The Kings’ Assassin
by Ed Cannon

"Sillik had seen magic, felt the impression of battle, seen the face of an attacker, and felt betrayal."

There’s nothing like returning home to a celebration, especially with a royal feast and a king who is very much alive. Unfortunately, Prince Sillik returns home on the night of the celebration to find out that his father, the king, has been murdered, killing the mood for Illicia’s inhabitants. After months of spending time alone in the wilderness, Sillik is suddenly thrust into court life, war, and a crown he thought he ran away from.

Prince Sillik’s journey from vagabond to reluctant king/hero is a classic tale in the fantasy genre. Unlike J. R. R. Tolkien’s Aragorn or Lloyd Alexander’s Taran, Prince Sillik has more to handle than just a crown he doesn’t want to accept or a war that needs to be fought and won. The prince has to also unravel who wanted his whole family dead (and almost succeeded). Cannon paints a believable hero who struggles with political life and requires the help of his father’s advisors. The story itself is intriguing, and the author does an excellent job of blending world-building details with exciting story elements that keep the reader’s attention. Early on in the story, the reader becomes aware of some of the characters involved in the assassination, and it would probably have been more interesting to keep all of the assassination elements a mystery, keeping the reader guessing for a little while longer. Overall, though, this is an engaging story that will appeal to readers of fantasy who enjoy war, dragons, a little bit of romance, and political intrigue.

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