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The Assassin’s Tale (Tales of the Frostborn short story)

She graduated in from The University of St. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well. During the summer of , she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, where she enjoyed sixty-degree summer days.

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Having been born and raised in Texas, this was something of a big deal. She was also a recipient of the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund. Unlike many authors, Cassandra does not have a resume of peculiar careers. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, painting, crocheting, cooking, and quilting, because she is secretly an old lady.

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She watches television. See All Customer Reviews.

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Shop Teen Books. It shows us an amazing world filled with detail and depth, but for a portion of it, just a touch slow. The writing, such beautiful writing, overshadows this, as does the ending. Tower of the Arkein , the next book in the series, is where the story truly begins to unfold, and where Chase Blackwood shines as an author. It is fast paced, full of action, adventure, and love. A very strong entry in the fantasy genre, and if the next book is equally as good, expect it to make quite a splash. You can buy on Amazon now.

However, there's also something to be said for books that are just effortless to read, and Sprunk's Shadow Saga is definitely that. Caim lives in Othir: a crime-ridden, corrupt holy city that perfectly suits his profession. Augmented by dark magic and a ghostly familiar, he becomes involved in a plot far bigger than himself. It's not a complex plot, nor is it a particularly original one. However, Sprunk's simple execution brings new twists to familiar tropes and creates a series that's an absolute joy to read.

Part of that is due to the excellent pacing of the books, with short chapters that end with you turning the page to the next every time.

Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb: Deeply Flawed Characters on an Impossible Quest

You get the impression that everything in this novel is carefully and conservatively crafted. There isn't unnecessary exposition, yet the reader still gets a good sense of the world. Action scenes are perfectly placed to keep interest, while good character building provides plenty of entertainment in the downtimes. Though there's plenty to love about the series, it's this simplicity that makes it so exceptional. Sprunk hasn't fallen into the trap of telling rather than showing.

Instead, he's a perfect example that, with finesse, thousands of pages aren't required for a great fantasy novel. Though Graceling is marketed as YA , it leans further towards adult than others. The book accurately explores both teenage life and the moral struggle of a born killer. Katsa develops a magically enhanced ability to kill, her first victim slain in an accident at the age of eight.

The story follows her in Cashore's beautifully crafted world as she fights not just her King's enemies but her own desire to do the right thing. As with many YA books, there is an element of romance, but it plays out in a more realistic and non-intrusive way. This creates an excellent addition to the fantasy assassin genre that's suitable for a range of ages. Michael J. Sullivan's Ryria series is one of the highest rated in fantasy, and for good reason. His books have sold over one million copies in English and thousands more across their fourteen languages.

There's plenty to love here for fans of Tolkien, and just as much for those who aren't. Sullivan's world is set a thousand years after the fall of an empire, with magic all but gone and clashes between religion, race, and philosophies. However, the true marvel is Sullivan's incredible characterization. Riyria tells the story of the warrior Hadrian and assassin Royce, their adventures together and how they came to meet. Over the course of the six book series, Hadrian and Royce become one of the most iconic pairs in fantasy, with a depth and growth rarely seen in any genre.

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Together, the two infiltrate fortresses, carry out assassinations, and flee with an entire kingdom at their back. It's an astounding series made even better by its humble roots in self-publishing. David Gemmell's Drenai Saga burst onto the heroic fantasy scene in and bears no relation to the Draenei from World of Warcraft.

His lasting impact on the fantasy world led to the post-humorous creation of the David Gemmell Awards for Fantasy, with awards going to some of the authors on this list. It's no surprise then, that Gemmell's' legacy includes some of the best assassin fantasy around. Eleven years after the Drenai Saga's first book, the author wrote Waylander , marking the third in the series but first chronologically.

Like Gemmell's previous books, Waylander is an exploration of what makes a hero and if there can be true redemption. As you can imagine, there's plenty of evil to go around, and plenty of gray areas too. The title of the book is synonymous with its main character, a famous assassin who is betrayed after a particularly notorious contract. Waylander is in many ways an anti-hero, but that doesn't stop him from feeling real.

Gemmell's characterization carries the story, both through the protagonist and the rich supporting cast. It's a grimdark novel once more, but one that pioneered the genre rather than emulating it. It's filled with fast pacing, concise writing, and vivid imagery. Though they hinge on existing series, the Waylander books are accessible and brilliant enough to enjoy standalone.

It succeeded almost unheard of hype, with trailers, apps, and 'best-seller' labels right off the bat. Admittedly, the quality tails off by the end of the series, but it's easy to see why it garnered so much interest. Hoffman writes a fourteen-year-old character who grows up in order of monks that worship pain. Understandably, this can warp a boy, and Cale is cold, vicious, and complex. Despite this, he still has a sense of justice, and it's this that leads to the assassination of the Lord Redeemer Picarbo and a subsequent escape from the twisted monastery.

Despite some strange contradictions along the way, the characterization and pacing of the novels make it just good enough to deserve a place on the list. It's a page turner, toeing the line between fantasy and horror, with many diverse characters. Some readers will hate it, and others will love it, but it's definitely a breath of fresh air.

Robin LaFever's Grave Mercy drags you into the trilogy with a great hook and only gets better from there.

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It's set in an alternate 14th century Brittany, where fourteen-year-old Ismae escapes an abusive arranged marriage to a convent, where her unique abilities make her the perfect assassin protg. Though she takes to the profession as a better alternative, there's still plenty of conflict here. Part of the story is Ishmae's coming of age, from delicate child to a questioner of the convent's morals.

There's a lot of depth to be found in the character, but the rest of the series presents the viewpoint of refreshing new characters. It's in these latter books that LaFevers really begins to find her strength. The second book details the story of Sybella, who trained at the same convent as Ishmae.

However, where Ishmae is hesitant and inexperienced, Sybella is trained and deadly.

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LaFevers manages to create a harrowing, emotional story whilst still developing the other characters in the story. The third book follows in a similar vein, with the viewpoint of another previously introduced character. In all, LaFever's series is a great combination of history, subverted fantasy tropes, and YA It has romance, vengeance, and strong female characters. The changing perspectives mean that even if one protagonist isn't to your fancy, there's another to try out.