The Assassin’s Tools: A Close Look at Weapons in Fantasy Novels

Take a detailed tour of the lethal and enchanting weaponry wielded by assassins in fantasy novels. From daggers to magic, discover how these tools define the art of killing.

Ah, fantasy novels—the realm where swords glow in the dark, arrows never miss, and a simple dagger can have as much backstory as a royal lineage.

But when it comes to the assassin’s tools of the trade, let’s just say things get particularly… interesting.

These artisans of death employ an arsenal that is as varied as it is lethal, often with a touch of magical pizzazz to boot.

So, grab a cuppa, perhaps don a black cloak for ambiance, and let’s delve into the enthralling world of assassin weaponry in fantasy novels.

It’s not just sharp objects; it’s a lifestyle choice.


In the culinary world, the chef’s knife is versatile and essential.

In the world of killing, the dagger takes that esteemed position.

It’s discreet, easily concealed, and, if you throw in a touch of poison, has a 100% customer dissatisfaction rate.

Some daggers even have cutesy names, like “Heartseeker” or “Soulpiercer,” for that added touch of sentimentality as you end someone’s existence.


Sure, up-close and personal has its merits, but so does a clean kill from 50 yards away while you munch on some popcorn.

The crossbow is the introvert’s weapon, allowing you to perform your job effectively without the messy emotional engagement.

And in fantasy settings, these bad boys often come with enchantments—exploding bolts, anyone?


The blowdart: the introvert’s weapon for the introverted assassin.

Its user can be miles away, and no one hears a thing.

One moment, your target is regaling his friends with tales of his latest hunting expedition; the next, he’s the one being carried off on a stretcher.

The ultimate party pooper, if you will.

Poison Ringsl

Fashion-forward and functional, poison rings are the ultimate multitaskers.

Perfect for when you want to appear stylish while delivering a dose of the deadly.

Just a casual flick of the finger, and your target’s drink goes from refreshing to lethal.

In a world that values aesthetics, this is killing with flair.


Why go the mundane route when you can set someone ablaze with your mind or make them dance to their death?

Magic offers a range of creative options for the imaginative assassin.

Whether it’s conjuring shadows to do your bidding or weaving spells that make your weapons return to you like a faithful dog, magic brings that extra zing.

Cursed Objects

These are not for the faint of heart or those who lack a sense of theatrics.

Cursed objects can range from coins that bring ruin to mirrors that trap souls.

While their usage requires a tad more preparation and possibly a monologue, the results are often Shakespearean in their tragedy.

So, the next time you’re lost in the deadly intrigues and thrilling escapades of an assassin fantasy novel, spare a thought—or a shudder—for the lethal tools that make it all possible.

After all, an assassin is only as good as the tools they wield, and in the realm of fantasy, those tools are as spellbinding as they are deadly.

How to Use Assassin Fantasy as Self-Help Books: A Morbid Guide to Personal Development

Unlock unconventional self-help wisdom by viewing assassin fantasy novels as life guides. Learn the art of efficiency, emotional detachment, and moral codes.

Who needs self-help gurus peddling the power of positive thinking when you’ve got cloaked figures traipsing through the night, dispatching enemies with a flick of the wrist?

Ah, yes—assassin fantasy novels, those gripping tomes of life-and-death scenarios and moral ambiguity, offer more than just a good read.

Believe it or not, they’re also stellar self-help manuals.

Allow me to guide you through the dark, twisting alleyways of personal development, where assassins are the life coaches you never knew you needed—or wanted.

The Ruthless Efficiency of “One and Done”

Life is short, and so are most lives in an assassin novel. Our dagger-wielding heroes rarely waste time, executing their tasks with an efficiency that would make Marie Kondo green with envy. Lesson? Declutter your life, metaphorically and literally. If it doesn’t “spark joy” (or is actively trying to kill you), cut it out. And no, you don’t need a literal dagger to do it. A ruthless unsubscribe spree can be just as satisfying.

Strategic Planning: It’s Not Just for War Rooms

It goes without saying that assassins are meticulous planners.

They have to be; one false step could lead to decapitation or, worse, unemployment.

This level of attention to detail can be applied to your own goals.

Want to ace that job interview?

Treat it like a high-profile assassination—metaphorically, of course.

Research your ‘target,’ anticipate questions, and execute answers with deadly precision.

