Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers

by Hope Hanson
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Sarah Ahiers Assassin's Heart cover

With shades from The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this riveting fantasy from Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance. 

Seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana, a member of one of the nine rival assassin Families in the kingdom of Lovero, has always trusted the strength of her skill. As a practiced killer, she’s never been caught off guard. This is, until the night she awakens to find her family murdered and their secret underground home in flames. Even though should’ve known the Da Vias–her clan’s biggest enemy–would strike, her secret relationship with Val Da Via must have clouded her otherwise expert instinct. 

All of this was my fault.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s betrayal, Lea goes to ground with her heart set on one thing: making the Da Vias pay. 

–from the back cover of Assassin’s Heart
Rating: 3/5

I received Assassin’s Heart as a Christmas gift last week, and I was over the roof when I saw the synopsis related it to both The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet. And by some grand stroke of luck, I was actually between books on Christmas (for once!). So, I was able to start this one pretty much immediately.


To begin with, I absolutely love the premise of this story! The idea of a group of assassins that’s also a religious order was unique and so, so interesting. The rivalry of the Families (aka the Romeo and Juliet aspect of the book) was also super intriguing. Moreover, the general revenge plot of the book also had incredible potential. So, going into this book, I was looking forward to seeing how all that would end up playing out. After all, I adore books that have some kind of politicking or plotting!

And, to be honest, I did end up enjoying this book. It wasn’t a horrible story by any means, and I’ve definitely read far worse.

That being said, though, despite certain aspects of the book being enjoyable, I don’t think Assassin’s Heart as a whole entirely lived up to its potential. I just didn’t quite manage to fall in love with this one.

My main point of contention was that, for me, the story was somewhat lacking in emotional impact. I couldn’t quite seem to get invested in the characters or what happened to them. Because of that, a lot of things just fell a little flat. However, I do recognize that that kind of emotional involvement is a very individual thing. Although I couldn’t get truly invested in Lea and her story, that doesn’t mean the same is going to be true for other people.

TL,DR Recommendation

So, when it comes down to it, I wouldn’t completely discount Assassin’s Heart. Although I wasn’t head-over-heels in love with this book, I’m sure there are plenty of people who would love it. If you think it might be your kind of book, it definitely deserves a chance!

(And, on a side note, I do want to eventually find time to read the sequel, Thief’s Cunning, to see if I have a little bit more of a positive reaction to that!)

Find and get a copy through Goodreads here!

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