Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Viper and the Urchin (The Viper and the Urchin, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Viper and the Urchin (The Viper and the Urchin, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Viper and the Urchin

(The Viper and the Urchin #1)

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  309 ratings  ·  59 reviews
An assassin with a fear of blood.
A street girl with a big mouth.
They can’t really be the city’s only hope?

When Rory discovers Longinus’s blood phobia, she makes him a deal. Train her, and she won’t ruin his reputation as a lethal assassin.

What she doesn’t expect is that her new master has more eccentricities than a stray dog has fleas.

And that in aligning herself with h
Paperback, 308 pages
Published June 26th 2015 by CreateSpace
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  309 ratings  ·  59 reviews

Sort order
Jul 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If you can sit on a roof somewhere, I think that would be a great place to delve into "The Viper and the Urchin", an adventure by budding author Celine Jeanjean, set in the gritty, steampunk-type world of Damsport.

Two disparate personalities, together in an uneasy alliance, each with secrets, each both stronger and weaker than they seem, a hemophobic assassin and a small but streetwise urchin girl with a desire to be a hero swordswoman. Having no resources with which to achieve her dream, Rory's
Sara Snider
Let me just say that I pretty much fell in love with Longinus from the synopsis alone. An assassin who’s afraid of blood? I knew from that moment that this was a book I needed to read.

Well, Longinus, and the book, did not disappoint. In fact, I’d say they both exceeded my expectations. Right from the opening pages, I was sitting there grinning like a fool as Longinus performs one of his famed assassinations–with all its unexpected flair. He is a man with a muse, and when the muse speaks, one mus
Emily Wrayburn
Initial review:


[coherent review to come]

Proper review:
Originally posted on A Keyboard and an Open Mind

Oh my goodness, this book was so much fun! To the point that I was making stupid noises during the last 10% or so. There are entertaining characters, an interesting setting and intriguing political machinations happening all around.

Rory is somewhere around the age of eighteen, and making ends meet picking pockets and the like with her partner in crime, Jake
Jun 30, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a really fun read. The setting is vividly described, and very imaginative . Without wishing to give too much away, look out for the coffee scene! I loved it. There are incredibly evocative moments, and the richness and the detail of the setting means I really felt like I was there, in the sweaty, grimy, but rather wonderful city of Damsport.

But the real strength of the book is in its characters. Longinus and Rory leapt off the page for me. They were both complex, fully developed charact
Oct 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely fantastic, and highly recommended. Gorgeous writing, a beautifully-described world, and characters who were endearing, occasionally irritating (when the author meant for them to be), and totally fascinating. This is one of the best independently-published books I've had the pleasure of reading, and I do love me some indie books.

I started reading this on my Kindle, then stopped at chapter nine so I could order the paperback and finish it that way. It's that good, and I knew I'd want a
Oct 21, 2015 rated it liked it

This book was unique, for sure. It's steampunk all the way and some of the descriptions are very interesting and will grip you.

One of our main characters is an 18-year-old urchin who looks and acts like a 14-year-old.
The other is a dandy assassin with a love for poetry, who cannot stand not being dressed properly or the sight of blood.

This Viper character is an odd one indeed. He kills people but only with poison he makes himself and claims no one does it
Bard Constantine
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
There's a lot to like about the story. The character of Longinus is genius, as I've never encountered a cowardly dandy as an assassin before. It breathes life in the grim, raspy-voiced archetype and provides a refreshingly different take. His constant fussing over clothes and poetic phrases never gets old, although he might pinch the bridge of his nose too much.

Rory has more difficulty escaping the street-smart urchin stereotype, but that doesn't make her character any less enjoyable. Although t
Jenny Koch
Love the premise of this book - a clever, blackmailing street urchin mets a foppish, melodramatic assassin with a fear of blood. It had an odd flow at points but overall I loved the characters and their interactions enough to make up for that. No romance at this stage (and I'm not sure if there will ever be any - particularly between the titular characters but I'm ok with that).
Gwynn White
I have just met a new favourite author with a new set of favourite characters! I just loved this fun story with its quirky characters. Even better, it had me laughing out loud more than a few times. Can't wait for the next in the series.
Ellen E. Baldwin (Quest Reviews)
This book came to my attention when the author emailed me, saying she’d seen that I’d reviewed and liked Lindsay Buroker’s self-published Emperor’s Edge series, and would I be interested in reviewing her own book, which held similarities to Buroker’s work?

Well. As an utter fanatic of The Emperor’s Edge and its sequels, I search ceaselessly for books that recapture Buroker’s style and magic. Of course, I wrote the author back, saying yes, please send me your book! At once! — I mentally added.

