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The Perfect Assassin

(The Chronicles of Ghadid #1)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  1,026 ratings  ·  290 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, 350 pages
Published March 19th 2019 by Tor Books
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Anika To me, this book feels like it's in between middle grade and YA. Probably 11/12 years minimum is what I would recommend.…moreTo me, this book feels like it's in between middle grade and YA. Probably 11/12 years minimum is what I would recommend.(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
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 ·  1,026 ratings  ·  290 reviews

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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
anna (½ of readsrainbow)
rep: poc cast, gay ace mc, side lesbian characters

very extremely gay, with a great water (and economy!) based magic system & a cool setting inspired heavily by islamic culture
Holly (Holly Hearts Books)
I’m so sad I didn’t love this but everything from the world and characters felt very base level. There wasn’t a whole lot of depth to anything.
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 nume
Jan 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, rep-gay, rep-ace
A perfect 4.5 stars aaaaaaah I'm rounding up because I never not enjoyed it

Also my pre-review ↓ was 100% correct

I don't know but it sounds like "be gay, undo crime" would be one way to describe this book

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
Ellie (faerieontheshelf)

Read for #AspecAugust 2020. Thank you to the publishers for a finished copy in exchange for an honest review! <3
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
Holly (The GrimDragon)
“At the time, becoming an assassin had seemed both exciting and intangible. He’d wanted to learn everything. He knew all there was to know about how to fire glass, but how to fight, how to climb, how to hide, how to conceal, how to poison–he knew nothing. When he’d learned how to kill, he’d been fascinated. A person could die in so many ways. Life was surprisingly fragile.”

The Perfect Assassin is the first installment in The Chronicles of Ghadid series by K.A. Doore.

As someone who doesn’t read m
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
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
Lady H
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,
Mar 26, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy, lgbtqia
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
Nov 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
i long for the day where i have a longer attention span than a goldfish but my hyperfixations wouldn't let me

anyway that's the first book I've finished since june and it only took me like. 4 months to read. utterly tragic

the book is good tho
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
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
rachel ☾
#2) The Impossible Contract ★★★☆☆

Trigger warnings for (view spoiler).

Representation: full poc cast; Amast
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!
Sam Hawke
May 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fuller thoughts to come but I LOVED this book, with its DEADLY BUT ALSO SOFT SQUISHY ASSASSINS and the worldbuilding and the mystery, it was just a bloody delight. Go buy it.
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
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
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
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
Jun 29, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2021
The Perfect Assassin is a fantasy mystery set in the desert city of Ghadid, where access to water is the city's major currency. The story took a while to gather some momentum but once the mystery got going, I found myself relatively hooked. I just finished The Perfect Assassin wanting more character development and world-building.

C/W:(view spoiler)
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
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beta read this and it is AMAZING!!!!!!
Freya Marske
May 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Fantastic worldbuilding, a murder mystery, some impeccably exciting action sequences, and a sprinkling of fraught queer romance! Exactly my kind of genre-soup.
Anna Stephens
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
A brilliantly inventive world and an absorbing cast of characters make this a debut that packs a punch. Though I'm not entirely sure I've forgiven the author yet...
Ghadid is a city above the endless sands of the desert, connected by a series of pumps to an aquifer filled once per year by the annual storms. This makes for a VERY intriguing society and barter/magic/economical system whereby those who plan poorly run out of tokens to access water before the end of season and, basically, die. To co
This was a solid adult fantasy novel, featuring ace protagonist, set in a desert fantasy type of world. The book is a murder mystery story.
Amin El Gamal has done a great job narrating this audiobook.
I’m rating it three stars because the book was fine but it didn’t gripped me. However I do think I’ll be listening to book2 in the series because it’s narrated by my favorite narrator Suehyla El-Attar.
Ash | 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. Do
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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 (3 books)
  • The Impossible Contract (The Chronicles of Ghadid #2)
  • The Unconquered City (Chronicles of Ghadid, #3)

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“Tell him.
"I'm not--"
But Yufit stepped close and cut him off with a kiss.”
“Congratulations, Amastan," said a voice from the darkness. "You've passed. Now stop being ridiculous and come down from there.” 1 likes
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