S.D. Tower

Books: Fantasy

The Assassins of Tamurin (2003)

The Assassins of Tamurin (2003)

The Assassins of Tamurin

This book is a rare find in fantasy--a stand alone book. No trilogy, no books from the same world or with the same characters, just a single story within it's covers. I have to say it's really quite a joy to come across a book like this, and a sheer delight when the book is good, as The Assassins of Tamurin is.

Written as a memoir, Lale, an orphan cast out from her village, goes onto a life she hardly could have imagined at 11 when the story begins.

The story is good, and what I most recommend about the book. (That and the fact that it's a single book, which I really liked.) I thought the idea of sharing the character's education was a good way to learn about the realm and the world, although the scenes where the children recite history perfectly I found a tad bit unrealistic.

One or two small points bothered me. I thought that the reaction of the character when she had to take another life was a bit glossed over. Could the woman the character is supposed to be have killed another human with no regret? I find it unlikely, but as this was not supposed to be our world, I was willing to suspend belief and assume that is the way things were in this world. one or two other things bothered me, but they weren't things that bothered me as I was reading, but things that bothered me as I stop and think about the book for a bit.

Oddly enough, what first drew me to the book was the cover, but in retrospect, I find the cover mildly annoying. Call me weird, but I prefer it when books depict a scene from the beginning of the book. Then it doesn't feel like they've given anything away. I also thought it strange that although the book is called The Assassins of Tamurin, the story plays coy and waits for more than 100 pages to introduce the idea that the main character will be an assassin. Even though the fact that the book is written in first person as a retrospective. No offense, but I'm hardly going to be surprised when the main character of a book with the word assassins in the title, turns out to be a spy.

I realize that in the grand scheme of things it's only a small point, but if the fact that the character becomes an assassin is supposed to be a surprise, why give it away in the title? Then again, I prefer to know as little as possible about a story before I start reading a book, so it may just be me.

Okay, so now I read back over what I've written, everything sounds rather negative, but I quite enjoyed the book, and do recommend it. Strong female characters, espionage, and politics--always a good mix for me. Yes, there were flaws, but not flaws that kept me from liking the book immensely.

Rating: 7/10