Barb Taub
Oct 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was thinking of the three sliding variants of character development—competence, proactivity, and sympathy—as I read The Viper and the Urchin, author Celine Jeanjean’s debut novel. Based on the blurb, I agreed to do a review, but I was nervous. Her novel had a terrific premise—a master assassin who can’t handle the sight of blood—and was in the steampunk/fantasy genre I love. I needn’t have worried.

From my email:

FROM: Barb
TO: Celine
I just had to tell you… I have a TON of other books ahead of Th
Sep 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The blurb for this steampunk fantasy caught me. An elegant assassin that can't stand the sight of blood and a blackmailing, grammatically incorrect urchin. Really, I could not resist! The story of assassin Longinus and urchin Rory should not be resisted. I started and finished The Viper and the Urchin on the same day.

Longinus is an amazingly written character. As an assassin, he thinks himself quite elegant and dapper. Although he knows how to use a sword, he abhors the use of blades in the ass
E.D. Martin
Jul 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fans of Lindsay Buroker's Emperor's Edge series will notice right away that The Viper and the Urchin is the story of an assassin, but that’s where the similarities end. Longinus kills not for the thrill or for politics, but for notoriety. It’s all about his stylish reputation – so of course he’s appalled when a common street thief, Rory, not only has to help him with a job, but learns he’s actually afraid of blood. Rory wants to be a warrior swordswoman and when she realizes Longinus is great wi ...more
Elizabeth Lloyd
Sep 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Viper and the Urchin is a rollicking good tale which grabs you by the collar and sweeps you through the grimy streets of Damsport with humour and nail-biting danger. Its heroine, Rory, is a small scrawny urchin, scraping a living by theft and deception, who makes an unlikely alliance with the elegant Viper, an assassin who uses only poison on his victims and takes pride in his art.

When Longinus, the Viper, questions Rory’s behaviour, “You are coarse, you swear, and worse, you are grammatical
Lori L MacLaughlin
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Viper and the Urchin was one of my first steampunk fantasy reads, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The two main characters, Longinus and Rory, drew me into the story and kept me reading. Longinus, the Viper, is an arrogant assassin who specializes in poisons because he can't stand the sight of blood. Rory, the streetwise urchin who dreams of becoming a heroic swordswoman, learns about Longinus' fear of blood and hatches the idea of blackmailing him into teaching her swordsmanship.

I liked Rory's
Jessie Stevens
Sep 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"It was always a pleasure to kill..."

...begins the book as it launches into a long and ominous description of an assassin, The Viper, and the nefarious activity he is on his way to perform. And then he thinks to himself,

"Is it really too much to ask that the common dockworker experience a faint malaise in my presence? Obviously."

and I smiled because, suddenly, the Viper looked like someone I was really going to enjoy!

It turns out that The Viper is a lovable, sarcastic, pompous jerk of a man.
Rebecca England
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had me smiling throughout, laughing out loud at times but most importantly itching to read the next page and delve deep into my Kindle night after night. I won't labour on the story and synopsis as there are sufficient other reviews which go into more detail however I will say that I think the author has developed a superb world and story - one which transported me, right there in the moment I was reading, into each and every scene and its accompanying smells, sounds and places.
Both th
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the first steampunk novel I have ever read, and I have to say I was very nervous. I didn't know what to expect, but I must truly say I enjoyed this novel immensely. Right away, I saw that this book is incredibly well thought out and written. I absolutely loved the characters. They have some of the strangest and most lively personalities I have ever come across, and I long to read more as soon as I can.

I recommend this book to anyone who is into a good assassin story and anyone who is bor
Lit A.
Sep 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quirky characters are definitely one of the strongest points of this novel. Longinus is quite a peculiar assassin who strictly adheres to his own ‘elegant’ code. I found myself chuckling several times with his antics. I find Rory complements him well. The scrawny teen’s dream to become a great swordfighter like her idol, the Scarred Woman, is admirable. I do wonder how she can take so many physical blows – the girl has a tough head, literally.

Truly a gem in the steampunk world. I absolutely look
Denise Young
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good, fast-paced read. I liked Rory (the urchin) right away. She was spunky, clever, and street-smart, and she really jumped off the page. I wasn't sure I would like Longinus--I mean, he's an assassin--but he grew on me too, and soon I was rooting for them both. There are some wonderful plot twists that kept me guessing what would happen next, and the ending was clever and unexpected. The characters are vivid, distinct, and well-drawn and the writing is strong. Definitely recommend.
Dec 27, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
UGH. What a let down. I'd been stalking this book through UPS all last week waiting for it show up on my doorstep, but now, I'm just so terribly disappointed. I thought this book would revive my love for fantasy, but unfortunately that's not the case. I could only read the first 100 pages before I had to give up. This does not compare to my precious Emperor's Edge in the slightest. This just isn't for me, but at least I tried. The cover will look pretty on my shelf I guess. I'll try to do an act ...more
Kaylin Beach
Jul 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"It was always a pleasure to kill."

