Review copy provided by the publisher. Also, the author is a friend of mine, and we share the same agent.
This is the sequel to The Perfect Assassin. It’s not as crucial as some series to read the first one first, but there’s a lot of chewy worldbuilding grounding going on, so there’s a lot to be gained from reading them in order, and the first one is still perfectly well in print, so why not?
What it is not, however, is a series where you follow the same protagonist throughout. Frankly, I love that about it. I love having a different perspective, a completely different protagonist–although Amastan is still a character in this one, he’s no longer center stage. His cousin Thana is trying to make and keep her own reputation as an assassin in Ghadid. She’s fond of Amastan but sometimes frustrated with him, and always full of her own concerns, her own ideas–her own love life.
And Thana’s problems only start in the city of Ghadid. They take her into the desert, on caravan trips, into empires, and beyond. Ghadid is Thana’s heart, but the larger world is her canvas. She and acerbic healer Mo are sometimes working together, sometimes at cross purposes, but with a far larger stage than either of them ever expected–and knowing Ghadid well from the first book helps make the rest of it feel even more vivid and urgent. I had so much fun with this, and I highly recommend it.