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Thursday, March 13, 2014

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ARC Review: Knight Assassin by Rima Jean

Knight Assassin

Knight Assassin
Author: Rima Jean
Publication Date: March 4, 2013
Publisher: EntangledTeen

Seventeen-year-old Zayn has special powers she cannot control—powers that others fear and covet. Powers that cause the Templar Knights to burn Zayn’s mother at the stake for witchcraft. When a mysterious stranger tempts Zayn to become the first female member of the heretical Assassins, the chance to seek her revenge lures her in. She trains to harness her supernatural strength and agility, and then enters the King of Jerusalem's court in disguise with the assignment to assassinate Guy de Molay, her mother’s condemner. But once there, she discovers Earic Goodwin, the childhood friend who still holds her heart, among the knights—and his ocean-blue eyes don’t miss a thing. Will vengeance be worth the life of the one love she has left?
Advanced copy provided by EntangledTeen for review – thanks!

Am I alone to say that this sort of felt like history + Downton Abbey + a little Arabian mythology? Perhaps it's the royal technicalities that make me think of Downton Abbey with its lords and ladies, despite the fact the book seems to be set around the Crusades and everyone seemed to be fighting over the Holy Land.

I was actually a bit reluctant to accept Knight Assassin for review for a few reasons:
  1. It didn't sound very appealing – A girl's mother gets murdered and she wants revenge. Then she meets a guy from her past who actually ends up being her enemy. Nope... not really for me, though the last part is semi-intriguing.
  2. I don't know that much about the Knights Templar. I don't even remember that one book I read and it was nominated for a state award once.
  3. I had a pretty big review pile already
However, as I got started, I realized I was underestimating, and I actually enjoyed it – in most cases. But what really started to get the ball rolling?

Zayn's mother gets accused of witchcraft and burned to death.

I know it sounds really mean and really odd of me that it would catch my attention. But think about it. If that happened to me (or any of us really), I would be looking for revenge as well – after I get over my initial shock, which could last for who knows how long.

Zayn – gah, I keep putting an e at the end. One Direction, this is not the time to slip into a review – is probably by far one of the strongest heroines I've read about. She goes through so many trials throughout the book – from her mother's murder to rape to finding out what she really is – and hasn't broken down for most of the book. Definitely shorter than me, but Zayn seems to be pretty impulsive for a good half of the book.

For the first half, there's a lot of flashbacks throughout the beginning to Zayn's childhood, in which I sort of found pointless. I'm not exactly sure what the connection really is, aside from how she meets Guy de Molay and Earic Goodwin. It's not until the second half where the interesting stuff happens and there's not as many flashbacks, but the first half by all means isn't boring at all. I find that Zayn has a lot of backstory, which frankly makes her less of a pancake (flat characters).

The ending though, felt like a stand alone, but it didn't feel like a stand alone. I'm surprised this isn't a series to be honest. However, if you're the type who enjoys reading a bit of history and a little mythology, perhaps you should consider Knight Assassin. It's a nice change from other genres (particularly aliens and angels at the moment) as there aren't many books set in the late 1100s.

Random Thought:
I will never recover my male ego, so long as Zayn is around to humble me.
Perhaps where there's a Carter, Jace, Daemon or a Herondale, there needs to be a Zayn. She might be able to keep their ego in check... well, particularly the third one. ;)

4.5 Owls

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Sophia

Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts. She also doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). She's a first year Communications major from the St. Louis area, though she sometimes wish she wasn't. Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.

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All reviewed books posted on Bookwyrming Thoughts are purchased/gifted, loaned or provided by the author/publisher for free in exchange for a honest review. There is no compensation in any way or form aside from a complimentary copy of the book, and it does not influence the review.