I would have received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review if I’d been better at downloading things. As it is, I got it from my library.

I’ll have to admit, the description of “Assassin’s Creed meets Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” is definitely enough to pique my interest. Not two stories I would have put together on my own–but Martineau makes it work fantastically. (No pun intended.) We have an exiled magic-creatures-wielder and an assassin-for-hire going toe to toe, with each of them trying to save themselves.

Leena is our beasts expert (a Charmer), with a sassy tongue and a taste for the dramatic. Noc is our assassin, hired to kill Leena but selfish enough to want to cure his own curse before figuring out what to do about the Charmer. And if Leena likes a flair of drama, Noc has it again tenfold. So these two move forward, Leena trying to save her life by trading Noc and his men some magical beasts, and Noc trying to fix his own problems before he kills Leena–in more ways than one.

Bit of a slow start, but once this got rolling I was absolutely sucked into it. Leena has enough sass for the next three people in line, and neither she nor I quite knew what to do with Noc and his people at first. I’ll admit, we took a path with them I didn’t expect. Leena’s backstory was predictable, and the whole plot between Noc and Leena was exactly what you’d think it would be. But as any of these stories really need to be, I was connected enough to the characters themselves and how they were going to get from point A to point B.

And of course, I get to the end… and it’s only book one.

I’ve tried so hard to avoid book ones. I have 857 books on my TBD right now, and that’s probably not a complete list. Now I have to add two more.

And as is so often the case with book ones I pick up through NetGalley, book two isn’t due out until early next year, and book three late next year.

So it looks like I’m putting two more books on the list. Because if there’s more to these two’s story, I want to be there to see it. (And a post note as I went to publish this: it’s a six-book series. I am so doomed.)

Rating: **** – Recommended


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