The Assassin’s Tale by S.J.A.Turney


It’s a simple arrangement really, Mr. Turney writes and then I revel in the reading.  This is the third book in The Ottoman Cycle which takes place in the late 15th century and has taken the protagonist from his home of Istanbul in his quest to avenge the death of his brother.  At the end of book two, Skiouros in  a mad dash from certain death finds himself aboard The Pinta and winds up in The New World.  His time there, though brief, has imbued him with a strengthened resolve and a new sense of patience.  This is the main plot, can Skiouros see the deed through to completion, does he have the will and fortitude to assassinate the man responsible for his brother’s death?  Finding his enemy is the easy part as Cem has been the guest/hostage of The Pope, well that is until he becomes the guest/hostage of King Charles of France.  Getting to him is the challenge and proves to be an arduous one for Skiouros and his friends.  Through the expediency of forming a mercenary outfit, they gradually make their way into the Vatican only to have Cem traded away in peace negotiations and is now being guarded by the French army.  A daunting task filled with adventures and danger and death.  The author has never been shy about killing off strong/major characters but those deaths are part of the fabric of the story and as such can be forgiven despite the pain inflicted upon the poor reader when another favorite bites the dust.  A truly exceptional tale that was well researched and well developed.  5-stars