Krystle's Reviews > Knight Assassin

Knight Assassin by Rima Jean
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really liked it

3.5/3.75 stars.

I know everyone's probably sick of these comparisons as you've all read them before but it's totally true! For those of you who've read Grave Mercy and Throne of Glass, this will most definitely appeal to you. Why? There's your fun, strong female main character, a romance that doesn't make you want to rip yourself to pieces, and that fun tease of danger, suspense, thrill, and guilty satisfaction.

Knight Assassin had some fabulous things. You may cry all you want about books released these days, but this is definitely a diverse book. When have you seen a fantasy (or is this an urban fantasy?) set in medieval times that, shockingly, does not take place in Europe? WHEN? This book takes place in Syria! So awesome! We get some delicious new settings of desserts, camps, moving tribes to lush towns, palaces. Yum! I for one gobbled it all up. I get sick of reading of all the glamour and vanity of the medieval knights and lords and courts through a rosy romantic lens. Yay for a change!

Also, the main character is a PoC! Not only that but she is a Muslim - or a Saracen as it's referred to in the book. I mean, where have you seen this and so positively portrayed? Not only her but the entire assassin colony, her people, and other people of various backgrounds are brought into splendid light. Sure there is mention of religion here and there but it's so brief and few that for those of you religion-shy people don't have to worry at all.

Zayn is a commendable main character. Although she experiences horrible moments in her life, this book does not use it as an excuse to dwell in the gloomy. No, Zayn takes it as fire to burn her into picking herself up and setting some goals. Yet, this isn't swept under wrong as if this is merely a slap on the wrist. Her feelings of worthlessness, inferiority, and outrage are aspects of her personality that made her bloom. She was cautious, hurt, and forced her feelings behind a wall of steel. It's so realistic and her development over the course of the novel was a great one to read.

But don't think she is gonna be one of those cowering, sissy assassins that talk big but don't put up. Oh, no. She'll gut you faster than you can blink. When Zayn says she's gonna get someone, you better watch out. She actually kills people and does some fun assassin tricks. While she may have her special powers, this does not overshadow or take over the narrative and it only gives her a slight advantage in places. It's uncontrollable and can't truly be exploited to the utmost that other novels have done.

I really enjoyed the positive female to female interactions here. It's so refreshing not to see woman on woman hate. Zayn actually develops a true friendship and confides her fears, secrets, and joy like a real person does and doesn't use this friend when she finds it convenient.

The story is pretty linear so don't expect too many plot twists you'd be surprised by and the writing is competent but it might not be as flashy as others. It doesn't have those long descriptive and showy passages but that's all right. Her style fit perfectly with this story. Also, while I'm quite pleased the romance doesn't overtake the plot, I thought the ending was a bit too simple and easy a solution for the current dilemmas facing them. But, then again, it's a happy one and for Zayn, she deserved one so I don't know what to say about that either.

Definitely recommended if you want to try something a bit different.
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Reading Progress

March 27, 2014 – Started Reading
March 27, 2014 – Shelved
March 27, 2014 –
page 38
12.67% "This is quite different. A Muslim main character in a medieval historical fantasy setting. It's starting to pick a bit."
April 5, 2014 –
page 138
46.0% "Wow, cheetahs as pets?! I could totally do some damage with those babies!"
April 9, 2014 –
page 267
89.0% "There's 283 pages in my e-book. Haha. Wow, there is some stuff going on, man!"
April 9, 2014 – Finished Reading

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