It’s Fantastic Beasts meets Assassin’s Creed
Leena is a Charmer, a race of humans with the ability to tame magical beasts. Exiled from her people for a crime she didn’t commit, she’s forced to do the unthinkable to survive; sell her beloved beasts. But she has big plans to clear her name and return home. Unfortunately, her big plans are temporarily derailed by the assassin that comes within a hair of killing her. But what do we say to the
god of death punk-ass killer for hire?
Noc is the (sexy and mysterious) leader of said punk ass killers for hire. Called the Cruor, they’re dead humans who have been resurrected to become elite assassins (they can turn into shadow, it’s all very cool). The assassins are supposed to leave their past lives in the grave, but Noc has a really big secret. Well, two really big secrets: his identity while he was alive, and the curse that dooms everyone he cares about to a painful death.
When Leena arrives at the guild’s doorstep with the assassin sent to kill her as a hostage (because she’s B-TO-THE-ADASS) she has a proposal: the guild won’t collect the bounty on her, and she’ll procure the guild four valuable beasts. Noc desperately wants a beast capable of removing his curse, so he agrees. However he does neglect to inform Leena that, thanks to some ancient magic, removing the bounty after it’s been accepted is basically impossible. Does that make things awkward when he starts to fall for her? Of course it does! Sexual tension is my favorite.
And thus Leena, Noc, and the assassin gang (you’ll love the gang!) embark on a merry adventure to charm some beasts and break some curses and avoid some assassinations and try really hard not to fall in love.
But more about those fantastic beasts
99.9% of the time I am just here for the romance. But this book, with its menagerie of precious/deadly/crazy creatures, touched my jaded, cynical heart. And I am not, in any way, an animal person. But now I want to be a Charmer SO BAD. There is literally a creature in here that exists solely to cuddle, and its natural scent is lavender. IT’S A TEDDY BEAR THAT’S ALIVE AND EXISTS TO LOVE YOU AND HELP YOU SLEEP. Were do I get one of these things??
Overall, the author has done an excellent job of creating an immersive world that is so cool. Kingdom of Exiles is the first book of The Beast Charmer series. There are hints that there’s a much larger story to be told, but fear not, no cliffhangers here! It works fine as a standalone, but I’m betting that you’re going to enjoy this world so much that you’ll want to go back for more.