Emotional Detachment: When Ignorance Really is Bliss

Ever notice how assassin protagonists seem untouched by the weight of their choices? It’s as if emotional detachment isn’t just a defense mechanism but a lifestyle.

While I don’t advocate for sociopathic tendencies, a level of emotional detachment can be beneficial.

Got a barrage of passive-aggressive emails from your boss?

Channel your inner assassin: read, react professionally, and emotionally disengage.

The Sacred ‘Code’: Your Personal Moral GPS

Many fictional assassins follow a code, some arcane set of guidelines that dictate whom they can and cannot kill.

Think of it as their moral GPS, steering them through a landscape fraught with ethical landmines.

Create your own personal ‘code’ for life decisions, from the trivial (“I shall never double-dip at social gatherings”) to the significant (“I vow to fight for ethical practices in my workplace”).

The 3 R’s: Rest, Recuperate, and Recon

No self-respecting assassin would go from one job to another without adequate rest.

Burnout is your enemy, whether you’re infiltrating a fortified castle or just surviving a day of Zoom meetings.

Don’t underestimate the power of downtime and information gathering.

Rest when you need to, and always keep an eye out for opportunities—again, no crossbow required.

Redefining ‘Success’: Embrace Your Inner Antihero

In a world that worships at the altar of success, be the antihero who defines their own path.

Our beloved assassin characters rarely fit the mold of traditional heroes, yet we root for them, flaws and all.

So, stop stressing over societal expectations.

Your life, your rules. As long as you’re not breaking any laws or resorting to literal assassination, you’re doing fine.

So the next time you pick up an assassin fantasy novel, don’t just look for a thrilling narrative.

Treat it as your shadowy guidebook to life, offering life lessons from the edge of a blade.

Sure, it’s not your usual self-help fare, but then again, who wants to be usual? In the immortal words of some assassin, probably: “Why aim for mediocrity when you can aim for the jugular?”

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Assassins: A Guide for the Lethally Inclined

Discover the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Assassins, a darkly comic parody guide aimed at assassin fantasy aficionados. Learn to be as efficient in life as in fictional kills.

Ah, assassins, the life coaches we never knew we needed.

You have to admit, their efficacy in getting “the job done” is unparalleled.

Of course, you may have heard of Stephen Covey’s bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, but did you know that this seminal self-help book has a dark doppelganger?

That’s right: “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Assassins.”

A primer that doesn’t just spill the beans but, quite literally, spills blood.

Let’s explore these habits, shall we?

Habit 1: Be Proactive (In Your Killings)

For the Highly Effective Assassin (HEA), taking the initiative isn’t just a trait; it’s a lifestyle.

Proactive assassins don’t wait for targets to fall into their laps.

They identify them, stalk them, and take them out—all before lunch.

If Stephen Covey’s version is about taking responsibility for your life, this is about taking someone else’s.

Responsibly, of course.

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind (Or the End of Someone Else)

Planning is everything. HEAs visualise not only the kill but also the getaway, the alibi, and the celebratory drink afterwards.

They see the entire sequence of events, from the glint of their blade in the moonlight to the exact moment they’re counting their gold.

All that’s left is to—well, execute.

Habit 3: Put First Things First (And Second Things Six Feet Under)

Time management is crucial in any profession, but even more so when you’re juggling multiple contracts and evading the law.

Prioritisation is key.

Remember: the early assassin catches the unsuspecting nobleman on his morning walk.

Or was it a worm?

I forget.

Habit 4: Think Win-Win (Or Kill-Kill)

In a profession notorious for its zero-sum outcomes, HEAs find ways to make mutually beneficial deals.

“You scratch my back; I’ll drive a dagger into someone else’s”—that sort of thing.

It’s all about networking, really.

Granted, it’s networking with poison, traps, and bribes, but who’s judging?

Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Kill

Empathy goes a long way in the assassination business.

Understanding your target’s motivations, fears, and habits makes you more effective in dispatching them.

Covey might say it’s key to effective communication, but here it’s key to effective termination.

Tomayto, tomahto.

Habit 6: Synergise (Or How to Get Others to Do Your Dirty Work)

Why go solo when you can collaborate? HEAs know the value of a good partnership or a well-placed mole.

Sometimes, the quickest path to your goal involves leveraging other people’s skills—or their cannon fodder status.

Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw (And the Daggers, and the Arrows…)

Continuous improvement isn’t just corporate jargon; it’s the bread and butter of the HEA.

