Assassin's Gambit (Hearts and Thrones #1)
by Amy Raby
Paperback, 400 pages
Published: April 2nd 2013 by Signet
ISBN: 0451417828 (ISBN13: 9780451417824)
ISBN: 0451417828 (ISBN13: 9780451417824)
*Received Arc from pub. for review*
Vitala Salonius, champion of the warlike game of Caturanga, is as deadly as she is beautiful. She’s a trained assassin for the resistance, and her true play is for ultimate power. Using her charm and wit, she plans to seduce her way into the emperor’s bed and deal him one final, fatal blow, sparking a battle of succession that could change the face of the empire.
As the ruler of a country on the brink of war and the son of a deposed emperor, Lucien must constantly be wary of an attempt on his life. But he’s drawn to the stunning Caturanga player visiting the palace. Vitala may be able to distract him from his woes for a while—and fulfill other needs, as well.
Lucien’s quick mind and considerable skills awaken unexpected desires in Vitala, weakening her resolve to finish her mission. An assassin cannot fall for her prey, but Vitala’s gut is telling her to protect this sexy, sensitive man. Now she must decide where her heart and loyalties lie and navigate the dangerous war of politics before her gambit causes her to lose both Lucien and her heart for good.
Hearts and Thrones Series
Assassin's Gambit #1
Spy's Honor #2 Expected publication: October 1st 2013
Debut Author, Amy Raby has won me over in this action infused, romantic, fantasy read. With a strong female protagonist, a fantastic story, and witty enthralling characters that had depth.
I must admit, what first drew my attention of this book was that gorgeous cover. The dress, the dagger, the castle in the background, the moon and I mean come on that cover model is gorgeous. So yes, without even reading the synopsis, I already was super excited to read this book, then after reading the synopsis, this book had me 110%.
Vitala, is an assassin. She has trained her whole life in The Circle, a well hidden, magically infused group of mercenaries(although they are not paid) who are fighting against the wrongs of kingdoms led by rulers. These rulers are hurting the people of the kingdom, and the only way the Circle can wrong their right is to kill the leaders. Lucien, is the Emporer of one of these Kingdoms, who turns out to be Vitala's next target, her most important target that she has trained her whole life to take down.
Vitala's training started at an early age, learning how to become a killer, among killer's. She is strong, smart, and has a way about her that just spells --FIERCE! She has an undeniable death blow that comes in the form of shards, that can be willed from her as to strike down her opponent. As she sets up how she will get into Lucien's world and befriend him, she uses her training of the Caratuga game(a chess like game) to befriend Lucien. He of course is impressed that he has found a worthy opponent in the game. He warms up to her, and gifts her with her very own set of the game. She of course, is using any, and every angle to learn how she will kill, Lucien. She even beds him, and is itching for the kill, when it seems that all hell let's loose and what was once her trying to kill Lucien, turns out their are others who are after his head, and she's not to happy about it.
See, she seems to have fallen for the emporer and his charming, likable ways. As she rescues him, and journey's with him, they are slowly falling in love with each other, and she learns that Lucien may not be as evil, as the Circle first thought. She learns that although he is the Emporer their are others who enforce their own rule when it comes to enforcing the counties of the kingdom, and those men are the truly bad. Much of what Vitala learns about Lucien comes from his trusted men. Men who will stand behind their leader, as they call him a fair, and a true hands-on leader who would fight right along his own men. Lucien is not a typical leader, and is not like his Father or Grandfather. He actually cares about his men, and does seem to care about the people of the Kingdom, although he knows nothing can be changed overnight, he takes all the right steps into righting the wrong of those who are after him, and whom have wronged or deceived him. Lucien and Vitala's love for each other grows throughout this book, and it makes for a great romance as these two stand side by side, ready for battle.
Without spoiling the rest, I will tell you why I LOVED this book! First we get one strong, kick butt heroine, plus she knows how to wear a dress and look fierce! She actually reminds me of an older, version of Megan Fox. Anyway, back to why I heart this so much. Well, it has a great story line, adventure, romance, and it has some great messages behind the story. I found The Assassin's Gambit to truly be captivating, and fans of fantasy/adventure stories will enjoy this book. I also found the fantasy aspects to not be overwhelming and can be easily followed.
If you like a great plot, fleshed out well, with a captivating storyline and characters, with depth and some romantic heat. You will enjoy this story. Fans of Young Adult reads like Throne Of Glass by Sarah J Mass, and Touch Of Power by Maria Snyder will enjoy this step up into an Adult Fantasy read. I'm looking forward to continuing on with the second book in this series, Spy's Honor.
Fantastic Fantasy Roses
"It's not really that," she said. "It's that I don't belong here-or anywhere. In Riorca, people hate my Kjallan half; in Kjall, they hate my Riorcan half. I had a home in the Circle, where there were others like me, but now I don't even have that.
I have nothing, Lucien. I have nobody."
"I've been called many things, Vitala, but never have I been called a nobody."
"I don't mean you. I mean there's no group where I belong."
"We'll make our own group. You belong with me." He'd never spoken words more true. She did belong with him. For all the women he'd been with, he'd never found a more perfect companion for himself than Vitala.
"We're neither of us flawless. You accept my broken parts, and I'll accept yours."