cover image Assassin’s Gambit

Assassin’s Gambit

Amy Raby. Signet Eclipse, $7.99 mass market (400p) ISBN 978-0-451-41782-4

In a strong debut launching an Ancient Rome–inspired romantic fantasy series, Raby offers a captivating tale of an assassin who falls for her target. Vitala Salonius is part of the Obsidian Circle, a group dedicated to winning independence for their homeland of Riorca from the Kjallan Empire. She’s sent to seduce and kill Emperor Lucien, but before she can make her move, Lucien is deposed by ruthless politician Cassian, who despises the Riorcans. To protect her people from Cassian’s oppression, which she believes will be worse than Lucien’s, Vitalia must guard the fallen emperor and restore him to the throne. Meanwhile their unlikely partnership deepens into love. The main characters have excellent chemistry, meshing right from the start. In addition to the richly imagined world and a delightfully entertaining tale of magic and intrigue, Raby also delivers an understated yet versatile magic system and a convincing, sensitive portrayal of Vitalia’s efforts to reclaim her life from posttraumatic stress. Agent: Alexandra Machinist, Janklow & Nesbit. (Apr.)