Training montages aren’t just for 80s action films; they’re a weekend pastime.

If you’re not honing your physical and mental faculties, someone else will—right before they take your job, and possibly, your life.

So there you have it, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Assassins.

If you’ve been seeking a guide to improve your fictional killing or just life in general, this could be the (rather twisted) motivation you never knew you needed.

Remember, life isn’t just about surviving; it’s about thriving—by any means necessary.

Out now: Dawn of Assassins (books 1-3 boxed set)

Fedor and Lev are thieves…

…neither signed up to be killers.

But when they’re unwillingly recruited by a master assassin with a dark agenda, the stakes turn lethal.

Can they survive Soren’s increasingly perilous trials designed to twist their morals and endanger their lives?

How far will Fedor and Lev go to reclaim their freedom?

Perfect for mature readers, Dawn of Assassins delivers a fast-paced blend of suspense, moral ambiguity, and non-stop action.

This collection brings together three gritty dark fantasy novels: Dawn of AssassinsTrial of Thieves, and Crucible of Shadows.

In a world where trust is a luxury and assassins loom in the shadows, are you ready to confront the barriers of morality and survival?

Dare you face the dawn?

The Philosophical Underpinnings of Assassin Fantasy: A Foray into the Abyss of Existential Questions

Dive into the philosophical depths of assassin fantasy novels. Explore themes of morality, existentialism, nihilism, and the quest for redemption amid thrilling narratives.

Aassassin fantasy—the genre where characters dodge moral quandaries as skillfully as they dodge arrows.

These thrilling narratives might seem like mere escapism, perfect for drowning out the mundane existential crises that fill our lives, like whether to opt for almond or oat milk in your morning latte.

However, if you lift the veil of blood spatter and poisoned daggers, you’ll find a realm teeming with philosophical conundrums.

Who knew that the path to enlightenment could be soaked in the ichor of fictional deaths?

A Game of Morality Chess

Morality in assassin fantasy is as stable as a house of cards in a hurricane.

Our charismatic killers often live by a code, a self-prescribed ethical rulebook that justifies their actions.

Is this consequentialism in its most brutal form, where the end justifies the means, or is it a twisted form of deontological ethics, where actions are guided by set rules rather than their outcomes?

Kant would be turning in his grave, but probably also secretly binge-reading.

The Existentialism of Kill or Be Killed

Sartre had his “Hell is other people,” and assassin fantasy has its “Kill or be killed.”

Existentialism thrives in these perilous landscapes, posing questions of choice, freedom, and existence against a backdrop of constant life-and-death decisions.

When every choice could lead to either survival or a gruesome end, existential angst is a given, even if it’s cloaked in leather and armed with a crossbow.

The Nihilism of Death

For many an assassin, life is absurd and death is meaningless—an outlook that aligns perfectly with the principles of nihilism.

In a profession where lives are ended on a whim or for a purse of gold, can life hold intrinsic value?

It’s a slippery slope, and at the bottom, you’ll likely find Nietzsche sipping wine with a smirk.

The Social Contract, or Lack Thereof

Hobbes believed in the necessity of social contracts to escape the “state of nature,” which is nasty, brutish, and short.

Assassin protagonists are usually far removed from societal norms, either as outcasts, rebels, or agents of shadowy organizations.

They live in a perpetual state of nature, where the social contract is as binding as a cobweb in a gale.

It’s each for their own, and may the gods help anyone who gets in the way.

The Dualism of Good and Evil

Many assassin tales are woven around the dualistic struggle between good and evil.

However, these lines often blur, creating a moral grayscale where characters possess both virtuous and malicious traits.

This echoes the age-old philosophical debate on dualism and monism—concepts that question the very nature of good and evil, light and darkness, almond and oat milk.

Okay, maybe not the last one.

The Pursuit of Redemption

Finally, let’s talk about redemption.

It’s the light at the end of many a dark tunnel in assassin fantasy.

Characters strive for redemption as if it were a tangible goal, but what does it really mean to be redeemed?

Is it possible to wash away a lifetime of sins through a single act of goodness?

This taps into theories of justice and atonement that have perplexed philosophers for centuries.

So the next time you delve into an assassin fantasy novel, remember that beneath the action-packed surface lies a wellspring of philosophical thought.

You’re not just entertaining yourself; you’re also engaging with some of the most complex moral and existential questions ever posed.

