Enthralling, Suspenseful, and Heartfelt -- perfect combo!
I love sister stories, regardless of genre. But an epic fantasy featuring a badass, blade-wielding assassin and a princess destined to become war queen? THE BEST.
Amaskan's Blood by Raven Oak was every bit as enthralling as I had hoped, and more. From the very first page, I wasn't sure who I should trust. Even as the plot unfolded, motives and character arguments muddled my reader predictions. Raven masterfully built tension and suspense, a skill I find lacking in most books these days. She gives enough to keep the reader glued to the page while forcing the reader to question everything.
The book mainly follows Adelei's point-of-view, of the Amaskan Order. I loved her growth as a character, especially as she interacted with her identical twin sister, who is as opposite of Adelie in personality as possible. Because of their differences, the sibling rivalry was believable and fun.
But NOTHING gripped my heart as much as Adelei's struggle to make sense of her past and present and how that will affect her future. And, when she embraces every part of who she is, positive and negative, past and future, get the tissues ready! The ending -- oh god -- that ending! I was a hot mess.
Why do female assassin stories do this to me? The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas also ended with muffled sobs into my pillow.
Margaret, Adelei's sister, surprised me. Her story is empowering. It made me examine the shallower areas of my life and realize that I, too, am capable of great things despite whatever deficiencies, heartaches, or ignorances I possess. For this reason, I'm desperate for book two! I must know how this story continues and watch Margaret continue to transform from princess to queen as her country falls into war.
Because of mild descriptions of sexual assault, I recommend this book for ages 15+.
OK, Raven ... I hope you're typing fast because I really, really need book two, AMASKAN'S WAR.