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Genre: Steampunk, adventure

Stars: 4

Links: Amazon UK and Amazon.com

The Blurb:

Being Damsport’s most elegant assassin is hard work. There’s tailoring to consider, devilish poisons to concoct, secret identities to maintain… But most importantly, Longinus has to keep his fear of blood hidden or his reputation will be ruined. So, when a scrawny urchin girl threatens to expose his phobia unless he teaches her swordsmanship, he has no choice but to comply.

It doesn’t take long for Rory to realise that her new trainer has more eccentricities than she has fleas. But she’ll put up with anything, no matter how frustrating, to become a swordswoman like her childhood hero.

What she’s not prepared for is a copycat assassin who seeks to replace Longinus, and who hires Rory’s old partner in crime to do away with her, as well. Rory and Longinus must set their differences aside and try to work together if they’re to stop the copycat. But darker forces than they realise are at play, and with time running out, the unlikely duo find themselves the last line of defence against a powerful enemy who seeks to bring Damsport to its knees.

My Review:

Action aplenty in this part fantasy, part action thriller, part coming-of-age story.

Longinus, Damsport’s most feared assassin, teams up with the feisty urchin, Rory, under the dual duress of having his identity stolen and being blackmailed into teaching the (to him) incredibly annoying Rory how to sword-fight. She dreams of becoming a warrior, he dreams of elegant poisons, and they both need to work together to unmask the culprit standing in their way.

While action-packed, the pace is not dizziness-inspiring fast, the plot is full of twists and turns, and the characters are so wonderfully charming, you want to invite them all over for a (post-bath) meal. A book about assassins that leaves you feeling hopeful and happy – who would have thought it possible?

*I received a free copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.