I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and a little Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where magic is possible. The main character is young Sallot Leon.
Leon is a thief. S/he (Leon is a bit gender fluid) wants to get away from robbing the nobles. From one young woman victim, who Leon is quite taken with, she finds a notice of an upcoming audition to become a new member of the Queen’s Left Hand – the Queen’s personal assassins.
Leon sees the audition as a way out. This is not an easy competition. Leon is the last of 23 to be accepted. Not only must the competitors prove their abilities, but assassination of fellow competitors is not only allowed, but encouraged. Leon must use skills learned fighting on the streets to survive. As the audition progresses, a tutor is assigned to Leon to help with reading and language skills. The tutor turns out to be the young robbery victim and before long feelings develop between the two.
I thoroughly enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 352 young adult fantasy. I liked the characters that were developed in this novel and the plot. It is never clear what gender Leon is, so this should be considered a LBGT novel. This is a miner point and doesn’t really impact the story much. I liked that it was a world of magic, but the magic is now just part of their history. The cover art is OK, but something relating to a scene in the novel would be better in my opinion. I think that Ms. Miller did an excellent job on her first novel and I look forward to reading the second book planned for this duology. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.
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