Quite a long time ago I was sent a couple of books by Bryan Asher: The Assassin of Malcoze, the book this review is about, and The Treasure of Lor-Rev. The idea behind the books is that they’re all set in the same world but aren’t necessarily directly linked to one another story-wise. It’s an interesting premise that allows Asher to write different books but brings people into the idea that they’re all connected. The Assassin of Malcoze is the “first” in the series and focuses on the short stories of three people from Malcoze (one of the settings in the world).
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Please also note that I was kindly sent a copy of The Assassin of Malcoze in return for an honest review
The Assassin of Malcoze follows the journey of three main characters. A Princess who is trying to prove to people she’s more than just stuck-up royalty, a young farm boy who has unprecedented powers and a wise assassin seeking another job. It follows their short stories as they try to prove themselves in their very own areas whilst Asher also begins to build this world he is formulating, both Malcoze and the wider countries elsewhere which are noted in other books.
The Assassin of Malcoze plot – 4/5
Right off the bat, I’ll say that The Assassin for Malcoze struggles a little from being such a short book – especially one that is a fantasy novel broken into separate storylines. You come out of the book feeling like you’ve own been given a teaser into a much larger world and what could have been a much deeper and longer storyline. However, if you’re someone who is bed up of reading 600+ page fantasy epics, this could be perfect for you.
The plot we are given though is absolutely gripping. The start of the book is a little slow and we are introduced to the characters and the first 70 pages or so are fairly without action. However, once things start to get going and once the plot starts speeding up, we are treated to some really great moments that will make you feel properly immersed in the story. Asher clearly had some ideas as to where he wanted to go with these characters and so it doesn’t ever feel like the plot is just being made up on the spot. The interesting storylines and the characters that fill them make you wish the book was a little longer.
The Assassin of Malcoze characters – 4.25/5
As I touched on above, the characters in The Assassin of Malcoze are genuinely really likeable people. As I mentioned in the opening line, one of the storylines we follow is that of a young princess at school who is trying to prove herself as more than someone who will just breeze through school because she’s royalty. She wants to prove herself with genuine talent. This makes for a character who you find yourself rooting for and who is not how many other princesses in fantasy books can often be depicted – unlikeable, arrogant, selfish etc.
I would argue the main character, the farm boy with a power not seen since a villain once wielded it is the most interesting though. Not only does his storyline appeal to me the most but he builds a great relationship with a friend and we also end up seeing a great relationship him between him and his mother who is a strong and powerful woman not to be messed with.
This combination of great characters leaves you wanting to find out just a bit more about them.
The Assassin of Malcoze final rating – 4/5
The greatest compliment I can give to The Assassin of Malcoze is that it leaves you wanting more. Its shortness and squeezing in of a few storylines means that you never really feel like you’ve read a complete book by the end. However, its genuinely likeable characters, interesting storylines, great worldbuilding and easy style of writing mean that you’ll likely find yourself coming out of this book with a positive feeling. I know it’s made me want to read more in this world!
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