Assassin by Andy Peloquin (Darkblade #1)

We find ourselves in the ancient city of Voramis. Every citizen knows the stories of the Hunter, a relentless, immortal killing machine for hire. When the Hunter gets caught up in the criminal plans of the Bloody hand, no amount of money or valor will keep the Hunter from his vengeance and desire to protect the innocent of Voramis. Andy Peloquin has created something truly epic in terms of scope, grit, and bloody chaos. If you are a big fan of assassins’, this is the book for you.

Although a first entry to this new series, Assassin is actually a rewrite of the authors first published series The Hero of Darkness. Both series contain the same character and some of the events will overlap, but the story is fresh and expands upon the themes, characters, and history from the original series. Andy has mentioned that since the time of publishing the first book of the Hero of Darkness series, he has grown by leaps and bounds as a writer and that the series needed a reboot. Having not read the original series myself, I can only comment of this new epic as a whole and boy was this a joy to find. Coming in just shy of 1,000 pages, Assassins puts the petal to the metal from start to finish.

The Hunter is a dark figure with a shady memory of his past. Bits and pieces come back to him but always disjointed and without context. The one thing he knows for certain is he is horrified by the person he use to be. Moving throughout Voramis performing job after job, his skin showing the bloody markings of his profession, and strapped to his belt is the deadly blade Soulhunger. Soulhunger is an ancient artifact and always thirst for blood of its victims. The Hunter is forever haunted as Soulhunger communicates in his head like a drug addict pleading for its next fix. With the Bloody Hand now on the lookout for the Hunter, alliances need to be made and the discoveries will span not only the deepest secrets of Voramis but also its darkest histories.

Andy’s writing style is fast paced and is always driving towards the next scene. The many sects, guild, and histories of Voramis are told very naturally although they can come in waves over the course of a few chapters back to back. This is not a simple assassin gets caught up with the wrong crowd type of story. Religion, dark magic, and the themes of protecting the weak are central to the plot of this story. The action scenes are so tense and have great malice that there is not one stab, thrust, or slash unaccounted for. This book is not for the reader uninspired with the darker works of the fantasy genre.

Assassin combines the works of the first and part of the second books in The Hero of Darkness series with three more works scheduled to be released. If the sequels are anything like this excellent book, the series is in great hands and one I look forward to read in the future. It takes courage to rewrite an entire completed series to make it a better version of itself, but Andy Peloquin did an amazing job and the sky is the limit!


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