cover image The Perfect Assassin: Book 1 in the Chronicles of Ghadid

The Perfect Assassin: Book 1 in the Chronicles of Ghadid

K.A. Doore. Tor, $17.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9855-0

Doore wows with this outstanding fantasy debut based on mythology from Egypt and sub-Saharan Africa. After five years of training in the family art of assassination to defend the city of Ghadid, 19-year-old Amastan Basbowen learns his trade has been outlawed. As Amastan prepares to resume his earlier apprenticeship as a historian, a series of clandestine assassinations puts his family at risk of being exterminated by the city’s leadership, the often corrupt Drum Chiefs. The victims have not merely been murdered: their bodies have been hidden, and when a body is not promptly discovered, its jaani, or spirit, cannot be quieted and shepherded to the afterlife. If jaan are left unquieted for too long, they turn wild and violent, jeopardizing not only the assassins accused in their deaths but all of Ghadid. As the threat of the jaan looms and Amastan’s assassin relatives try to clear their names, Amastan ill-advisedly falls in love with Yusfit, a man who may have information about the true perpetrator of the crimes. Doore is a force to be reckoned with, blending a stirring plot, elegant worldbuilding, effortless style, and diverse, empathetic characters. Her debut is sure to be a hit with fans of Sarah J. Maas and George R.R. Martin. Agent: Kurestin Armada, P.S. Literary. (Mar.)