*I received a free copy of A Reluctant Assassin by JC Morrows in exchange for my honest review*
Kayden’s mission is simple – get close to Prince Dvarius and kill him while he looks for a wife. Under the guise of one of the prince’s marital options, Kayden waits for the perfect moment, and it turns out that one woman who has caught the prince’s eye is the one there to kill him.
A Reluctant Assassin is a steampunk novel with the interesting premise of Cinderella being sent to kill the prince. I had heard of this twist before, but I looked forward to finally getting a chance to read one.
The pacing was off in the beginning, and there was an info dump which gave this book a rocky start. There was a preface which acted as a prologue, but it was a little more confusing than intriguing.
Honestly, the characters seemed kind of flat. There was very little real backstory to give them any extra dimension, but it could be that more depth will come in subsequent books.
The best character was the unexpected, sweet, and loyal girl who befriended Kayden when Kayden didn’t deserve her. She brought a stroke of humor and added a nicely to the story. Also, the prince’s faith felt a little fake and contrived, and it wasn’t shown well enough to give it serious spiritual punch. The romance was a little rough at times, but after it got going, it was better. The tension was kind of weak, and the world didn’t seem very.. tangible. Worldbuilding seemed like an afterthought, and it lacked the steampunk feel.
A Reluctant Assassin was interesting and entertaining to read, and the ending was good enough to keep me waiting for the sequel. I look forward to seeing the characters grow, and I hope to see some more personal backstory woven into the story. I also hope to see more depth in the culture and world in the next books. Therefore, I give A Reluctant Assassin three out of five thorny stars and a PG-13 rating.