The Bloodless Assassin by Celine Jeanjean was not what I expected at all. This book went above and beyond my expectations and I was easily swept up into Celine's characters and her world. The Bloodless Assassin is full of secrets, betrayal, friendship, mysteries, and death. While reading, there was not a single moment that I found myself bored or uninterested. This book is one exciting adventure/mystery after another!

My first impression of this book was that it
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fun, imaginative, clever and well-written. My first impression of The Viper and The Urchin is that it doesn't feel like a first novel. The author has conjured a world that is magical and believable at the same time, rich in detail and sensory experience: while I was reading it I could feel the heat, the rain, the smells and the sounds of the city of Damsport as if I were there. And many times I wished I was. The Viper and the Urchin is the first of a series of novels centered around Longinus "th ...more
Rosie Amber
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Bloodless Assassin is book #1 in The Viper and The Urchin series and has been re-launched under its new title. I felt this book was a mix of fantasy and steampunk.

The Viper is Damsport's deadliest assassin, but he also a poet, a writer and an alchemist. However he has a serious flaw, he can't stand the sight or smell of blood, which is why his chosen weapon is poison.

Rory is a teenage girl, a street urchin and thief. For two years she has been saving all her money to pay to be Master Xian's
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is a steampunk fantasy with lots of mystery thrown in the mix and a spot of politics for good measure. The book sounded intriguing but something I would not normally pick up and read, and I was pleasantly surprised.

This story is quite unique and contains interesting characters. The two main protagonists are Longinus, known as The Viper, who is both a poet and an assassin who has a phobia of blood, and he is also a bit
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-as-an-adult
Great book - brilliantly written. Looking forward to more work from the author.
Larry Myers
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good book

This was a surprise. Fafhrd and the gray mouser and their stories come to mind. I look forward to more and have bought the second book. LAMyers
alan l jarbeau
Apr 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Assassin unable to stand the sight of blood. Really ,that's like a vampire being afraid of the dark!

I am becoming quite a fan of streamline novel's, and this novel has definitely succeeded in my continued interest in this genre. The novel takes place in Damsport reminiscent of medieval London to an extent. Longinus, the assassin who is secretly known as the Viper who concocts all manner of poison's to use as a means of disposing of his victims thus avoiding having to view even the slightest bit
Feb 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story!

I received this book free from one of the book sites. I do not remember which one! This is my honest and voluntary review.

This is not my usual genre, but I truly enjoyed this book. Action, drama, excitement and lots of fun dialogue! The mystery is well done and works with the dialogue well. There is a certain way about the book that drags a reader into it quickly. Rory is rather comical at times, twisting the words of Loginous in every way possible. Longinous has got to be one of my
Olivia Berrier
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I went into this book 100% expecting the assassin to be my favorite character, but Rory (that's the urchin) was an AMAZING character and following her story was my favorite part of this book. Normally I need to go to Tamora Pierce to find strong, young, believable females like this.

The only reason I couldn't give this one 5 stars is that once the main villain showed up on the scene, the dialog became (in my opinion) extremely forced and expos-heavy, which was so unexpected since the previous di
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Goodreads Librari...: Please add cover 2 13 Dec 18, 2018 09:11PM  
Goodreads Librari...: Add New Cover 5 30 Jul 15, 2015 04:05PM  
  • Diplomats and Fugitives (The Emperor's Edge, #9)
  • Her Ladyship's Curse (Disenchanted & Co., Book 1, Part #1)
  • The Curse of the Brimstone Contract (The Steampunk Detectives, #1)
  • The Storm Bottle
  • Miss Bramble and the Leviathan
  • The Alchemist's Flame (The Final Formula Series, #3)
  • Rough Diamond (The Erica Jewell Series Book 1)
  • Lucid Dreaming (Lucid Dreaming, #1)
  • The Deepest Poison (Clockwork Dagger, #0.5)
Celine Jeanjean is French, grew up in the UK and now lives in Hong Kong. That makes her a tad confused about where she is from. During her time in Asia she’s watched the sun rise over Angkor Wat, lost her shoes in Vietnam, and fallen off a bamboo raft in China.

Celine writes stories that feature quirky characters and misfits, and her books are a mixture of steampunk, fantasy and humour.

Other books in the series

The Viper and the Urchin (3 books)
  • The Black Orchid (The Viper and the Urchin, #2)
  • The Slave City (The Viper and the Urchin #3)
“Yes, yes, I won’t touch anything. More to the point, someone wants to kill me and take your place as the Viper, right, so do you really think the state of your moustache is important right now?” “You have a lot to learn about the world,” he called back as he climbed the stairs. “The state of my moustache has never been more important.” 2 likes
More quotes…