Synopsis from Goodreads:Imperial law enforcer Amaranthe Lokdon is good at her job: she can deter thieves and pacify thugs, if not with a blade, then by toppling an eight-foot pile of coffee canisters onto their heads. But when ravaged bodies show up on the waterfront, an arson covers up human sacrifices, and a powerful business coalition plots to kill the emperor, she feels a tad overwhelmed.
Worse, Sicarius, the empire’s most notorious assassin is in town. He’s tied in with the chaos somehow, but Amaranthe would be a fool to cross his path. Unfortunately, her superiors order her to hunt him down. Either they have an unprecedented belief in her skills… or someone wants her dead.
Review: In terms of quality books, this one has it all. I was actually impressed by this book in a lot of ways, first Amaranthe is an exciting person, not to mention incredibly smart and she’s not prone to silly weaknesses. She discovers a problem with her government, and seeks to rectify it. That’s all there is to it. Whether she ends up dead while doing it, is another matter altogether and a risk she’s willing to take.
The supporting characters Sicarius, Maldynado, Akstyr and Books all make for an interesting troupe of people. The only part of the book I was a little upset with was when Amaranthe was trying to build her team and she literally found everyone good for the job right off the bat. It was an unrealistic plot turn and I would have liked to see one of them have a problem with working with the others.
Otherwise, the whole book is a lot about teamwork, even if you’re in a situation that you don’t want to be in. They’re all semi okay with being criminals and potentially dying for the cause but not one of them is willing to give up. They all play their parts. I suppose it’s because Amaranthe happens to have a skilled and legendary assassin on her side, but mostly it’s her independence and her hardness.
That was one thing about this book that you might like if you’re sick and tired of all the mush. This book has no love story. You sometimes think that Amaranthe and Sicarius might warm up to each other, but it never happens, every opportunity for it, he either takes off or someone gets hurt. Even though I felt the obvious chemistry between them, neither of them seems flustered by the other, or remotely attracted, even when forced into close quarters with each other.
Lastly, I need to talk about the vocabulary. Buroker has a very wide vocabulary and she uses words I’ve never heard of before, like satrapy. Her technical jargon about the government also gives it that professional tone, and that helps move the plot along. I thoroughly enjoyed picking out words from the books to feature in my weekly meme!
Overall this book is a 5 out of 5, and you should go pick it up and read it!