I’ve been waiting since October to post this review! This is a murder mystery with gay assassins and ghosts set in the desert. I’m sorry, why aren’t you already reading this book? There aren’t enough words to describe how much I love this story. This is one of my favorite books of all time. I know this isn’t a perfect book but it was perfect for me.
Summary from Goodreads
Divine justice is written in blood.
Or so Amastan has been taught. As a new assassin in the Basbowen family, he’s already having second thoughts about taking a life. A scarcity of contracts ends up being just what he needs.
Until, unexpectedly, Amastan finds the body of a very important drum chief. Until, impossibly, Basbowen’s finest start showing up dead, with their murderous jaan running wild in the dusty streets of Ghadid. Until, inevitably, Amastan is ordered to solve these murders, before the family gets blamed.
Every life has its price, but when the tables are turned, Amastan must find this perfect assassin or be their next target.
Paperback, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 19th 2019 by Tor Books
Goodreads /Amazon/ Bookdepository
CW: Murder, death, violence, poison, kidnapping
Rep: Asexual homoromantic MC, lesbian side characters who are a couple (I think)
The writing was nice, it was vivid and detailed without having being overly descriptive. That being said, it was a bit dramatic at points. I haven’t read this book since October but I still remember a moment where sugar being dissolved in tea was described as ‘caramel swirls and gratifying eddies’. I love it, it’s so random and over the top. And there was a description of a sunset that was so beautiful I wanted to cry.
The world building was well thought out, although it was mostly limited to the walls of the city. I liked learning about things like where they got water and how they grew food in the middle of the desert. It was interesting to learn about how the government and society worked and how the assassins fit into it. From the descriptions of Ghadid I imagined it looked like this…
This is Ghardaia in Algeria which is also near the sahara (but sans jaan hopefully). The city felt like a real lived place which existed before the story and would exist long afterwards. There were some things that felt out of place, like the gear pumps which made it a little confusing as to when this was set. (I know it’s fantasy, and maybe Ghadid was built on the remnants of a far more advanced civilization)
I found Amastan incredibly endearing and relatable but also a bit frustrating. He isn’t the brightest spark. But I loved that he had a boring day job. I liked most of the side characters but I never really connected with anyone. Barag, however was my favorite. He had some of the best lines which mostly boiled down to ‘Amastan, I wish you would do a better job at your job.’
The romance was nice. Everything happened over a relatively short period of time and Amastan didn’t spend much time with the love interest during the story. I enjoyed reading their interactions when they were together though. There was some discussion about Amastan’s asexuality and everyone seemed OK with it which was nice.
The plot was fast paced and exciting. The jaan were really cool and intimidating and the antagonist was great but… the mystery aspect was a bit predictable. While I didn’t know the why and how, the who was hinted at so heavily I was certain it was a red herring.
The perfect assassin was glorious and a lot of fun! I highly recommend it!
🗡🗡🗡🗡🗡/ 5 daggers
I received an arc from Netgalley, thank you to Netgalley, Tor and K. A. Doore. All opinions are my own.
Have you read the perfect assassin? What did you think? Did you think the jaan seemed a bit like a cross between jinn and ghosts right? And considering the desert has jaan (and possibly mythical giants) the caravan drivers must be the most epic.