cover image The Impossible Contract

The Impossible Contract

K. A. Doore. Tor, $17.99 trade paper (368p) ISBN 978-0-7653-9857-4

The gutsy heroine of the second stand-alone high fantasy in Doore’s Chronicles of Ghadid series (after The Perfect Assassin) embarks on a heart-pounding adventure through an inviting, richly imagined world. Thana Basbowen is a young assassin in the city of Ghadid, working her first contract with her cousin Amastan, the protagonist of the previous book. Their assignment is to take down Heru Sametket, an ambassador sent by the Mehewret Empress, who claims Ghadid as her territory but whose command has never been acknowledged by the city’s ruling Drum Chiefs. Machiavellian to the core, Heru wields blasphemous magic and will stop at nothing to consolidate the Empress’s power. When Thana and Heru are attacked by zombies of unknown origin during a confrontation, both turn to a young healer named Mo to patch up their wounds. The three lurch into a reluctant, squabbling collaboration to figure out why the dead are rising. Though the fight scenes and gradually accumulated team of allies create a role playing game–like feel, the tension between characters keeps the story grounded. New readers and series fans alike will be hooked by this triumphant fantasy adventure. Agent: Kurestin Armada, P.S. Literary (Nov.)