The Assassin's Legacy
by D. Lieber
Ink & Magick

"Volonovs from centuries past glared at the failure who represented the last male of their name. I did not shrink from their disapproval but squinted back at the bloodthirsty butchers in disgust and defiance."

As the heir to the Ubyzniki, Sasha is expected to lead the Russian cult responsible for protecting humans from the dangers of supernatural creatures. However, he has never desired to do so and has forsaken his family for years. Only when news of his father's death reaches him, via the assassin his sister sent to kill him, does Sasha journey home. Though he plans to stay only a day and denounce his claim of heir after his father's funeral, he learns of a curse his father has bound his life to. With no choice but to stay if he wishes to survive, Sasha must confront the ghosts of his past and reintegrate himself into a world he wishes he had no part of.

Though a fantasy with a fairly simple plot, Lieber's choice of a Russian setting stands out within the genre. And just as refreshing as this choice is, so too is the writing easy to navigate and crisp with detail. On the other hand, as a fantasy that particularly revolves around an organization that eliminates supernatural creatures, the appearance of the supernatural is sparse throughout. Even so, having Sasha be compassionate towards those he has been trained to kill for years makes understanding him as a character much more interesting. The dialogue and character development also contribute heavily to the flow. Characters such as Liza, the assassin sent to kill Sasha, are wrought with complexities. Even his older sister, who wishes to have him killed, is measured and understood, not painted with one dimension. Overall, the storyline is engaging and should keep readers turning the pages.

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