Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Audio Book Review: Blood of Assassins

Blood of Assassins

By:  R.J. Barker

Publish Date:  February 27, 2018, Audiobook Release February 13, 2018

Format:  Audiobook - 15 hrs 8 mins
Narrated By:  Joe Jameson

Genre:  Fantasy

Series:  2nd in The Wounded Kingdom series; 1st Book ~ Age of Assassins

Impression:  Three kings, one seat. A five year war will decide who takes the crown.


The assassin Girton Club-foot and his master have returned to Maniyadoc in hope of finding sanctuary, but death, as always, dogs Girton’s heels. The place he knew no longer exists.

War rages across Maniyadoc, with three kings claiming the same crown – and one of them is Girton’s old friend Rufra. Girton finds himself hurrying to uncover a plot to murder Rufra on what should be the day of the king’s greatest victory. But while Girton deals with threats inside and outside Rufra’s war encampment, he can’t help wondering if his greatest enemy hides beneath his own skin.

First Sentence:
A ground mist was rising.

Purchase At:
Amazon  /  Barnes & Noble  /  Book Depository


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

I am so glad Joe Jameson returns to voice Girton. I really enjoyed his work in the first book, and the same holds true for this book. He voices each character differently in personality. And they hold the same voice as they did in the first book, but they have aged in the five years since Girton's been to Maniyadoc. They have fought and learned over the past few years and their spirit and tone shows it. Joe brings these characters to life. I don't hear Joe, I hear the characters speak. Joe gets a great opportunity to voice different people in a town periodically through the book. Great to hear he gives a different voice to each.

It seems Girton is stuck in the past. He's having a hard time accepting how people have changed, and the one that was once an enemy could be an ally. This is something Girton has to learn to accept. But he is an assassin with no friends and sees trouble in everyone, but one person. Rufra is the only friend he has. However, Rufra in his current standing as king makes it hard to do as they once did - act as friends and enjoy their time together, like kids.

Girton came looking for help for Master, only to find another convoluted war happening at Maniyadoc. Girton is asked to look for a traitor or assassin, to help the one person he never thought he'd help, and to find who killed an disliked priest. Girton has to go through all the facts while his personal feelings get in the way. Girton left Maniyadoc with one view of the people, to return five years later to see things have changed. And Girton's going to have to change too.

Master isn't as active in this book as she was in the first. She's severely hurt and not able to do much. Girton also has a grudge from the last book that he holds against his master. He cares for her as he always did, but things have changed with him magically. This wears on Girton greatly. He has two ways to deal with the magic, the blade to his skin or control it. Ultimately, Girton will have to learn to control his magic. This is a huge thing for him. He's been having his master carve marks in his skin to hold the magic at bay, but with her being hurt and unconscious, he has to learn what to control it.

Girton struggles being alone and with many feelings he's not use to. Jealousy, distrust from past actions, and loneliness. The way Girton lives, alone as an assassin, seems to spark a childish feel from him more in this book than previously. I'm thinking his time with those he's come to know at Maniyadoc is good for Girton. He learns more about people and his own feelings. He's an assassin, and is not close to anyone but his master. But he needs to learn more about people and the feelings he feels other than observing and reading people through actions before his work is done.

Girton experiences many things, good and bad, on the road but Maniyadoc feels to be the place where Girton grows up. It seems different feelings surface for him when he visits. Feelings for people he cares about. This brings new experiences into his hard lived life.

Girton learns he needs to look closer and not let his feelings interfere when investigating. Girton knows what it's like to personally fight and kill as an assassin, now he sees what it's like in battle of war. It's very different from what he knows and use to. And, people really can change.

Once again, I was drawn into the world with Girton. Seeing things as he sees them, and then again as they should be interpreted as. Skillfully written story.

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


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