Thief’s Cunning by Sarah Ahiers

Family before family

I finally read the highly anticipated sequel to the epic Assassin’s Heart and oh my what a read!!!

We are back with our protagonist Allegra who has always had to look over her shoulder. As the niece of the infamous assassin Lea Saldana, Allegra is used to hiding from people who want her dead. Once the strongest clipper family in the Kingdom of Lovero, the Saldanas are now the most hunted. Their number one enemy is the Da Vias, whose thirst for retaliation is almost two decades in the making. But lately Allegra’s getting fed up with everything being kept from her—including her parents’ identity. When she finally learns the truth about her family, her world is turned upside down. Feeling betrayed by the people she trusted the most, Allegra turns to Nev, a Traveler boy whose presence makes her feel alive but getting caught up in his world has consequences Allegra never saw coming.

he mythology and the different gods we learn about in this book are so interesting. These gods are frightening, powerful, and amazing. I honestly would love more books just to meet more gods and learn more about them

Although it’s been about a year since I read the first book, I found I was able to really get into this book and follow on with the story without any difficulty. The previous story and characters really came to life. I love the mythology that flows through this book, it so interesting. I would have loved to read more about the gods and myth in these books so I hope there is a spin off or a prequel to this series.

This story however is quite different to the first one but I liked both books for different reasons. The first I loved for the action, mystery, intrigue, mythology and magic. This one, yes I loved for those reasons however the journey to learn the truth of Allegra’s true identity was really captivating. It was a very easy and fast paced read and action in every chapter – always something happening!! I have to say, there were times I got frustrated with Allegra as she had a tendency to jump to conclusions too quickly and half the time she was wrong but I guess that’s what furthered the plot and held my attention to then very end.. and yes.. that was an epic ending.

This is highly recommended to those who enjoy YA fantasy fiction.

Special thanks to Harlequin Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.


Mask of Shadows by Linsey Miller

Witty dialogue, loveable main character, and a killer plot!

Sal wants revenge for the death and destruction of their village and family, and the only way to do this is to infiltrate the Queen’s court by becoming Opal, a deadly assassin of the Queen’s The Left Hand (assassin group). To become Opal, Sal must go against other deadly killers to win the contest of assassins. I loved the smart, witty dialogue and layers to the main character’s personality. Overall I loved the story, the plot may seem complex but the characters are amazing, there’s depth, layers to the characters which I absolutely love. It’s been a while since I have really enjoyed a humorous, loveable and witty protagonist like Sal who has heart, the smarts and guts.

– NJ



Sallot Leon is a thief, and a good one at that. But gender fluid Sal wants nothing more than to escape the drudgery of life as a highway robber and get closer to the upper-class and the nobles who destroyed their home.

When Sal Leon steals a poster announcing open auditions for the Left Hand, a powerful collection of the Queen’s personal assassins named for the rings she wears — Ruby, Emerald, Amethyst, and Opal — their world changes. They know it’s a chance for a new life.

Except the audition is a fight to the death filled with clever circus acrobats, lethal apothecaries, and vicious ex-soldiers. A childhood as a common criminal hardly prepared Sal for the trials. But Sal must survive to put their real reason for auditioning into play: revenge.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

“Family before family”

An epic fantasy fiction book rating 4.5-5 stars!!

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family until she finds her family murdered and her home up in flames. Lea Saldana makes it her mission to avenge her family’s death – even if it means questioning her alliances.

I rated this 4.5 stars – Deadly assassins in a creative, magical world.
I really enjoyed the world building in Assassin’s Heart. You  just can’t go wrong with assassins, masks, ghosts and gods. Throw in vengeance and a pinch of love and you’ve got a sweet tale exalting your thirst for a great read. When I first picked up this book, I thought it was going to be just another YA Romeo and Juliet story but with assassins. How wrong was I!!! it was a tale of adventure, family, choices and devotion. I might be wrong but it has an “Underworld” vibe to it. Recommended to fantasy fiction fans – such an interesting read!!

I rated this book 5 stars! I loved this book! the mystery – the intrigue.. an amazing, well written book that captivated me from page 1!!! A story of how powerful assassin families are filtered by tier and tensions rise of power and position and one Lea Saldana harbors a deep, dark secret that just may cost her, her family and possibly her life. I was most impressed with the world building of Lovero and how well explained and intriguing the characters’ beliefs were. I also liked how well defined the characters were by their masks. A plot full of twists, mystery and adventure!!! I am really looking forward to the sequel now!!

Many thanks to Harlequin Publishers for sending us an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for our honest review