Seventeen-year-old Zayn has special powers she cannot control—powers that others fear and covet. Powers that cause the Templar Knights to burn Zayn’s mother at the stake for witchcraft. When a mysterious stranger tempts Zayn to become the first female member of the heretical Assassins, the chance to seek her revenge lures her in. She trains to harness her supernatural strength and agility, and then enters the King of Jerusalem’s court in disguise with the assignment to assassinate Guy de Molay, her mother’s condemner. But once there, she discovers Earic Goodwin, the childhood friend who still holds her heart, among the knights—and his ocean-blue eyes don’t miss a thing. Will vengeance be worth the life of the one love she has left?
Okay, I’ll admit it. When I requested this book on Netgalley, I got it because I hoped it would be like Assassin’s Creed in book form. I doubted it, but still. I mean–c’mon.
Gotta love Ezio.
KNIGHT ASSASSIN, unfortunately, was nothing like Assassin’s Creed. Right off the bat, I couldn’t find myself connecting with Zayn. Everything she did, the people she met, the way she let Guy treat her, all of it. I understand why she did the things she did, but it didn’t feel right to me. It was only hear the middle of the book that I really started to get a feel for Zayn. I began to respect her choices and decisions and see the good behind her, even though–to this point–I still don’t feel like Zayn is the Zayn I was looking for. Condensed, it’s complicated because even though I never knew Zayn until I opened up KNIGHT ASSASSIN, I already had an image of what she was supposed to be, and that was partially Ezio’s fault.
There’s a lot of history intertwined with this story, and lots of things happen all throughout the beginning so that the part where the blurb really starts coming in is right around the middle, where Zayn meets Earic. The pacing was slow to start, but as soon as Zayn met Earic things got a little faster. I really liked the way their relationship worked and how they both got so much stronger since having seen each other last. I also LOVED the way that Earic knew something was up with Zayn right away as it should be when they were so close in a relationship, instead of just being dull.
Earic really came to grow on me and I enjoyed his “good boy” personality when surrounded by people like Guy de Molay. I also enjoyed the fight scenes. I do think that, even though religion and race were mentioned here as fitting for a book about that time period, Zayn didn’t really act the part.
Overall, I did enjoy KNIGHT ASSASSIN. There’s a lot to be had from it, and even though it’s slow paced and more about political intrigue and revenge–somewhat like GRAVE MERCY in a different time period and without the nuns–than actual fighting and action, I did like it. Though I still don’t feel too warm towards Zayn, even though I know she’ll never be like Ezio, I still feel like she should be someone different. Should at least rethink revenge for one second, among other things. I know what Guy de Molay did was wrong and terrible and deserved to be punished, but Zayn never thought of anything else other than killing him. Wouldn’t even stand for a clean death either. When provoked, she would shoot straight back.
I also thought that the themes to the story were mixed. Even though it had hints of religion and Earic and Zayn trying to find out who they really are as beings, most of the time it wasn’t really mentioned. It doesn’t exactly haunt them for most of the story. It is in the end though that that problem lies, and I was satisfied with how Jean tied up the book. I’m eager to see what becomes of Earic and Zayn and while I feel like I didn’t fully connect with this book, I was entertained by it. 3 stars.
pg count for the ebook: 242
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