Thursday, March 1, 2018

Audio Book Review: Age of Assassins

Age of Assassins

By:  R.J. Barker

Publish Date:  August 1, 2017, Audiobook Release August 1, 2017

Format:  Audiobook - 13 hrs 3 mins
Narrated By:  Joe Jameson

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  1st in The Wounded Kingdom series

Impression:  Use an assassin to find who wants the heir killed. Oh the secrets uncovered...

To catch an assassin, use an assassin...

Girton Club-foot, apprentice to the land's best assassin, still has much to learn about the art of taking lives. But his latest mission tasks him and his master with a far more difficult challenge: to save a life. Someone, or many someones, is trying to kill the heir to the throne, and it is up to Girton and his master to uncover the traitor and prevent the prince's murder.

In a kingdom on the brink of civil war and a castle thick with lies Girton finds friends he never expected, responsibilities he never wanted, and a conspiracy that could destroy an entire kingdom.

First Sentence:
Darik the smith was last among the desolate.

Purchase At:
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My Thoughts and Summary:
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

Who wants the heir to the throne killed? What better way than to hire an assassin to look for an assassin (but mostly, who hired them).

Joe is a new narrator for me. I like how his voice is young and fits Girton yet he voices all the characters in their own maturity and personality. His accent fits the setting of the story. Joe did different tones for males and females. He even has a different hardness to his voice when voicing characters, particularly Merela Kane and a few others. Even the young men who feel they are better than all others have a strong personality to their voices to go with the words. There are some characters that have distinct sound differences, and they pop while listening. The pacing is voiced evenly. The pacing of some people talking is adjusted to their own cadence, furthermore bring individuality to the characters. For example an older person. I was really taken with the character personalities he portrayed. Wow. Well done.

Girton feels special. He's very disciplined as a young person. When he's told to do something by his Master, he does, even if he knows he could get away from the trouble at hand. He listens acutely. And when he counts, he counts 1 my Master, 2 my Master, and so on. Girton is good at what he does. Girton must pretend that he's not good at a few things for this job though, and seems to hide himself well. Girton does have a club foot, which people see as a disability. However it doesn't slow Girton down. This is a great thing. The clubfoot doesn't deter Girton in his job. Where people think less of him, he excels. Merela has treated Girton the same and trained him as any other, the clubfoot not a deterrence for her.

I found I was drawn into this story and world rather easily. I liked the indications hinted at with the way of the world and magic of past. The world is fully developed and we see it in everything Girton does. From the gods they believe to magic gone. Even with the festival coming and the assassin's way. The way people live is seen as well. Every angle is fleshed out and a part of the story to draw the world, the characters, and the story. All is one and intertwined as it should be.

The story is told from Girton's POV. He's the apprentice to Merela Kane, and on this mission, her eyes and ears around the castle. Girton is great to his Master. He doesn't question her, but he learns and thinks. He tells her what he sees and learns from others. He's even adverse at thinking people out. He's still learning though. He gets distracted at times as he's feeling emotions he's never felt before. He finds a young girl he's attracted to. He finds a friend he can talk to. He's living actions he's never had the privilege to do. He's an assassin, and they don't live this way.

Oh the secrets that Girton and Merela uncover here at this castle. Everyone is suspicious of possibly wanting to have the heir killed, but they all have motivators and plans. I loved the mystery and following all the leads we find for all the people involved here. It does all come together in the end.

We get Interludes from time to time through the book. These are dreams or memories of Girton's that details out a turning moment in his past with his Master. It also is a reference for something to come or that has already happened, giving more details about something for us. But it's nice seeing Girton's past and how Master made a huge difference in him. She inspires him to be more.

I suspected something about Merela and Girton early on that Girton didn't know. I was right, about them, and other assassins. When Girton learns it, it unsettles him to his core. It's something that he'll need to overcome, if he wants to live on. As assassins there is a dance to their style of moving and fighting. I love how Girton fights or watches his master fight. The fighting is done with a dance he's learned. It's beautiful.

I was so tangled up in the story, needing to hear every word spoken, that I couldn't have other sounds around me. Everything drifted away as I was engulfed in the tale spun with these assassins and their mystery to solve.

I love how we learn about the assassins as we read of Girton and his Master, who are assassins, looking to solve the mystery of who hired another assassin to kill the kings heir. So well constructed together! The relationships Girton forms here seems to be the beginning of something bigger in his life. I really look forward to listening to all these books!

****If you found my thoughts helpful, please click Yes at Amazon. Thank you!


  1. I enjoy strong character driven stories. This sounds thrilling and I like that you were easily drawn into it. Great cover too!

  2. I've heard lots of good things about this one. Thank you for a great review:)


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