Book Review for 'The Assassin Thief' by Madeline Te Whiu

The Assassin Thief
Written By: Madeline Te Whiu
Media: AudioBook by Netgalley
Narrator: Tanya Schneider
Genre: Fantasy
Published: October 15, 2022 via Goodreads Book Details // September 2, 2023 via NetGalley Book Details
Publisher: Bolinda Audio & New Dawn
Rating: 5 Stars

The assassin thief begins with Telium, previous Assassin Thief to the Queen of Alkoria, in a dungeon being heckled by guards. She is there because one day without provocation the Queen turned on Telium in a seemingly mad rage. Telium breaks from the dungeon and escapes into the forest to live out her days in silence. During this time Telium unleashes and fights to control her Thief gifts that are clearly more than any normal thief should have. One day, a Fae appears in her forest begging her assistance in the assassination of the Mad Fae King who rules Meannthe, the land of the beautiful and skilled Fae. This being the same Mad King who Telium learns kidnaps humans and experiments on them for his own pleasure and gain. The very same Mad King that was responsible for Teliums Queen’s descent into madness and Teliums subsequent imprisonment. Telium accepts the Faes offer to teach her to control her gifts in exchange for her help with the assassination. She then embarks on an incredible, eye-opening journey of self discovery and knowledge. The more Telium learns about her current situation, the more she is able to piece together the missing links of her past. Telium and her Fae companion eventually reach the town of Meannthe to slay the Mad King. The following battle will not only answer her remaining questions, but also reveals a few things about Telium, her companion and his quest to execute the deranged King.

I haven’t had the chance to review a Fantasy Fiction novel in a few months and I was very excited to receive this one. In fact I liked it so much, I listened to it twice. The cover art is phenomenal and the snippet I read left me wanting more. It did not disappoint. This one is action packed from the very beginning and does not have very many slow points. The twist at the end is *chefs kiss* and the last few lines left me craving the second book. I assume this was intentional as it is the first installment of a series. (it would be a terrible ending if there weren’t more to come, but there is.. So YAY!) The only thing about the story I was a little weary of was how easy Telium went with the Fae without a whole lot of skepticism or questions. Once I realized her young age, inexperience with the general population and how long she’s been secluded in the forest, I realized it might not be outside the scope of her reality. So, it could be argued, but I still think considering her status as the Queen’s Assassin Thief, she’d have at least asked more questions. Another thing I enjoyed about the story is how the author included a Fae who goes by They/Them and even lightly touches on Transgender characters. I also appreciate the detail in each character, down to how some of them smell. Overall this was a very enjoyable listen and I would recommend this to all Fantasy Fiction readers, young adult and older (as there is a wee bit of sexual tension, some innuendos and a few brief scenes)

<!> A huge thank you to Netgalley, and Bolinda Audio for allowing me the opportunity to consume this book in exchange for my honest review. Thank you to New Dawn Publications for taking a chance on a great author. Finally, Thank you to Madeline Te Whiu for an amazing debut novel! I can’t wait for more!! <!>