Kai’s debut features three of my very favorite things (murder, gays, and archives) so I knew I would love it. The Perfect Assassin a fun and absorbing adventure story with an immersive desert setting that made me very grateful for my water-dispensing refrigerator!
The Perfect Assassin‘s hero Amastan is not your typical fantasy protagonist – not your typical male character at all, really. He’s both a badass and a sweet-natured nerd – a highly trained assassin who also happens to be a genuinely good person with a moral code, more likely to solve a problem by reading some obscure scrolls than by beating someone up. He’s also asexual and homoromantic.
As a bisexual person I always love reading books with authentic queer rep – but I especially love it when sexuality is not key to the story, it’s just one of many character facets. Amastan’s sexual orientation is presented without defense or drama, and we meet plenty of other characters throughout The Perfect Assassin who are casually established as queer (the way straight characters are all. the. time. in books and movies and everywhere else). It was so refreshing, and as a queer author and reader extremely meaningful (dare I say emotional) for me. Too often queer writers are asked to justify “making” our characters queer – but we don’t need a reason. Because they are is reason enough.
I can’t wait for the next installment in the Chronicles of Ghadid trilogy, where we get to learn all about Amastan’s cousin Thana (a minor but very memorable character in The Perfect Assassin) – plus even more gaaaaaaaays!