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.