Blood of Assassins by RJ Barker

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About the book:

TO SAVE A KING, KILL A KING . . .
The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.
War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

Blood of Assassins: (The Wounded Kingdom Book 2) by RJ Barker

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:

In Blood of Assassins, we’re back with Girton Club-Foot and his master, Merela. Events in the previous book have led them back to the the Maniyadoc, where there is a fight for the crown between three kings, one of whom is Girton’s old friend, Rufra.

The place is ravaged by war, with some truly horrible new threats to the characters in this book. If I could read with my hands over my eyes, it still wouldn’t be enough.

So, there is apparently a traitor in Rufra’s midst, and there is a plot to murder him. Girton is tasked with trying to find out who is responsible. What follows is an epic ride across the various encampments, gathering information, and with plenty of bloodshed along the way.

Girton has more than just this to contend with though. There is an inner struggle taking place for him, but he can’t confide in anyone, and more than once it is nearly his ruin. I don’t want to say any more. Except maybe that there is a really unexpected and satisfying arc for a recurring character, but you’ll have to read it to learn for yourself because I am not spoiling it!

If you like fantasy with heart, great characters and clever world-building then you definitely need to add Blood of Assassins to your TBR. You won’t be disappointed.

Highly recommended!

Much blood. Much assassins. #TeamGirton

 

Previous reviews:

Age of Assassins by RJ Barker 

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.

Click HERE to get your copy!

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!