- Hardcover: 464 pages
- Publisher: Eos; 1 edition (1 Jan. 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380978032
- ISBN-13: 978-0380978038
- Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.6 x 22.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,771,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Assassins of Tamurin Hardcover – 1 Jan 2003
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
S.D. Tower has given us a remarkable, if predictable, debut novel. That would be the only place where the book falters...the plot twist will be seen in the early stages of the story, but I suppose that knowing what will happen is only half the fun...the other half is the journey to the end. And what a journey it is! We are treated to a lush and vivid world that mimicks the very history of our own. Places seem to carry a somewhat familiar feel and the feeling of history is so real that at times I was tempted to look things up in an encyclopedia...only to remember that I was reading a work of fiction.
This novel is so visual and powerful that I really cannot praise it enough. When you immerse yourself in this book, you will be transported to a land of love, mystery, magic and political machinations. I am deeply impressed by the political jousting that goes on behind the scenes and the tantalizing bits of back-story that are thrown your way.
The novel meanders at a lesiurley pace, seldom breaking into a run until the very end...and then BOOM! it takes off and you are left breathless with revelations and an awesomely, if predictable, handling of the end. The book opens with a quiet and unassuming beginning, and the close of the novel is handled just as wonderfully. One I put this book back onto my bookshelf, I felt satisfied and entertained...a feeling that seems to have escaped many books as of late. Although this book is somewhat predictable and a little transparent, it is still a great effort and a worthy addition to any library...be it personal or professional.
When I was reading this I thought it was too good to be a first effort, the story flows along effortlessly, drawing you further and further in. Much like a good espionage thriller, although the elements are somewhat different as it is a fantasy setting. A very believable world was created, and is the perfect setting for this epic masterpiece. From beginning to end it flows like the very river that carried a babe to safety, starting her on a new path in life.
Lale, whose name means "lucky" grew up anything but. Found in the company of a corpse in a boat that floundered ashore, the tiny foundling was given a home by the superstitious river folk. They believed that since the river god saved her, it would be blasphemy not to offer her shelter. Sadly, that is all that they gave her. Lale grew up as the epitome of an abused child. Her life was loveless, emotionless, and filled with impatience and beatings, an existence that really might have been better not to have.
That all changed one dark and fateful day. Lale lost the valued possession of the women, she lost the silver needles needed for sewing. This caused her to be cast forth from the hearts and eyes of the village. She didn't exist in their eyes, no shelter was given, no food, and no contact at all. Lale dealt well with this at first, after all, it wasn't so bad, nobody was beating on her anymore. In short time, she turned her sight to far places and a chance for happiness, a one-time grab at the gold ring.
This could have had disaster written all over it, but fortune indeed smiled kindly upon this young woman, and guided her footsteps to safety. It didn't hurt that she had one of the most powerful women in all of Durdane searching for her, the Despotana Makina Seval, also known as Mother Midnight to her students. Makina has one thing on her mind, vengeance against those who slew her infant son, the son who was to be the next ruler. A long time has she woven her web, patience is one of her many gifts, and it is about to pay off.
Lale is the unwitting tool of Mother Midnight, an assassin who will be put to the utmost test of her loyalty and her skills. Will the arts of assassination that she learned at Three Springs school be called upon to kill the man who has given her life a new meaning and focus? Must she sacrifice current happiness to repay the women who offered her love and a home? Lale is deeply embedded within a web of lies, and time is running out as she fights to discover the truth.
This is a great read, and I'm looking forward to seeing more from Canada's mysterious S.D. Tower!