August 9, 2022

ARC REVIEW The Altruist and the Assassin (The Book of All Things #3) by Sarah M. Cradit

The Altruist and the Assassin (The Book of All Things #3) by Sarah M. Cradit 
Rating: 4 Stars
Release Date: August 9, 2022
Format: eARC (Courtesy of the Author)
Publisher: Storyville Press 

I just finished Sarah M. Cradit’s The Altruist and the Assassin in less than a day, and I think it's my favorite book so far out of all those in The Book of All Things series. Each book is an interconnected standalone, and you don’t have to read the first two books in the series to be able to follow Rhiain and Asterin’s story. However, I do recommend reading all of the books as The Raven and the Rush and The Sylvan and the Sand are quite entertaining, and there are a couple of moments here and there that might not make as much sense without context. 

One mistake can change your life forever. That’s a lesson Rhiain learns the hard way when in the span of a single moment she goes from spoiled noble princess to enduring harsh training to become one of the kingdom’s most feared assassins. After a run-in with a mysterious stranger on a mission (who surprisingly knows her), her life begins to change even more and she has the chance to finally unravel the mysterious holes in her past. Will she be able to reclaim the memories she once thought lost, and discover why she feels so connected to Asterin, or will she be too late?

Rhiain was the character I connected to most in the book. To say she’s had a hard life would be an understatement (please check out the trigger/content warnings below for an idea of what I mean). You couldn’t help but want things to work out for her. I loved getting to see her relationship with Asterin develop - the witty banter between the two of them was fantastic. I was also quite thrilled to see all of the tropes that Ms. Cradit had promised come to life in the story; some of my favorites were found family, fated love, and ‘there’s only one bed’. Please be aware that the steam in this book is more intense than in previous ones - the romance scenes are not fade to black but they aren’t what I would consider explicit or graphic.

While Asterin and Rhiain are the stars of the book, there are definitely some lovable side characters. Sesto in particular was one of my favorites, as were Rhiain’s little brother and Tyr. I know that the author plans to revisit some of the side characters in future books in the series, so I hope I get to see all three of them find their happily ever afters too (and see characters like Rhiain and Asterin make cameos in future Guardians Cycle books). 

Each book in the series is designed to be standalone (and exist within individual cycles), but it was cool how each one built on the worldbuilding of the series. You won’t miss anything on the worldbuilding if you don’t read the other books - it’s more like the author is painting individual pictures that connect into one larger one. 

Altogether, The Altruist and the Assassin was another amazing installment to a fantastic fantasy romance series. I would recommend this series to readers at the new adult or adult levels who enjoy fantasy romance tales - this book in particular reminded me a lot of Rapunzel or Sleeping Beauty.  After three stellar books, I’m excited to see what’s next for readers (and the world of the Kingdom of the White Sea) with The Melody and the Master. Thank you to the author for providing me with a complimentary review copy of the book. I appreciate the opportunity to read and review The Altruist and the Assassin immensely! Please note - I voluntarily read and reviewed the book. All opinions expressed in the review are my own and not influenced in any way. 

Content Warnings: violence, death, murder, sexual assault, child abuse, cheating from a secondary character, memory loss, parental abuse, trauma (none of the aforementioned occur between the main characters

About the Book

Rhiain enjoys a charmed life as the daughter of one of the most powerful men in the realm. Spoiled and vain, she has never met a need or want she couldn’t attain. The dark spots in her memory have been tucked away, with all other unpleasant things. 

Then a terrible mistake brings her entire world crashing down around her. Her life shifts in an instant; her fate, uncertain. Her father’s punishment for her is forcing her to train for a life as one of his prized assassins.

But a chance encounter in a familiar tavern will change everything. 

Everything she knows.

Everything she feels.

Everything she is.

As Rhiain gets closer to handsome, enigmatic Asterin— a man she doesn’t remember but claims to possess the truth about her dark spots—she begins to accept there is much more to these gaps in her understanding of the past.

Because these memories were taken from her for a reason. And there are those who will do anything to stop her from remembering.

The Altruist and the Assassin is a standalone fated love fantasy romance tale set in the Kingdom of the White Sea universe, with hints of Rapunzel and Sleeping Beauty.

About the Author

Sarah is the USA Today Bestselling Author of Epic, Contemporary, and Paranormal Fantasy. An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf's personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She's a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Pennsylvania, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.

Check out the Author's website here - Author Website 

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