Soon, the moment would come, the moment she’d spent eleven years preparing for. Could she seduce and kill Emperor Lucien?
The answer is a resounding NO. I DNFed this book at 25% because, really, there is no fucking point. She wasn't going to kill the motherfucker anyway. It's not only terrible, it belittles the act of rape.
He thrust into her, occasionally fondling her breasts or kissing her. She tried to ignore it. Mild discomfort, she told herself. It’s mild discomfort, nothing more.
Because if you just pretend that it's nothing, rape isn't a big deal, right?! Fuck that shit. Seriously, fuck that shit. This is the story of the worst fucking assassin in the world. She makes Celaena Sardothien of Throne of Glass infamy look...competent in comparison. Celaena may like clothes more than she likes killing, but at least she didn't repeatedly completely fuck up an assassination attempt. Every other page, I was shrieking at her "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! KILL HIM!!!111!!!1" I could feel my blood pressure skyrocketing. Trying to finish this book might have given me an aneurysm. First off, that cover is a total ripoff of Angelina Jolie's 2012 Oscar dress.
But that aside, the main character had so many fucking chances to kill the Emperor. She never takes them. And the emperor is a fucking "cripple." (The book's words, not mine). The Emperor is an amputee! He's a mage, he's got magic, but still, AN ASSASSIN CAN GET THE FUCKING JOB DONE IN A SECOND. WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU WAITING TO SEDUCE HIM?! The reason given for the hesitation simply doesn't work for me.
"He’s crippled and alone," Bayard had said. "Kill him, and you will spark a succession battle that will tear the empire apart."
The female assassin Vitala had one fucking job: Kill Lucien, the Emperor of Kjallan. His father was a despot, currently the kingdom of Kjallan is killing her people, torturing them, enslaving them. Vitala has been trained to be an assassin since she was a child. Eleven years, she has trained for this mission. She has been trained in killing, in court etiquette, in the many ways to seduce a man (hint: aim for the penis). Lucien is particularly interested in the game of Caturanga. Caturanga is a strategy game, much like chess. Every year, a championship tournament is held in the city of Beryl, and the champion gets to meet and play with Lucien.
Vitala won the championship, and gets to meet Lucien. Her mission: seduce him, kill him. His death will create a chaos within the Kjallan kingdom that will free her people, the Riorcans. It doesn't matter if Lucien is guilty of the deaths or not. He must die for her people's plan to succeed.
It didn’t matter whether she wanted to kill Lucien or not. Even if Lucien were innocent of all crimes—and he wasn’t—he had to die, for the simple reason that he stood in the way of Riorcan freedom. Lucien was a strategic sacrifice.
AND SHE DOESN'T FUCKING DO IT. Years and years of planning, out the fucking window because she is a motherfucking moron of the highest order. She couldn't kill a fucking spider that falls on her in the shower. Vitala is a fucking failure.
The Fail!!!!!: She fails repeatedly, but here are some of the examples within the 25% of the books I read.
#1: She gets to be alone with Lucien. She thinks he's cute. They're still alone. He doesn't look like a killer, but hey, who cares, right? They're alone. They sit down. Alone. They play a long ass game of Caturanga. Alone. She gets absorbed in the game. They're still alone. There are no magical wards on his body or in the room. They're still alone. There are no bodyguards around. They're still alone. She wins the game. They're still alone.
She’d gotten so caught up in the game that she’d forgotten all about seduction.
OH, SO NOT ONLY DID SHE FAIL TO EVEN TRY TO KILL HIM, SHE FORGOT ABOUT SEDUCING HIM. Nice.
#2: She gets to play with him again! Alone. He's pretty cute! They're still alone. Oh, they're talking about politics now. Cute. They're still alone. She WINS AGAIN! They're still alone. And, shit.
Three gods, she was supposed to be seducing him, and once again she was getting too drawn into the Caturanga.
FAIL FAIL FAIL. OH! OH! He's walking her to the door. They're SO CLOSE. This might be it, right?!
At the door, she turned and performed her farewell curtsy.
#3: She's ALONE WITH HIM IN A CARRIAGE! Oh my god, now's the time to seduce him. Get close to him. KILL HIM. They're alone!!! They're making out, they're getting turned on...and...
A spike of heat and pleasure stabbed through her and settled in her groin, where it slowly spread. Pox, pox, pox. She’d let herself get attracted to her target. This was not good.
WHAT THE FUCK?!
#4: They're alone! What a fucking surprise! He's about to seduce her. THEY'RE ALONE.
She giggled, feeling like she’d had too much to drink. Some distant part of her marveled at her absurd behavior. He had stumbled, but she was the one who was off balance. What was it about this man that her body responded to with such enthusiasm?
He’s a tyrant. You hate him.
Her body wasn’t listening.
OH MY GOD ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?!
#5: THEY'RE FUCKING! Clearly, they're alone. His inhibitions are gone! They're fucking! They're skin to skin. Face to face. Vagina to dick! Is she going to kill him?!
“Shh.” He worked her with hands and tongue, stroking and tasting. She writhed, utterly out of control, half-terrified at what was happening to her, half-consumed with yearning. She wanted him to stop. She wanted more.
#6: HE'S ABOUT TO GET KILLED BY SOMEONE ELSE. Well, awesome. Other people are going to do the job for her. All she has to do is sit back and enjoy and take credit for the work. Except that's just not enough for our awesomely intelligent Vitala. She somehow gets the fucking harebrained idea that it's better to save him.
She’d never relished the thought of killing Lucien, and maybe now she didn’t have to. She could do more for her people by saving his life.
Awesome! Throw away decades of planning by her country's spy agency. Good fucking job, stupid bitch.
WHY DOESN'T SHE KILL HIM: Supposedly Lucien is a mage who has the power of precognition, which is why she has to seduce him.
Along with the most dangerous ability of all, the gift of anticipation. A war mage could sense any attack before it came. To get past a war mage’s defenses, one had to distract him to the point that he was oblivious to the outside world.
It doesn't fucking work. A competent assassin should be able to do the fucking job within seconds. Furthermore, she actually fucked him. She actually seduced him, and she didn't do it! She just enjoyed her fucking orgasm and forgot all about the fucking mission. And Vitala isn't exactly helpless. She has magical Shards. Shards which she can (and has) used to kill a man in a single moment.
Vitala drove the Shard into the soft flesh of his hip and released the death spell.
Pretty fucking neat magical tool. Kill a man in seconds. SO WHY DOESN'T SHE FUCKING DO IT?! Precognition or not, it only takes a fucking instant when she is RIGHT NEXT TO HIM. Which she is, repeatedly!
Fail assassin. Stupid, stupid idiot.
I haven't finished the book, but I predict that this is what's going to happen. Lucien and Vitala is going to fall in love. Instead of killing him, she's going to protect him. She's going to join some kind of alliance to overthrow the evil people of his kingdom and discover that Lucien, instead of being an evil despot, is a kind-hearted king. A benevolent soul. They're going to fall in love. Vitala is going to protest halfheartedly that she can't fall in love because she's an assassin. But they're going to keep fucking and she's going to fall in love with him anyway.
Maybe someone who's read this can tell me I'm wrong, but I don't have high hopes.