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Tuesday, February 4, 2020

A Conjuring of Assassins by Cate Glass mini-review (reviewed by Łukasz Przywóski)



Official Author Website
Order A Conjuring of Assassins over HERE
Read Fantasy Book Critic's review of Illusion of Thieves


OFFICIAL AUTHOR INFORMATIONCate Glass is a writer of the fantasy adventure series Chimera. Cate Glass is also a pen name of Carol Berg, award-winning and bestselling author of fifteen epic fantasy novels and half a dozen novellas and short stories.


FORMAT/INFOA Conjuring of Assassins is 352 pages long divided over twenty-three chapters with an epilogue, and is the book one in the Chimera series. The book was published in February 2020 by Tor, and is available in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats. Cover art and design by Alyssa Winans.


OVERVIEW/ANALYSISIn A Conjuring of Assassins, Glass takes readers on another fantasy “heist” adventure. At first, the mission seems simple, but it gets more and more convoluted when investigations yield unexpected results. The Chimera team has to deal with foreign ambassadors with very unusual inclinations. And assassins. And vendettas. And there’s a mysterious stranger Romy saves from drowning in the river. 


The Chimera team is an ensemble of four spies. Each of them has a unique magical talent necessary during heists but also a personal history that creates obstacles. As a child, Romy was sold by her parents and trained as a courtesan. Her brother Neri grew up in poverty and ignorance. Placidio has a murky background but is a professional duelist, who has to stay in the middle ranks of his profession, to keep his particular skills hidden. Dumond the metalsmith has a family he wants to keep safe. They have to deal not only with hiding their magic but also with poverty, civil strife, violence, and the other, more ordinary difficulties of everyday life.

Apart from the exciting plot and solid twists, we get a lot of character development for all team members. Especially for the reader's favorite Placidio. As an expert swordsman, he earns his living as a professional duelist. Throughout the Costa Drago, dueling is strictly regulated. Depending on a duelist place in the rankings the fees for fighting vary (those higher on the list charge higher fees). Placidio can't win as often as his skills might allow, lest people start noticing that he has other skills than just swordsmanship. That depresses him and makes him drink a lot. But there's also another side to him and in A Conjuring of Assassins Glass reveals it to readers.

As usual, the strength of the novel lies in relationships between characters. That's where the magic happens. That said, I found the plot exciting and immersive but I can't discuss it without spoiling things to potential readers.

CONCLUSION: Overall, a fun and strong sequel. I can't wait to read the next installments whenever they come.

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