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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Assassin's Blood: Epirus, Book 1 is a science fiction novella written by H.A. Osborne. Laoise Rek was not at all like her sisters or her mother, Minara. The Barga were a matriarchal race, and Minara had been training her two elder daughters to take over the family business when she passed on. Laoise had no interest in being tethered to a business. She took after her more nomadic father, who felt a kinship with, and expressed approval of, her free spiritedness and imagination. Laoise was seventeen, on the cusp of being a woman, and yet she had no idea what she would do with her life. All that changed when the darkly sinister Seni, Binja Tur, entered her mother’s stall. She was the only person there that day, but it seemed as though he had come there just to speak with her. To the young woman, Tur appeared to understand her need for something more than a life devoted to the family business, and his invitation to meet with him later that evening was something deliciously dangerous and infinitely appealing.
H.A. Osborne’s science fiction novella, Assassin's Blood: Epirus, Book 1, is a compelling and thought-provoking tale about a young woman who comes of age in service to a charismatic and brutal master. I was fascinated by the setting of the story and the descriptions of the four disparate races found in the Epiran universe, who, at the time of this story, have agreed on a grudging and unsettled peace. Laoise’s ethnic background as a Barga, a matriarchal-based race, makes her interactions with Tur intriguing to watch as the two play out a complicated game of dominance and submission. Assassin’s Blood is well-written, and I found that I was swiftly engaged in the story and concerned about Laoise’s well-being. Osborne’s characters are great fun to watch, and her plot works quite well. Assassin's Blood: Epirus, Book 1 is most highly recommended.