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

The Perfect Assassin

(The Chronicles of Ghadid #1)

4.37  ·  Rating details ·  97 ratings  ·  75 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
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Perfect Assassin, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Perfect Assassin

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.37  · 
Rating details
 ·  97 ratings  ·  75 reviews

Sort order
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
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
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
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 ⚓
Jan 02, 2019 marked it as anticipated-2019
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
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
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
Jun 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beta read this and it is AMAZING!!!!!!
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
“An assassin who enjoyed killing shouldn’t be an assassin.”

On my blog.

Actual rating 4.5

Rep: gay ace mc, lesbian side characters

Galley provided by publisher

I’m gonna start this review by saying this: if you haven’t already marked this book as to read, do it now. Go on. Do it.

OK. Good.

The Perfect Assassin is a fantasy novel, set in a city raised up above the sands on platforms, where water is an important commodity. This city is ruled by the Circle, the council of the leaders (drum chiefs) o
Julia Phillips
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A vivid, immersive, wildly imaginative story about duty, society, and betrayal.
Full disclosure: K.A. Doore and I share an agent, which is part of how I got hold of an ARC of this book. But that doesn't alter the fact that this book is a charming and well-balanced delight.

I love stories about assassins, because they're so competent and badass and full of the tough grey questions of society, as you start getting into matters of murder and justice. But at the same time, I am burned the hell out on fantasies about assassins, because it's always just some hooded and jaded smart
Judy Lesley
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I liked the world building in this story more than the story building. I do not usually read young adult novels and this one kept feeling like it would be aimed more toward that reading group even though I could not find anything to indicate that it falls within the YA genre. So I really liked the imagery of cities built on high stilts to protect the inhabitants from the scary things living in the sands below. That tension of having chase scenes moving across cities with the possibility of sudde ...more
Feb 19, 2019 rated it liked it
The pieces are there for a solid novel, yet they may not be connected in the best way. The Perfect Assassin in a nutshell: great world and character development, but several holes in the plot. Yet, I’m definitely willing to give the second book a try.

3.5 stars

For my full review:

For all my reviews:
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
A day might come when it's not worth mentioning that a book is full of people who aren't white and features characters who aren't straight, but that day isn't here yet, so I'm still going to say that it was wonderful to dive into a fully formed, fantastic world without a white face in sight. The characters are morally grey and fully developed, and the story builds at a gradual-yet-inexorable pace. Yes, the big twist could been seen coming from hundreds of miles away, but it doesn't really matter ...more
« previous 1 3 4 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An Illusion of Thieves (Chimera, #1)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Ninth House, #1)
  • Tarnished Are the Stars
  • The Women's War (Women's War, #1)
  • When We Were Magic
  • Upon a Burning Throne (Burnt Empire Saga, #1)
  • Lady Hotspur
  • The Affair of the Mysterious Letter
  • Reverie
  • Silver in the Wood
  • Shatter the Sky (Shatter the Sky, #1)
  • Irenicon (The Wave Trilogy, #1)
  • Armistice (The Amberlough Dossier, #2)
  • The Hanged Man (The Tarot Sequence, #2)
  • Stormsong (The Kingston Cycle, #2)
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January
  • The Deep
  • Unconquerable Sun (The Sun Chronicles #1)
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)