Her name was Adelei.
She was a master in her field, one of the feared Order of Amaska. Those who were a danger to the Little Dozen Kingdoms wound up dead by her hand. The Order sends her deep into the Kingdom of Alexander, away from her home in Sadai, and into the hands of the Order’s enemy.
The job is nothing short of a suicide mission, one serving no king, no god, and certainly not Justice. With no holy order to protect her, she tumbles dagger-first into the Boahim Senate’s political schemes and finds that magic is very much alive and well in the Little Dozen Kingdoms.
While fighting to unravel the betrayal surrounding the royal family of Alexander, she finds her entire past is a lie, right down to those she called family. They say the truth depends on which side of the sword one stands, but they never said what to do when all the swords are pointing at you.
The first volume of Oak's Boahim series, a large-scale saga of fathers, daughters, and sisters in the well-worn fraying-kingdom mode of epic fantasy, strains the limits of suspended disbelief. Adelei is the daughter of King Leon of Alexander, who thrust her into the assassin cult of Amaska in the hope that they would loyally protect her from the king's enemies. The cult provides a surrogate father who trains her into an accomplished killer. Adelei is hired by Leon to protect her whiny sister, Margaret, and finds herself hip-deep in palace intrigue on the eve of Margaret's arranged wedding to dastardly Prince Gamun, who's eyeing Leon's throne. Loaded with flashbacks and adolescent dialogue, this complicated plot lumbers along, hamstrung by unconvincing characterizations. In an extended denouement following a predictable revelation, Adelei undertakes to save the kingdom, protect Margaret, and discover what truth, loyalty, duty, and family really mean a tall order for any heroine, and especially for one hampered by clumsy writing. (BookLife)
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I thought I had "outgrown" fantasy novels quite a while ago, but Amaskan's Blood kept me intrigued, entertained, and engaged. The world and character building are well done, and the writing is exceptional. I'm looking forward to reading future works by Raven Oak!