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The Perfect Assassin

(The Chronicles of Ghadid #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  102 reviews
A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own in K. A. Doore's The Perfect Assassin, a breakout high fantasy beginning the Chronicles of Ghadid series.

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
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Tor Books
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4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  172 ratings  ·  102 reviews

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TS Chan
Mar 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc-review-copy
I received an advanced reading copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

A decent debut, The Perfect Assassin impressed me most with its fascinating worldbuilding.

It is refreshing to see more and more fantasy releases of late not relying on the more traditional Europe-centric medieval setting for its worldbuilding. In The Perfect Assassin, the setting was decidedly Middle Eastern with an interesting twist. Ghadid was a city built hundreds of feet above sand dunes, made up of numer
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Perfect Assassin is the first book in the high fantasy series Chronicles of Ghadid, which follows a family of assassins in a desert city. I found it a solid, imaginative and very gay debut - but don't go into it expecting a romance.
This first book follows Amastan, an unusually reluctant assassin, as he has to find and kill a mysterious murderer on the run and survive the attacks of angered jaani.

The first thing that stood out to me about this book was the worldbuilding: Ghadid has now become
Amastan has trained to be an assassin. After completing his final test, he learns there are no contracts and he feels relieved. His relief is short lived when he discovers the body of one of Ghadid's leaders, a drum chief. Amastan finds himself ordered to solve the murder of the drum chief soon or he and his assassin family will pay the consequences. On top of all that the spirit of the deceased is roaming free seeking a new body.

The Perfect Assassin is a murder mystery with slightly different s
Mary S. R.
Jan 06, 2019 marked it as to-read
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.

An adult high fantasy series about assassins and the question of whether what you were taught is the right thing to do or not, is exactly what I need! Amazing!

There have been such great reviews written about this, praising its writing and story, and to steal a sentence from a reviewer:

“K.A. Doore writes the way an assassin creeps up o
Megan Lyons
Dec 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
3 1/2 stars

This was a very solid fantasy. I tend to really like books with assassin's and thieves as the main characters, and this was done well. The world building and plotting were strong, though I felt like the central mystery was a bit too obvious.

Honestly, I feel like I should have liked the book more. I think it lacked a little in terms of characters. They weren't as memorable as I would have liked, which caused the book to drag a little in the beginning. However, the ending was strong, s
⚔ Silvia ⚓
I don't know but it sounds like "be gay, undo crime" would be one way to describe this book
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so much fun!

K.A. Doore writes the way an assassin creeps up on a mark. Her prose glides effortlessly, leading readers along with clues and misdirection that's never heavy-handed.

But I think the most impressive feat was the balancing act Doore strikes throughout.
This is a story about assassins, and it definitely delivers on the fight scenes, but it also doesn't revel in violence. A murder mystery drives the plot forward, while the rich secondary world setting will delight fantasy re
The Captain
Mar 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
Ahoy there me mateys!  I received this fantasy eARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  So here be me honest musings . . .

Now obviously the title and cover are what grabbed me attention for this one.  I love me some assassins so I had to read this author's debut novel.  This story follows Amastan who is training to be an assassin.  However, he is unsure if he will be able to kill when the time comes.  Life becomes difficult when he stumbles across the body of a clan leader that has
Feb 13, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.

From the blurb, "A novice assassin is on the hunt for someone killing their own..." this pretty much sums it up nicely. I was pleased with this debut effort from K.A. Doore, who may very well be an author to keep an eye on.

Great worldbuilding and lots of action highlight this one, and though some of the twists and turns aren't totally surprising, the novel was very well written and engaging all the way through.

I understand that
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed it for the most part.

It’s hard to put into words why this type of story speaks to me; I guess I’m just a sucker for fantasy, conflicted assassins, mystery, and angst. I also can’t neglect to mention the good amount of representation presented in this book: an Asexual main character, a gay character, two lesbian assassins... and all POC. Speaking on the characters, however, a majority were fairly two-dimensional. Amastan and Tamella were nearly there in being fully fleshed-out, but they
Lauren Stoolfire
Mar 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Perfect Assassin (The Chronicles of Ghadid #1) by K.A. Doore is an epic fantasy novel featuring a reluctant assassin from a family of assassins. I didn't know how much I needed to read about assassins who kill the dangerous and those who endanger their city. Doore is fantastic at world-building and the character arcs are pretty cool to follow over the course of the story - the city of Ghadid itself is practically a character i
Nathan Makaryk
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Really unique fantasy world, and a far departure from the usual “slight-variation-of-medieval-England” so common in fantasy. I tore through my advance copy in mere days. I loved the supernatural element in this world, and how it gave profound and terrifying consequences to the main characters’ actions. Fast-paced, fun to read, check it out!
Andrea Rothman
Nov 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced reader copy of this book, coming out March 19. This is the first book in a series about Ghadid, a desert city built on platforms, that is terrifying as much as it is magical. I was absorbed by the story of Amastan, a young novice assassin who has reservations about killing but who ultimately has chosen this way of life for himself. He is extremely modest, courageous, and utterly compelling as a character. His personal life, which is masterfully weaved in the action, kept m ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
K.A. Doore's debut novel is spectacular. I was fortunate enough to receive one of the ARCs and WOW. First and foremost, the world is tangible. I tasted sand in my teeth, I felt the blessed moisture in Ghadid's pumphouses, I smelled the threat of jaan. I am so thrilled to (not soon enough) read two more novels set in this beautiful, brilliantly constructed city atop the sand. Not only is the world well-constructed, but it also unfolds expertly. K.A. Doore does an incredible job of introducing the ...more
Bob Milne
Feb 28, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy-epic, dnf
The cover blurb calls The Perfect Assassin a "breakout high fantasy" and leads you to expect "nonstop excitement," but what we get instead is a detective story in a fantasy setting. I kept waiting for K.A. Doore to get beyond the mystery and into the action, but eventually had to accept that the mystery was meant to be the main attraction . . . except it's not really a fair mystery. There are no suspects to tease us, no red herrings to confound us, and no alibis to be deconstructed. The appeal o ...more
Mar 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received a complimentary copy of this e-book ARC from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Amastan is training to be an assassin like the rest of his family. When he discovers a murder, it is up to him to find out who did it. Can he do so and clear his name before he is accused of being the killer? Read on and find out for yourself.

