Rating: 4.5 🌈
Tavia Lark’s latest fantasy romance, Prince and Assassin, lives up to its exciting description and surpasses it.
The first in Lark’s Perilous Courts trilogy, Prince and Assassin is the perilous romance between Prince Julien and the assassin sent to kill him, Whisper.
I love a marvelously told high fantasy tale and Prince and Assassin ticks the exposition boxes with glee and fervor!
This is a two voice narrative, so important when the men and situations are so dire and opposing. Also to really get a firm idea of how each person really looks like, at least through each other’s eyes.
Whisper is the product of a House of Assassins. He’s one of the infamous Hounds of the Kennel. Owned by a famed Blood Mage, Reo Barnaby, who now trains and sells the services of his specialized Hounds. Killers only the richest can afford.
Lark has built a fascinating background for Whisper that honestly cries out for its own series. The other Hounds briefly mentioned, Lily (a boy), Adder, along with their looks and specialties, were just tantalizing as anything else in the story. We continue to hear about their missions, well as the rules and training they lived under. It’s both mesmerizing and heartbreaking.
The Whisper we meet has been a Hound since he was 6 years old. And it’s breaking him down.
The author gives us memories of Whisper’s missions. The emotional impact it’s having on him, and the turmoil the current circumstances of his new target is creating within him.
Every scene, each phrase chosen brings us closer to the assassin breaking apart because of his unexpected feelings about his role and his target.
And his target? Not as expected either. Prince Julien Sandry has the layers one would think a Prince would cultivate and still be able to survive politically in a highly stressful, and sometimes deadly level.
Prince Julien, his female guards who are wonderful, are terrific characters, and a great balance for Whisper at each stage of the storyline. Julien has his own issues, with the court’s maneuvering between themselves to put different brothers on the throne, his own investigations into disappearances prior to his arrival, and an overall air of unsettling atmosphere that hangs over the area.
Lark has written great characters, put them into situations that create emotional and physical impact with humor, a romance with sizzling chemistry, and fantastic magical action.
Plus two fellcats that will utterly charm you! I really needed more of both of them, Rumi and Fisk. Their histories and, well, everything.
If I had a issue, it would be that Julien and Whisper’s story is relegated to one book. It has the characters, elements, and storylines for its own series, to see their relationship grow and deepen. Instead we get a HFN.
Which is suitable for all that went before.
Each book in the trilogy is going to a Sandry Prince brother of Silaise. This is the middle brother’s story. I adored it and them. And wished for more.
Prince and Assassin (Perilous Courts #1) by Tavia Lark is a book I’m highly recommending. Pick it up and enjoy before the next is out in September!
✓ Prince and Assassin #1
◦ Prince in Disguise #2 – Sept 30, 2022 (Prince Bellamy and Rakos)
◦ Prince and Pawn #3 – Jan 30, 2033 (Prince Audric and Corin)
He’s supposed to kill Prince Julien. Not fall for him.
Whisper doesn’t remember his real name. All he knows is the elite assassin guild that raised him—and controls him with the threat of blood magic. Plagued by nightmares, he doesn’t get to refuse assignments, even when his new job doesn’t make sense:
Infiltrate Prince Julien’s court, protect him until the signal arrives, then kill him.
Julien hides his own schemes behind a sordid reputation. He trusts nobody besides his brothers, and he certainly doesn’t trust the aloof, beautiful new stranger at court. But he doesn’t have to trust the stranger to be drawn to him, especially when he saves Julien’s life.
Then Julien saves Whisper too, and Whisper’s reserve shatters.
Beneath Julien’s playboy facade is a warmth Whisper can’t resist. Whisper’s never been comforted before. He’s never been cared for like this. As his nightmares darken, Julien’s touch is his only solace—but falling in love could ruin them both.
Because Whisper’s mission hasn’t changed, and the price for failure is worse than death.
Prince and Assassin is a high fantasy gay romance, with secret identities, hurt/comfort, and magic tigers with attitude.
The Perilous Courts series is best read in order, but each book follows a different prince and his Happily Ever After.
Unless it’s noted, all books reviewed have been purchased by the reviewer