Monday, 3 March 2014

Review: Knight Assassin by Rima Jean

Title: Knight Assassin
Author: Rima Jean
Release date: March 4th 2014
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Format: eARC
Pages: 274
Source: Publisher

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?

Knight Assassin is a YA historical fantasy reminiscent of Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. It's graced with a kick-ass heroine, an action-packed plot and some really cool magic. This was quite a fast read for me, but there's so much in it. I really enjoyed this book throughout, and I'm already eager for more.

This book is unique in the sense that it's set in a Muslim place, with Islam traditions playing a key role. When Zayn's mother is burned at the stake for witchcraft, Zayn knows she's in danger too, and is invited to join the Assassins, a secretive group who fight on behalf of the people who cannot. Zayn puts everything she can into her training, both physical and magical, since all she wants is to take revenge on the man who killed her mother - Guy de Molay, one of the Templar Knights. But her undercover assignment has the potential to be botched when she realizes her childhood friend, Earic, is a Templar too. And he has a good chance of recognizing her. Zayn still has her mission in her head, but Earic is taking over her heart. She is mentally battling with both, not knowing which one will win out over the other.

In some ways you could say Zayn's your typical badass fighter protagonist, but her upbringing is very different. The fact that she's Muslim means she has to cover her head at all times, and women are considered to be far below men. But Zayn has a fire in her, and she wants to fight back. Even though she's put through so many tests and she's been through hell, she comes back from it, stronger than before. I think that aspect of her is amazing - she never gives up.

I really liked some of the other characters, too. Earic was great - he's a perfect blend of charming, funny, protective and kind. We get to see flashbacks of Zayn's childhood - the times spent with Earic, and he was adorable even back then. I loved seeing how their friendship developed early on, and then blossomed into something more after they meet again several years later.

Zayn's undercover role is to be a lady-in-waiting to Lady Marguerite, a.k.a. the third character we get to know quite a bit about in this book. Marguerite is very similar to Zayn - she has a great sense of adventure, and she'd rather go out and shoot arrows than sit inside and sew like most ladies do. I loved Marguerite's wild spirit and her recklessness. In fact, she and Zayn make an awesome pair!

Like most historical fiction, Knight Assassin has its fair share of politics. Though it's definitely not as much as I've seen in other books, so I was really glad about that. The book is more focused on Zayn's revenge mission and her developing strength and powers. Of course, that means that there wasn't much romance in this either, but I liked that it wasn't in the foreground. There's enough to keep those romance-lovers satisfied, though, especially with Earic being all endearing and totally swoon-worthy.

Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with this one, since I had heard nothing about it before receiving it. Knight Assassin is great for fans of His Fair Assassin, Maids of Honor, Grisha, and Throne of Glass. I'm definitely hoping to read more from Rima Jean soon!

*Thank you to Jaime at Entangled Publishing for providing me with an eARC for review*

Rating: 4/5


  1. Wonderful. I enjoyed Grave Mercy, so I'd probably enjoy this one too. :)

  2. Nice review! :) This one sounds quite good.


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