Great premise: In an alternate reality of England, the all-powerful elven lords rule tyrannically over their kingdoms and play games for sport, like fighting of over the King of England. Horrible execution though. It has all of those frequently used tropes I hate, like a TSTL heroine and instant love. I DNF-ished it somewhere at 68%, because when I was not raging about Cassandra's ineptitude and their unbelievable love story, I was fucking bored out of my mind.
Cassandra is a convent trained assassin who’s spent years preparing to assassinate the evil elven lord Mor’ded…by dancing? Oh, well. Through an arranged marriage to Mor’ded’s half-human, half-elven son Dominic she plans on getting closer to his father, learning his weaknesses and eventually assassinating him.
Unfortunately Cassandra is one of those TSTL heroines who constantly tell the reader that they are one thing, in this book: smart, strong and focused on the mission.
She reminded herself that her marriage to the champion was nothing but a falsehood, a way to get close to the elven lord.But she never fucking acts that way:
“This is my wedding breakfast,” she said to him.It’s an arranged marriage for fuck’s sake! But already on the first fucking day Cassandra endangers her mission, and everyone depending on her to end the tyrannical rule of the elves! What the fuck? She’s spent years training for this! And she fucking risks everything because this isn’t how she imagined her wedding to be like?
He turned and gave her a look of apology, glanced at the elven lord, and patted her hand. “Best get used to the whims of the court, girl.”
Sudden rage drove Cassandra to her feet.
Mor’ded had collapsed into whoops of laughter. General Raikes watched the antics of the nobles with disdainful interest, like a man studying a group of monkeys at play. She slapped her hands on the table, rattling the china, finally gaining the notice of her husband. “This is my wedding breakfast,” she repeated, but this time with such force that the courtiers froze, turning to stare at her as if she’d just sprouted horns.
Then there is instant love between Cassandra and Dominic. It makes no sense for these two to fall in love with each other. They do not spend time together, apart from having sex, and Dominic treats her like shit in public (because his father can't know that he has feelings for her) and Cassandra is supposed to be on a mission to kill his father and doesn’t know whether or not she can trust him.
Over the past few days she’d pushed her true task to the back of her mind, forgetting their relationship was naught but a falsehood. She had lost herself in his loving, in his beauty and kisses and the sheer pleasure he brought to her body. She had no other goal than to win him over.
God! She is such a dumb, immature, too-stupid-to-live, bubblehead!
If I were leading this revolution I would not have sent Cassandra to assassinate a practically undefeatable elven lord! What were they thinking? Instead of focusing on the mission, learning more about the elves, infiltrating the court and doing cool assassin shit, she mopes around because her husband spends time with his mistress, worries about whether or not he cares for her, and acts like a fucking lovesick 15 year old all the fucking time! She’s a pathetic excuse of an assassin.
Cass could not stop dancing for several minutes.And this is about the two men who were about to rape her!
When the magic finally released her, she looked with regret at the two dead men. She covered Martin’s face with straw, used Scar Face’s soiled neck cloth to cover his. Then took a deep breath, knelt between the two of them, and began to pray for their souls.
Worst assassin ever!