Attention Throne of Glass fans, there’s a new female assassin in YA fantasy! Like Celaena Sardothien, Oleander “Lea” Saldana, the seventeen-year-old heroine of Sarah Ahiers’s Assassin’s Heart (the first book in a planned duology), is a kick-ass, mask-wearing, revenge-seeking assassin. But the similarities between Maas’s and Ahiers’s series end here.
Pitched as The Godfather meets Romeo and Juliet, Ahiers’s debut takes place in a unique, imaginative world–reminiscent of Renaissance Italy–that’s very different from Throne of Glass‘s setting. In the kingdom of Lovero, nine Families are allowed to commit murder as a way to worship Safraella, the goddess of death and resurrection. The most powerful Families–the Saldanas and the Da Vias–are bitter enemies, yet Lea Saldana and Val Da Vias are in a secret relationship. Lea and Val understand, however, that Family loyalty always has precedence over everything else…even love. But Lea still doesn’t expect to be betrayed by Val.
In a surprise attack, the Da Vias murder Lea’s Family, leaving her the only surviving Saldana besides her estranged uncle Marcello. How will she escape the rival Families (the Da Vias, especially) who want to kill her and the murderous angry ghosts that exist in the dead plains and surrounding countries (such as Rennes), beyond the protection of Lovero’s walls? Will Lea find her exiled uncle and convince him to return to Lovero to help her avenge their Family?
High-stakes adventure and romance, along with heart-wrenching guilt, betrayal, and retaliation, make Assassin’s Heart a great choice for Throne of Glass fans.
Alyssa recommends new and upcoming releases in young adult fiction (and occasionally middle grade and adult). She thanks Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing her with a digital review copy of Assassin’s Heart, for review purposes only. Please follow her on Tumblr and Twitter.