In Riaz, the profession of assassin is an honored one.
Hired throughout the other eight realms, their use of powerful magic to complete assignments makes them a valuable commodity.
When a regional trade negotiation is scheduled in their capital city of Lymos, the demand for the skills of the assassins is sure to change the dynamic of the meetings.
Caught in the maelstrom of political intrigue is young Kero, the ward of the assassin lord.
He’s joined by Darlee, a girl from Sechland with her own magical powers, and Prince Brumaine of Morica, as each of them struggle to navigate the affair in their own way.
Will old animosities prevail? Or can new alliances alter the path toward all-out war?
About the Book
Assassins of Riaz
by Michael Drakich
October 24, 2018
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The Assassins of Riaz is a rather good standalone fantasy told in third person. Meaty, but not so packed with lore as to bore folks who don’t want it. Plenty of fodder for future installments, but no cliffhangers.
One of the things I liked about the story is that it feels bigger than it is. Feels like part of a greater story, even though it wraps up nicely in one volume. I got the impression of a greater world, an important aspect in any epic fantasy. If the author ever decides to tell more stories in the world, he has a great foundation. In this one, he gives just enough detail, lore, and culture to bring the world to life, but not enough to distract or devolve into something tedious for the intermittent fantasy reader.
Kero, Darlee, and Brumaine, as the main characters, are well-developed and likeable, each on a path of growth and coming of age. None of them are too perfect or powerful, though there are intriguing glimmers of such in their future. As for the side characters, I enjoyed them just as much. They are just as well-developed as the mains, and some, like Savan, seem to be almost as prominent. I thought Savan was one until later in the book when I realized none of the chapters took his perspective.
On that note, I did find some trouble in keeping up with who was whom in some of the scenes. Part of this was that the third person point of view sometimes forgot whose perspective was being used for a particular scene or chapter. Another thing that I’d liked to have seen was a more solid handle on dialog punctuation. For the most part, it was fine, but speeches that spanned paragraph breaks weren’t punctuated correctly. It’s not a very obvious grammar rule until it isn’t applied correctly, and then it makes it difficult to keep track of who’s talking.
Overall, I really enjoyed Assassins of Riaz. I’d recommend it to folks who dig epic fantasy, but not the typical commitment the multi-book epic series demand.
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