[ARC Review] Allies and Assassins by Justin Somper

Friday, May 23, 2014

Title: Allies & Assassins
Author: Justin Somper
Series: Enemies of the Prince #1
Genre: YA Histocial Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, 496 pages
Release Date: May 27th 2014
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: ARC received by Publisher in exchange for an honest review

Amazon | Indigo | TBD | Goodreads

Prince Anders, the ruler of Archenfield, has been murdered, leaving his younger brother, Jared, to ascend the throne. Sixteen-year-old Jared feels unprepared to rule the kingdom and its powerful and dangerous court, yet he knows he can rely on the twelve officers of the court to advise him. He also knows he can just as easily be at their mercy-especially when it appears that one of them may be responsible for his brother's death. Unable to trust anyone, Jared takes it upon himself to hunt down his brother's killer-but the killer may be hunting him, as well. Murder, betrayal, and intrigue abound in Justin Somper's thrilling YA series debut. Exploring the political machinations of the medieval court and the lives that hang in the balance, Allies & Assassins is a gripping tale of a teen torn between duty and revenge.

Historical Fiction is a genre I love but rarely read because it is never written to the level that I think it should be written. But when you add in fantasy then things get interesting, the story can change on a whim, and history no longer applies. That is what I loved about Allies and Assassins, it was set in the past but added fantasy elements which made the story that much more interesting. Just think Game of Thrones for younger adults (without the sex).

In Allies and Assassins we are introduced to MANY characters ans when I say many, I mean more than 5, and they are all apart of Archenfield, a kingdom that has just had its second assassination of one of their Princes. This assassination is the focal point of the story and that mystery of who killed the Prince is what keeps you reading. Because you think you know who did but, let me tell you that you have no idea! Every character that you meet in this book has a purpose and I loved that so much because I hate reading books where characters are just there a filler or plot devices. There is none of that here. Every character has a purpose and every character pretty much is a suspect from the first page, which made reading this book so awesome. I loved that you did not know who to trust. It was such a great mystery.

The world building in this book was great, I did feel like there were too many descriptions and that the book could have been shorter because it is over 400 pages, and for young adults that can be very long. As I was reading I felt a part of his world, I felt like I knew the castle and its surrounding areas, and the characters that inhabit each part. I loved that I got lost in the characters and their interactions because that is the best part for me. Reading characters and how they interact is what gets me to love a book, and the dialogue in this book is amazing. I also appreciated that there was no love story inserted for ANY of the characters, although some are mentioned in the past tense, there are none that we read, and i found that to be very refreshing.

Allies and Assassins is a great book for boys that love Game of Thrones or anything to do with historical fantasy. Girls will also love this story because the mystery element is quite amazing, I mean I did not figure out who the killer was at all! I had to wait until the reveal and let me tell you that it makes soo much sense once it was explained. I loved the reveal. If you love this kind of historical fantasy then pick up this book because it will not disappoint.

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  1. I'm not a huge reader of this genre, but I can appreciate the work authors put into its conception. Oh to have that kind of imagination!

  2. this does sound really interesting but i'm not a fan of too much descriptions in my novels.. especially if they add up to the overall page count of the novel. I like that it is historical fantasy and there's also a mystery.

    great review,
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf