Title: Assassin’s Heart
Author: Monica Burns
Series: The Order of the Sicari
Previous in series: Assassin’s Honor
Next in series: Inferno’s Kiss
My rating: 5 Stars
Synopsis: After being subjected to horrific torture, Lysander Condellarie is left with disfiguring scars and a terrible secret that results in the loss of the love of his life. Phaedra DeLuca has never understood Lysander's sudden rejection. Now the two must comply with their destinies and join forces in the search for an ancient artifact, which, if it falls into the hands of their enemies, could mean the destruction of their order.
Review: An outstanding read! I would give it 6 Stars if my scale went up that high. It is even better than the first book in the series, which is saying a lot as Assassin’s Honor is an amazing read as well.
The plot builds on the foundations established in the first book with the continued search for the Tyet of Isis. The richness of detail concerning the conflict between the Sicari and Praetorian secret societies fills in the gaps that remained at the conclusion of Assassin’s Honor, and the author also provides tantalizing clues to the story in the next installment. I am really looking forward to finding out more about Alexander the Great’s potion.
The characterization is excellent. Lysander and Emma have a primal and fundamental connection that just leaps off the pages. Their pain and the love they feel for each other reaches out and grabs you. Lysander has an incredible strength and vitality even in the face of adversity, and while there were one or two moments where I could have smacked Phaedra upside the head, her emotions and reactions are, nevertheless, consistent with her nature. The secondary characters on not left out. The villains are suitably diabolical (I won’t tell you who they are so as not to ruin the interesting twists), and I enjoyed catching a glimpse at the history of the Sicari, both distant with Maximus and Cassiopeia, and more recent with Atia and Marcus, whose relationship is apparently going to be crucial to the next book. You’ll just have to read to see what I mean.
Burns’s writing has only gotten better, and she has managed to overcome the repetitiveness of thought and emotion that marred the first book. The flashback scenes are intricately woven into the primary story and the transitions between past and present are smooth and do not detract from the overall plot.
Overall, I highly recommend this series, which should be read in order because the plotlines are intertwined, and I cannot wait for the release of the next book, Inferno’s Kiss.