The Kingdom of Sieunes is rife with taverns, dirty streets, and clay pipe smoking citizens all toiling to feed their families and keep themselves in something little better than rags. With a foiled revolution just ten years prior still burning in the hearts of many, the royals enlist the aid of assassins to keep things in order. The townsfolk entertain themselves by dreaming of better times to come and regaling in stories of the undead said to walk the graveyards at night. . . and of Cameo the killer with corpse-like eyes. . .
Scarred and jaded Cameo is one of the most effective assassins in the employ of the Association, moving from one mission to the next as long as the alcohol keeps flowing. Her acceptance of the murder-for-hire lifestyle is thrown into doubt when she meets a local highwayman with a penchant for fine clothes and women, and then she begins to think about breaking with the company but no one ever breaks with the Association under good terms.
I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed in this read because it came so highly recommended. Not that is wasn’t a perfectly decent story, but it didn’t come remotely close to meeting my built up expectations. Cameo, is an assassin hired by the association and Wick to kill whomever they feel needs to be taken out. But Cameo’s true Master is a Vampire named Hafeff, of whose bidding she must do, no questions asked. But when Cameo is sent to kill Black Opal and his sidekick Bellamy, she kills her fellow assassin instead and soon becomes a target of the association. She befriends the two thieving highwaymen and decides to leave the area.
To me this book was about a bunch of unlikely friends and misfits ambling around the country with no real purpose or goals. Besides the two small tasks that needed to be done, there was absolutely nothing driving these characters and this story really didn’t have any direction. I wasn’t invested in the characters nor did I care what happened to them. There are a myriad of characters introduced that we never really get to know beyond the surface. Very one-dimensional and lacking depth. Even Cameo. We find that she was made a Zombie by a Vampire after her and her sister were attacked long ago. But we don’t know why, or exactly how long she’s been a zombie. We don’t know much about Hefeff or where he comes from. The details are just non-existent in this book.
The only character that was of some interest to me was the theiving Black Opal. But only because he was a bit sarcastic and an unusual theif who was very meticulous about his appearance. The fact that he would get all dressed up to find himself in a fight or sleeping in a graveyard was chuckle-worthy. But the appeal stops there. He’s not described favorably, nor the other characters, but finds himself interested in Cameo, whose also not the picture of desire. So for me the whole stiff budding romance between the two was cringe-worthy…very ick.
Honestly, I really don’t understand why people are raving about this book. Okay story, but truly nothing earth shattering and really a bit boring. I kept waiting for something to happen and then thinking maybe it was all leading up to a phenomenal ending, only to be let down again. The end was very anti-climatic. So I’m hoping the second book is better. If not, I don’t know if I can hang in there for the third book to come.
Filed in: Fiction, Historicals, Reviews Tags: Books, Dawn McCullough-White, Fiction, Historicals, Review