“Assassins Of Riaz” by Michael Drakich

“Assassins” is Action Fantasy with a hefty dose of politics thrown in. It takes place in the independent trading city of Limos, Riaz, ruled by five merchant princes and kept in order by a rather mercenary magical Assassins Guild. To this city come representatives of several nearby kingdoms with the intent of holding a conference to set up commercial treaties. However the real objectives of several of the leaders are hidden from view, even of their own party, and things get complicated early in the story.

The plotline is a complex series of interconnecting and constantly shifting alliances, with people jumping ship, literally and figuratively, in all directions. This keeps the plot moving and the action intense, but is sometimes a bit confusing.

One of the main characters is the apprentice to the Assassin Lord and the other two are members of visiting delegations. Thus we see the story from three widely divided points of view. The three leads are fully rounded and interesting characters, but we jump from one to the other too often to get fully connected to any one of them. The result is a fine plot with great conflict, but less suspense than we could feel because we are not strongly attached to the objectives of any one person.

My other complaint is an overuse of complicated vocabulary, not all of it applied correctly. I have never seen the verb “ensconcing” used in a novel before. “Acuity” is perhaps more common, but not usually in reference to the colour of a character’s hair.

Good Action Fantasy with great characters. If you can keep them all straight.

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



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