Amanda Bonilla gives fans of her Shaede Assassin books more insight into our heroine Darian with this prequel novella. The story provides a closer look at Darian's early life, from the relationship she had with her abusive husband to the beginnings of her career as an assassin with Azriel.
In some ways, I felt like I "knew" a lot of this stuff about Darian. After all, most of it is either explained or shown in flashbacks during the course of the two novels. But Bonilla delivers it in such a way that it didn't ever feel boring or redundant. I think what I like so much about her writing is her ability to make me connect with her characters. Going through everything with Darian in the first person really pulled me in to what was happening to her. I cared.
What I really didn't expect was to feel anything positive towards Azriel. After all, the guy was a villain in book one. But wow. I could see why she fell for him. He is so seductive and attractive, that I was even drawn into his web. The sex is reallly hot. And for all the selfish things he does, he did save Darian from a horrific life. It was definitely food for thought and I doubt I'll look at him the same way when I see him again on-page.
Would this be as enjoyable for someone who hasn't read Shaedes of Gray
? I'm not sure. I'd say this would serve readers best after reading that book. And if you haven't read it yet, what are you waiting for?