Title: Assassin’s Heart
Author: Sarah Ahiers
Synopsis: In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.
Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.
With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
Huge thank you to Harper Collins for sending me a copy of this for review!
Well, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to read this, but then I got a copy from Harper and was in the mood to try some fantasy so I picked it up. And it was better than I had expected. But not great.
My biggest issue with this book was that it is poorly edited and the writing is INCREDIBLY repetitive. We could have probably lost about 50-70 pages with better edits. We are told over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over again the same. damn. things. Lea’s family (and Family, can’t forget the fifty THOUSAND times we use the words family and Family in the same freaking sentence) is murdered. The Da Via’s are to blame. Lea blames herself. She will murder them in their sleep. She will get revenge. It’s all she’s ever wanted (for the past two weeks). She will kill them. She will make them pay. She will get her revenge. It’s all she’s ever wanted. It’s all her fault. WE GOT IT BY PAGE 50! I just wanted to pick this book up and shake out all the extra words!
And look, I get the family and Family part, but it was TOO. MUCH.
So this is a book about a world that worships many different gods. It was never really clear if these gods were … corporal? idk how to describe it. They’re gods that have powers only over those who worship them. And the goddess that Lea’s Family (and family!) worship (along side with the entire country?) is a death goddess who grants rebirth upon death if some rules are followed. There are other gods too that other cities and countries(?) follow and it was never really fully fleshed out enough for me. I would have liked some clearer world building. There are also ACTUAL REAL LIVE-DEAD GHOSTS. That apparently are lost souls that didn’t get rebirthed? idk, again, world building. Because there was another god that put you back into the soil if you died (but then people in that same town who worshiped that god were also turning into ghosts? AGAIN. WORLD BUILDING).
There were also some trope-y things like a ~transformative bath scene~ and a ~chopping off my hair because I’m a DIFFERENT PERSON NOW scene~ and a moment of “releasing a breath that one had been unaware of holding”. Eye. Rolls.
BUT the fighting was cool, Lea wasn’t a stupid heroine (aside from the whole choosing her 2-week old future over her family (not Family) because REASONS) and Les was a slightly dashing if not goofy at times sidekick? Love interest? Dude? To be honest thought the Priest was my favorite (and he had like 3 scenes, poor dude).
Hmmmm my review makes it sound like I hated it but I didn’t. I just had some issues… like I usually do with 3 star books. Liked, but with issues.