Age of Assassins by RJ Barker 

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*Many thanks to Orbit Books for my review copy*

About the book:

TO CATCH AN ASSASSIN, USE AN ASSASSIN . . .

Girton Club-Foot, apprentice to the land’s best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But their latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince’s murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire land.

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About the author:

RJ Barker lives in Leeds with his wife, son and a collection of questionable taxidermy, odd art, scary music and more books than they have room for. He grew up reading whatever he could get his hands on, and has always been ‘that one with the book in his pocket’. Having played in a rock band before deciding he was a rubbish musician, RJ returned to his first love, fiction, to find he is rather better at that. As well as his debut epic fantasy novel, Age of Assassins, RJ has written short stories and historical scripts which have been performed across the country. He has the sort of flowing locks any cavalier would be proud of.

My thoughts:

Being new to the fantasy genre, I think I’ll always feel like my reviews won’t do the books justice as I haven’t read enough to know what’s what. However, I know when I’m reading something special, and AoA is definitely that.


Girton Club-Foot is an apprentice to Merela Karn, the best assassin in the land, and together they are tasked with infiltrating a kingdom because someone wants to kill the heir to the throne. From the outset though, their job is a difficult one. There is plenty of (quite literally) cloak and dagger, but it’s there that the fun is with this book.


I loved the characters in this book, but most especially I loved the relationship between Girton and his mentor. Together they are a brutal duo, but it’s in their isolated moments that you get a real sense of who they are, and what drives them.


Age of Assassins thrives on its characters, with each and every one of them really well developed. Some you will love, some you will loathe, but that’s what you want isn’t it? To feel something for those whose journey you’re going along with. There’s plenty of that here.


I had been looking forward to reaching this one on the TBR and I was not disappointed. An excellent plot, a cast of characters that are as noble as they are quick to draw a weapon, the whole thing is just razor sharp and really well executed!
Highly recommended!