Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Lure of Assassins: We love...to hate them

There's something about books that feature assassins that I find intriguing. Some are evil nasty bastards, but there are some that are, well...likeable. How can this be? An assassin by definition is not someone most of us strive to be, but sometimes an author does a superb job of balancing the personality on a sword's edge between good and evil.  






An excellent example is Brent Weeks' Night Angel trilogy. I devoured all 3 of those books and absolutely loved them.  A quote from a review says it all for this series: "Kylar is a wonderful character - sympathetic and despicable, cowardly and courageous, honorable and unscrupulous..."








Another series that captivated my attention is by Peter V. Brett. I loved "The Warded Man." I have not read the other books in the series, not because I'm not interested, but mostly for the lack of time and so many other books that have pushed into my reading queue.




Dave and I both share a love for writing about assassins. In our "Rule of Otharia" series, we have Nils, an evil telekinetic assassin.  Readers have told us that they "love" to hate Nils. He's depraved, thinks nothing of killing innocents, but is absolutely essential to the storyline in both "Quest for Nobility" and "The Crystal Facade." He will make another appearance in the upcoming third and final volume, "The King's Last Word."




Now in our newest series, The Witch Stone Prophecy, we introduce readers to 2 new assassins, Jeda and Mave in "ASSASSIN'S CURSE".  Both have been trained by the legendary Assassin's Guild. One is evil personified and the other is not. Readers will decide if we've done a good job of identifying which one is which. 


 


What kind of characters are you drawn to? Do you prefer your hero/heroine to follow a righteous path or can they be more flawed?