This was a pretty good action-packed fantasy read. It was full of intrigue and more. If you love stories like this, be sure to chec
Sarah (CoolCurryBooks)
Like the sound of queer fantasy assassins? Then The Perfect Assassin is the book for you.

Amastan’s family has an important place in the city of Ghadid. They protect it from the shadows, assassinating criminals who need to be taken care of quietly. Amastan has just earned his place as the newest assassin in the family, but he’s secretly worried that he doesn’t have what it takes to kill. So when he finds out that the family’s been blackballed by Ghadid’s rulers and that no new contracts are on th
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beta read this and it is AMAZING!!!!!!
lady victoriana
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2019
I'm struggling to decide how to rate and review this. I decidedly did not enjoy it, yet I'm not sure that makes it a bad book.

I found this book incredibly boring. Now, that's hard to do, when your premise is a fantasy murder mystery with assassins. But it was. So, so boring. For one thing, the book is marketed as being about assassins, but you find out within the first chapter that these assassins 1) operate within the boundaries of the legal system and 2) are no longer allowed to kill anyone,
Ashleigh | Wild Heart Reads
High above the sands, the people of Ghadid are desperately waiting for the end of the season, but they will find that it's not just running out of water that might kill them. Wild jaan are on the loose, a killer is stalking the streets and long buried secrets are being unearthed.

"Courage, after all, isn't an absence of fear-it's doing something despite the fear. I'll know you'll find that courage when you need it."

The Perfect Assassin is what I can only call a cute assassin story. Don't get
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An Ace main character that struggles with loyalty, murder, and defining himself. This isn’t your typical queer coming of age story. In a world where queer relationships seem commonplace, a 19 year old struggles to find his place in his family legacy while investigating a series of murders that could destroy it. Intricate world building, morally complex, hints of magic, spine chilling action scenes, and political intrigue. This desert world isn’t built for happily ever afters, though it is home t ...more
Martine Watson
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This debut absolutely blew me away. I’m not normally a fantasy reader, but I was lucky enough to get an arc of this book and I tell you, I think it has converted me. Amastan is so tender and believable at the book’s heart, and is supported by a rich cast of characters. The world building is gorgeous, matched by the writing. I was turning pages incredibly fast, following Doore’s artful twists and turns, anxious to discover the solution to the mystery. A great balance between action and introspect ...more
Aug 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

The blurbs don’t lie. Those rooftop scenes are exquisite.

Amastan is a scribe by day, assassin by night. Or he would be if contracts weren’t banned. Instead of hunting marks and eliminating Ghadid’s problems, Amastan practices with fellow assassins on Ghadid's many rooftops. And one such night leads to the discovery of a Drum Chief’s body. Amastan takes on the task of discovering who killed the Drum Chief. But soon there are two more bodies and wild jaan running loose with a taste for reve
Katherine Riley
Jul 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It sounds like a cliché to say, but I couldn’t put my advance copy of The Perfect Assassin down. The world Doore builds is intricate and compelling, but in a sense that doesn’t even matter. The prose compel one to read. It transports, which only the best fantasy novels do, rushing one headlong towards the end, even as one does one’s best to savor it. This does not read like the work of a debut fantasy author. It’s clear Doore has long steeped in the genre, and yet this debut emerges completely D ...more
Keena Roberts
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a great read! Deserts, assassins, clever characters, acrobatics and real evil... it's all here. Also, knives. The wordbuilding is excellent, especially since it creates a vibrant city that's detailed while also clearly only part of a much larger and wider world, something that I really appreciated knowing there are two more books to come!
Elise (TheBookishActress)
Nov 29, 2017 marked it as releases-2019
a family of assassins, complete with queer characters!!
I received an advanced reading copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

This is story about a young boy just starting his life as an assassin in a desert city.
It took me a hot minute to get into but the more I read the more enamoured I was with this world.

First of all, the setting is rich and extreme. The ideas of cities on stilts hovering over the desert, sand creeping into every corner and crevice, the sun burning from above and heat smothering you was a unique setting and had me f
Jan 04, 2019 marked it as to-read
The author on Twitter: queer af fantasy! Ace MC!

Dec 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
If you like reluctant murder cinnamon buns who would rather be reading a good book if it weren't for all this pesky MORAL FIBER, with a dash of badassery on the side, then Amastan, the main character of this one, is so for you.

This is one of those glorious books that sneaks up on you with the feels. Doore is a fantastic writer, and she seems especially adept at taking a lot of elements that seem unrelated at the beginning of the book and slowly drawing them in on the reader when they're not look
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K.A. Doore grew up in Florida, but has since lived in lush Washington, arid Arizona, and cherry-infused-everything Michigan. While recovering from climate whiplash, she has raised chickens, learned entirely too much about property assessment, photographed cacti, and now develops online trainings, none of which has anything to do with – or perhaps has everything to do with – her BA in Classics.


Other books in the series

The Chronicles of Ghadid (2 books)
  • The Impossible Contract (The Chronicles of Ghadid #2)