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The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted November 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fascinating action-packed alternate historical fantasy

    In 1407, di Millioni Family descendants of Marco Pole (see End of the World Blues) rule Venice. The city-state is powerful on the Italian Peninsular but has much stronger enemies across the continent from the expanding Ottoman, Byzantine and German Empires. Political finesse is needed but the Duke of Venice Marco IV is known as "Simpleton" for an obvious reason. His Uncle Prince Alonzo rules as the Regent supported by a guild of assassins and the alchemist Dr. Hightown Crow. Marco's widowed mother Duchess Alexa abetted by her stregoi witch A'rial keeps the ambitious Regent under some restraint.

    Alonzo arranges for Marco's fifteen year old cousin Lady Giulietta to marry King Janus of Cyprus in a strategically astute move to forge an alliance against the Ottomans. However, his plan is actually much more insidious than a simple pact. Giulietta will already be pregnant carrying a di Millioni offspring when she weds Janus; after their marriage she is to kill her spouse and his relatives.

    Instead Giulietta vanishes. Alonzo dispatches his top agents to recover her. Inside the ship Quaja, guards find a chained naked teen; they free him only to watch Tycho escape using superhuman speed and strength. Later Master Assassin Atilo il Mauros observes Tycho drinking blood from someone the lad just killed. The aging Atilo knows he has found his replacement at a critical time when his team has been battered by German Prince Leopold's werewolves.

    This is a fascinating action-packed alternate historical fantasy. Even with the paranormal elements, Jon Courtenay Grimwood captures the intrigue that was so prevalent in early fifteenth century Venice especially at the top levels of leadership, which in turn makes the otherworldly segues seem genuine. With a delightful twist tying the strong subplots together, fans will appreciate this tense thriller.

    Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Superbe!

    Loved it loved it loved it!
    Complex characters and a fascinating spin on some classic horror favorites. Couple this with a plot that twists and turns like the canals of Venice (just as murky to boot) and you've got one hell of a story...possibly quite literally...
    A must read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2011

    Awesome and bloody

    When I got this book, I wasn't sure if I'd like it. Boy did it surprise me! Not for people with weak stomaches against blood and gore--that's my only warning. Other than that it's well written and captivating. I was really drawn to Tycho. In Greek, I believe it is, his name means 'one who hits the mark.' He definitely hit the mark with me, even though he's not the loveliest of people. I quote, "You said the Blade was justice in action. Where would the justice be in killing the innocent?" You gotta love him for saying something like that. He's not completely bloodythirsty and horrible. In fact, he has a protective streak for women and children. Unless he's really, really hungry--which was before Atilo found him, when he was half crazy half dying. Before he found out blood was what he hungered for....

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    Posted May 6, 2011

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    Posted March 6, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2011

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 review with 5 star rating   See All Ratings
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