Thursday, March 6, 2014

NERC Review #8: Knight Assassin by Rima Jean

*I received a copy of this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm honestly unsure of how to rate this book and how I feel about it. For one thing, I enjoyed it. But on the other hand, I expected something more. Something as good as Grave Mercy had been. 

Rating: 3 stars!
This book was most unusual, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Knight Assassin was richly detailed, the setting and background painted in vivid colors and imagery. It's set in a historical time period in the Middle East, and there is political unrest and cultures warring with one another. It's a very tumultuous and dangerous setting, especially for a young girl who lost her innocence and youth in the name of religion and God.

The main character, Zayn, grew up in a small village that's controlled by the Franks (I think). When her mother is accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake, Zayn leaves the village with Junaid. Junaid is an Assassin, and someone Zayn was told to fear and stay away from. But her mother and her innocence is gone, and there's no one else who will take care of her. There, she trains hardcore. There, she's the only woman assassin trainee and is bullied by the other males. I thought Zayn was a strong character, one who never wants to be hurt again, one who wants to be able to protect herself. But what she really wants is revenge

Once she masters the artform of the Assassins, she's sent back to her homeland so she can finally have her revenge. But, it's not so simple as it has always seen to her. There, she finds a childhood friend and a love that was lost. Earic was adorable! But. You don't really find out much about him. Their relationship is very cutesy and pure and fits perfectly in with a YA historical novel. However, I thought it was really underdeveloped. I was kind of hoping for a little more interaction between them. 

This book was entertaining, but I felt that it was a little dry sometimes. The plot had intense action scenes in-between the quiet moments. But everything moved at such a fast pace, that when I was just getting used to what was happening, it'd change. Not to mention, I was a lot confused on most of the historical details, so that didn't help when the author was trying to explain them. I also didn't understand why there was magic. Maybe that will be more explained in the second book? 

But thing is, I don't know if I want to read the second book. I'm not really invested in these characters or this story-line. I wasn't even sure there would actually be a sequel. So, we'll see. I compared this book a lot to Grave Mercy, and because I loved that one so much, Knight Assassin didn't do much for me. Fans of the His Fair Assassin series might like this one more, or vice versa. I think it just depends on the reader. And as for this reader, I'll stick with HFA. :)