A trained assassin becomes the hunted after she is given an almost impossible target.
Eighteen-year-old orphan Aina Solís grew up on the streets of the Stacks—a mazelike neighborhood in Kosín, a city full of diamond mines. That is, until she was rescued from being blown up in a bar. Six years later, after being trained as a Blade by Kohl—the Blood King, her rescuer, and leader of a gang of hired assassins—Aina is given the task to murder Kouta Hirai, a wealthy businessman who holds the monopoly on diamond-mining tools. As she races to complete the assignment before a week is over, Aina must also protect herself as she is wanted by the Diamond Guards and rival assassin gangs. Aided by Teo—her best friend, fellow assassin, and potential love interest—Aina lives in a constant moral conflict, as she can never forget her parents’ teaching on the value of life and how their unapologetic use of illegal blood magic helped people. However, ever present in her mind are also Kohl’s lessons on survival and her desire for his approval. Despite a compelling plot and array of relationships, the book misses the mark in worldbuilding as the time period and Latin American–inspired culture never feel completely grounded. The diverse characters’ skin tones range from ivory to copper.
An entertaining and action-driven tale of assassins and magic. (Fantasy. 13-18)