How’s that for killing two birds with one, er, poisoned dart?

Why Assassin Fantasy Novels Are More Relevant Now Than Ever

Explore why assassin fantasy novels resonate more than ever. Dive into themes of morality, power, rebellion, and the appeal of anti-heroes in today’s world.

The modern world: a buzzing hive of social media influencers, political circus acts, and an ongoing debate about whether pineapple belongs on pizza (it does, fight me).

Amidst all this chaos, you might be wondering, “Why in seven hells should I be reading about fictional characters who make a living by, well, ending lives?”

The answer is simple: because assassin fantasy novels are more relevant now than ever, my dear friends. And no, it’s not just because you’ve imagined hiring one for your noisy neighbour.

A Reflection of Our Complex Morality

Ah, morality—more fluid than a pint of ale in a tavern.

Assassins are a manifestation of our own moral complexity.

Are they heroes or villains?

Liberators or mercenaries?

A bit like the modern corporate world, they exist in a grey area, and it’s not just the colour of their cloaks.

The Ultimate Power Fantasy

Let’s face it, we all fancy a bit of control in our lives, especially when the world seems to be going off the rails faster than a London Underground service during a strike.

The assassin, the master manipulator of fate, allows us to live out this power fantasy, all from the risk-free comfort of our reading nooks.

Catharsis Through Chaos

The world is a dumpster fire, and sometimes what you need is to watch someone else set a blaze that they control impeccably.

The skill and precision of a fictional assassin can offer a bizarre comfort.

It’s chaos, but it’s organized chaos.

The Appeal of the Anti-Hero

In an era where every other news headline makes you want to throw your phone into the Thames, there’s something incredibly appealing about characters who operate outside the law, buck the system, and stab corruption in the face.

And goody-two-shoes characters, you’re so last century.

We’re living in the age of the anti-hero. The more flawed, the better.

And who’s more flawed than someone who’s literally killing for a living, yet you can’t help but root for them?

The Relevance of Rebellion

Whether it’s fighting against a tyrannical regime, or exposing shadowy conspiracies, the themes of rebellion and fighting against the ‘Man’ resonate now more than ever.

It’s like ‘V for Vendetta,’ but with more backflips and less political subtlety.

Social Commentary with a Side of Stabbing

Many assassin novels delve into issues of class struggle, political unrest, and social inequality, all wrapped up in a cloak of daggers and poisons.

It’s like reading a think piece, only with more action and fewer footnotes.

The Art of Escape

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, assassin fantasy novels offer escapism.

In a world where doom-scrolling has become a pastime, sometimes it’s nice to switch gears and scroll through doom of a different kind—a kind where you can close the book and say, “Well, at least I’m not being hunted by a magical, brooding killer.”

So, the next time someone scoffs at your reading choices, just tell them you’re engaging in a timely sociopolitical critique.

After all, assassin fantasy novels are not just a guilty pleasure; they’re a reflection of our collective id, a mirror to our own chaos.

7 Sure-Fire Signs You’ve Landed in an Assassin Fantasy Novel

Find yourself in a world of cloaks, daggers, and perilous professions? Discover the 7 unmistakable signs you’ve landed in an assassin fantasy novel.

We’ve all been there, right? You’re going about your daily routine when all of a sudden, you realise you’re not in Kansas anymore.

But no, it’s not some delightful fairy tale land filled with talking animals and magical trees. You’re stuck in an assassin fantasy novel.

And here’s how you know…

1. Everyone You Meet Has a Ridiculously Dangerous Profession

You’re chatting with the local tavern keeper, and she casually mentions she’s a retired necromancer. The postman is a former dragon-slayer. The greengrocer? Oh, he’s a part-time shape-shifter. It seems like everyone has a side hustle in some perilous profession or other.

2. There’s a Suspicious Amount of Leather and Cloaks

Gone are the days of jeans and T-shirts. Now, it’s all about the leather and cloaks. And don’t even get me started on the abundance of hooded figures. If you’ve started suspecting that the local fashion designer is a Dungeons & Dragons enthusiast with a penchant for the dark and dangerous, you’re probably right.

3. You’ve Developed an Unnatural Affinity for Sharp Objects

Suddenly, you’re finding yourself admiring the craftsmanship of daggers and swords in shop windows. You’ve started frequenting blacksmiths instead of supermarkets. You’re suddenly critiquing the balance and grip of a steak knife at dinner. It’s not normal, I assure you.

