Do you love enemies to lovers where they almost kill each other, assassins, curses, poison, dragon side kicks, secrets, and more?
Then you need to read Alisha Klapheke’s The Fae King’s Assassin, a fantasy romance standalone in an ongoing world.
Beserker blooded Revna is an assassin who is forced into the impossible task of assassinating the fae king. Even before she realizes how handsome, charming, and secretive he is, Revna has her work cut out for her. And she is swiftly dropped into a dangerous world where her skills as an assassin, a beserker, and a woman are put to the test.
Oh, enemies to lovers where they actually try to kill each other, assassins, poison, dragons, intrigue. Sounds good? Then I have the perfect story. The Fae King’s Assassin is such a perfect summer/autumn read.
Revna is a great interpretation of the good-hearted but female assassin who has essentially been sent to her death on an impossible mission. And based on what we know of her character and how easily we see her dispatch certain foes, that does take some doing. She has beserker blood in her, and she was captured and forced into the service of the Master, a cruel man with high demands and who follows the orders of a cruel king. This results in her being ordered to assassinate the fae king to avenge the death of a princess. How does he keep her and others doing such incredibly difficult jobs that may kill them? Simple. She and every other prisoner of the Master has a death rune carved into their neck that allows
Now Lysanael is the fae king whom she has been sent to assassinate. He is a rather calm and focused character about whom you could probably say “still waters run deep.” While we first ‘meet him’ from the perspective of the angry king who wants vengeance for the death of his daughter, our actual encounter with him where we see him interacting with his people and get his perspective is far more introspective. There’s a gentleness and tragedy in his character that is present from the beginning, despite the ferocity that he shows later on. I’m going to try to be
Arkyn is also a delight. He’s the dragon sidekick with whom Revna has a great bond. He is like the perfect combination of faithful steed and German shepherd with a touch of grey-tiger barn cat. In addition to being just a fun character, he offers Revna the chance to speak plainly and show her softer side early on, making it clear she is a woman capable of love and not hardened completely from her harsh life.
Pace wise, this is a solid quick pace without feeling rushed. I could easily imagine delving deeper into the world or going off on various adventures, which is fantastic because Alisha has promised there are indeed more! This is a standalone though. So you do get your HEA. Not that I would say no to more adventures with these two.
Ultimately I’d say that this is just a beautifully balanced story that balances a diverse set of tropes. We’ve got the hot and cold of the beserker and fae and the monster hunting life and the political assassin as well as the different fighting styles. And there are some other contrasts that I can’t mention because they are big spoilers but they really add to the flow and intrigue.
And it is very easy to see how Revna and Lysanael work together as a couple. There’s no question about who is going to wind up together, and I also didn’t ship them with anyone else. I thoroughly enjoyed watching this couple come together, which is great because it actually takes awhile for these two to actually meet. It’s almost right at the 25% mark. And Revna is a really good assassin, so…you can take a guess how that first encounter goes. It’s definitely a more violent meet cute. We get most of the story from Revna’s perspective. And after that, we move into a fake dating story.
I absolutely loved this. It feels like a combination of story tropes I didn’t realize I was looking for. And I am just such a sucker for “all right. I’m going to kill you. All right, that didn’t work. Now I’m going to be in a relationship with you. Then I’m going to kill you!” And the way that this plays out is also one of my favorite styles for this trope.
So yes, highly recommend. If you’ve read it, what did you think? Did you enjoy it as much as I did? Share below!