Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Review -- Assassin's Honor

Assassin's Honor
Order of the Sicari - Book 1
By Monica Burns
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 1, 2010

After her parents were brutally murdered five years before, archeologist Emma Zale devoted herself fully to her work. She has the ability to see the past when she touches ancient artifacts and considers it to be both a blessing and a curse. While searching Ptolemy’s tomb in Cairo, she discovers a symbol that proves her parents were correct about the existence of the Sicari, an ancient order of assassins and descendants of Ptolemy’s personal guard. When Emma goes out to tell her friend and mentor what she unearthed, she finds him dead—and in the same manner her parents were killed. This leads to her being brought to the police station for questioning, but eventually she is let go. Upon returning to Chicago, Emma attends her friend’s funeral and goes through some personal items he left behind. One such item is an old Sicari coin. She sets it down to rummage through some papers at her desk (formerly her father’s desk) and finds a hidden piece of paper containing a cipher written in hieroglyphs from her father. Emma is used to solving her father’s coded messages, but this newly discovered one is extremely complicated. When a sexy stranger enters her home demanding she tell him where the Tyet of Isis (a powerful antiquity) is, Emma is about at her wit’s end—until she is almost killed and the sexy stranger saves her life and takes her into hiding amongst his people. It appears that someone else believes she knows where the artifact is, as well.

Sicari lord Ares DeLuca believes that Emma has or knows where the Tyet of Isis is. It’s important that Ares find it because if the relic fell into the wrong hands, it could spell disaster for his people. The Sicari were part of Ptolemy’s personal guard and later part of Rome’s Praetorian Guard, the personal bodyguards to Caesar. During Constantine’s rule, a power struggle split the guard in two (the Sicari and the Praetorians), the result of which led to the persecution of the Sicari and their families. The ones who escaped became assassins to survive. So naturally, the Sicari keep themselves hidden to ensure survival and will kill only to protect those who don’t have the ability to protect themselves. Someone like Emma. When one of Ares’s men is viciously murdered by the Praetorians, he and his guild (the Sicari Order’s Chicago guild) bring the man’s body back to his family in Michigan for the funeral. While there, Emma and Ares grow closer and Emma learns something about her father that she didn’t know. And at the same time, the Praetorians are still after Emma for information.

With Assassin’s Honor, Monica Burns has created a unique world in combining paranormal and historical elements in a contemporary setting. I must say that I really enjoyed it! Ares is an awesome hero that possesses so many qualities I love in my heroes—he’s sexy, compassionate, protective, selfless, and honorable. He takes care of those he loves at all costs. Sigh. I liked Emma, but I didn’t love her as I did Ares. She’s clever and bright and has a bit of an attitude (which are all traits I like in a heroine), but there were a couple times when I wanted to yell at her, what are you thinking? or get over it! I will say that it did create some delicious tension between the two. The mystery of the Tyet of Isis isn’t solved by the end of this book (though it's named in Emma's cipher), so I’m assuming that thread will continue into the next one. And luckily, we don’t have long to wait as Assassin’s Heart releases in September! It features Ares’s sister and his second in command, both of whom were valuable secondary characters in this book. Assassin’s Honor is a great start to what promises to be a terrific series by Monica Burns!



  1. Yay! I love this book and the series. I can promise you, Andrea, Lysander's book will absolutely knock your socks off.

    But you've got to love the mythology Monica has created. Such an unusual premise. And Ares, is all kinds of yummy, isn't he?

  2. Oh, Kati, I can't wait!! Lysander and Phae really intrigued me in this one. *g* And I couldn't agree more--Ares is totally yummy! Such a terrific hero!

  3. Thanks, Andrea! I love Monica's writing. Assassin's Honor sounds like another terrific book to add to my buy list!

  4. I've been looking forward to this one. Yay, Monica!

    Thanks for the great review, Andrea!

  5. Thank you for the lovely review Andrea. I'm glad you liked the book. And I think Kati's right, Lysander's book is special. *smile* Not quite sure what I'm going to do for a followup book! OY! Getting ready to start that this coming week.

  6. a unique world in combining paranormal and historical elements in a contemporary setting.
    Wow Andrea, this sounds like a really great Read. I'm def going to check it out!

  7. unlitiHave read a couple of reviews of this book. It sounds interesting. Suspense, mystery, ancient secrets, a great hero, what's not to like. Will have to keep my eye out for this series.

  8. Great review Andrea!
    This sounds like a really great read. I will hae to add it to my ever growing pile! (VBG) I especially love a series and one where the next book already has a release date!

  9. Andrea another great review and another book I need to get sounds like a fantastic book

    Have Fun

  10. PJ and Gannon, I hope you enjoy it if you pick it up!

  11. Oh, Monica, between you and Kati, I can't wait to read the next book!! Thanks so much for stopping by! See you tomorrow! :)

  12. Thanks, Julie. It really is a unique world Monica has created. Hope you enjoy!

    Yes, librarypat...great hero. Ares is really great!

  13. Thanks, Cyndi! And I couldn't agree more about knowing the release date of the next. And it's especially good when it's within a couple of months!

    Thanks so much, Helen!!

  14. WOW! Fabulous review, Andrea! Guess I'll be adding another book to the pile!! :-)

  15. Buffie, you will looooove Ares. I promise. ;-)