4. Your Food and Drink Taste…off

Ah, the classic poison trope. If your tea tastes like it has a hint of nightshade or your steak has the subtle aftertaste of hemlock, you might be in trouble. And no, it’s not just because you’ve been eating out too much.

5. Your Love Interest is Alarmingly Good at Hiding

One minute you’re walking hand in hand, and the next they’ve disappeared into the shadows. They reappear seconds later, having taken out a group of bandits single-handedly. It’s not your typical love story, but then again, who wants normal when you can have danger and excitement?

6. The Local Wildlife is Suspiciously Deadly

If you’ve noticed that the local pigeons have been replaced by fire-breathing hellhawks, and the cute bunnies in the park are now sabre-toothed moon rabbits, you might want to reconsider your daily stroll. And if you spot a unicorn, don’t be fooled. Those things are lethal.

7. You’ve Become Unusually Good at Not Dying

Despite the constant attempts on your life, you seem to be thriving. You’ve dodged arrows, escaped from dark magic, and survived more poison attempts than you can count. If you’re still alive, it’s a sure sign you’re stuck in an assassin fantasy novel.

So, there you have it. If more than one of these signs rings true, you might want to start sharpening your swords and polishing your armour.

And remember, in the world of assassin fantasy, trust no one. Not even the comedic sidekick. Especially not the comedic sidekick.

Reliving Seven Epic Moments From Our Favourite Fantasy Assassins

Immerse yourself in seven thrilling moments from assassin fantasy novels that kept us riveted, showcasing the cunning and audacity of our favourite killers

Knocking on death’s door has never been as fun as when assassins are at the helm, manipulating the strings of life and death like puppeteers.

As we dive into the sable sea of assassin fantasy, let’s recount seven indelibly carved moments that have made us gasp, laugh, and perhaps spurred us to take up lock-picking (just as a hobby, mind you).

A Dance with the Hound (A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin)

Arya Stark’s transformation from a wide-eyed, wild girl of Winterfell to a Faceless Man’s apprentice has been quite the bloody journey. But it was her jovial dance with the Hound, their offbeat banter mixed with a potpourri of mortal threats, that made us all fall in love with her deadly charm. Who knew sibling revenge could be this amusing?

The King’s Folly (The Lies of Locke Lamora, Scott Lynch)

When Locke decided to masquerade as an obscure foreign nobility and swindle the rich of Camorr, we knew it was going to be entertaining. But who thought it would end up being a cross between Ocean’s Eleven and the Grand Guignol? A truly classic “Ah, bollocks” moment if ever there was one.

The Assassin’s Wager (The Way of Shadows, Brent Weeks)

Watching Azoth’s transformation into Durzo Blint’s apprentice Kylar Stern was like observing a caterpillar morph into a butterfly, but with added knives, shadows and the occasional poisoning. It’s not a proper education unless someone almost dies, right?

The Royal Assassination (The Farseer Trilogy, Robin Hobb)

Oh, FitzChivalry, you put the ‘fun’ in dysfunctional. From assassinating regicide-plotters to becoming the kingdom’s most beloved traitor, his journey is as fun as it is tragic. Remember that time when he almost assassinated his own uncle? Classic family reunion.

The Banter of Bastards (The Blade Itself, Joe Abercrombie)

 Watching Logen Ninefingers and Sand dan Glokta quip about life, death, and the art of creative cursing was like watching a grimdark Morecambe and Wise. A bit darker than your average comedy duo, but that’s the price of admission when dealing with assassins and berserkers.

The Hidden Blade (Nevernight, Jay Kristoff)

When Mia Covere pulled off her first solo assassination and then neatly framed it as an accident, it was the happiest day of her life. Ours, too, for we were gleefully riding shotgun on her vengeance-fuelled rollercoaster. Makes your first driving test pass seem a tad dull, doesn’t it?

The One-Woman Revolution (Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas)

When Celaena Sardothien decided she’d had enough of being a pawn and instigated a coup, it was an act of supreme sass. And let’s face it, in the world of assassination, audacity is queen. Always.

So, there you have it. The moments that made us chuckle, grimace, and question our own morality as we cheered for killers.

Let’s raise a glass to our beloved assassins – let’s just make sure to smell for poison first, eh?

If you enjoy stories about thieves and assassins, download your free copy of Birth of Assassins as part your free Ravenglass Universe starter library.

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