characters. The quest for vengeance and Lea’s journey as she dealt with feelings of guilt and anger were relatable.
Lea was an interesting main character. She had no guilt about killing people, strong in her faith that she was serving her Goddess, and she had been trained to be deadly in many ways of death. That didn’t mean she was immune to feeling insecure about her position within the Family or that she couldn’t love or show a softer side. Things that seemed out of line or horrifying to me as the reader were taken in stride by her because that was just normal life for her. She had her strengths, she had her faults, she had her beliefs, and it was a journey watching her try to figure out who she was without her Family and whether or not she had value without them.
I really enjoyed the whole concept of this world and all the complexity it involved, especially the politics within the Families. No one seemed to have a problem kicking Lea when she was down and that just made the stakes higher for her to find someone she could trust and get her revenge. I liked that we also got to see what it was like outside of cities that worshiped the Goddess of death, and instead chose to worship a different God or Goddess. I also liked how straightforward it all was. There didn’t seem to be characters introduced with no purpose, Lea’s moves were very calculated, everything was done with something bigger in mind and it all connected.
I did find that the story dragged a bit in the middle. Lea seemed to hit a wall in her plans and that meant the story hit a bit of a wall in the action. Thankfully it didn’t drag for long and once the action picked up again, this time it didn’t stop until the end. It was a pretty quick read, even with the small part that dragged in the middle. The rest of the book made up for it, being so action focused with the need-to-know-what-happens-next feeling being strong.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.