The Fallen Blade: Act One of the Assassini (Vampire Assassin Trilogy 1)
by Jon Courtenay Grimwood
Orbit Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781841498454
Date: 03 February 2011 List Price £12.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Jon Courtenay Grimwood moves to Orbit with this stylish historical vampire fantasy. The Fallen Blade is the first "act" of The Assassini something of a departure from the rather cerebral and eclectic genre thrillers he was producing as a Gollancz writer. This move to a more perceptibly commercial imprint has resulted in a perceptibly more commercial novel. The Fallen Blade has drawn out something sharper and darker from this highly talented author and as well as satisfying those already familar with his brand, looks set to win him many new fans.
"Venice, 1407. The city is at the height of its powers. In theory, Duke Marco commands, but Marco is a simpleton so his aunt and uncle rule in his stead. They seem all powerful, yet live in fear of assassins better than their own. On the night their world changes, Marco's young cousin prays in the family chapel for deliverance from a forced marriage. It is her misfortune to be alone when Mamluk pirates break in to abduct her - an act that will ultimately trigger war. Elsewhere Atilo, the Duke's chief assassin, cuts a man's throat. Hearing a noise, he turns back to find a boy drinking from the victim's wound. The speed with which the angel-faced boy dodges his dagger and scales a wall stuns Atilo. He knows then he must hunt him. Not to kill him, but because he's finally found what he thought was impossible - someone fit to be his apprentice. Award-winning author Jon Courtenay Grimwood is a master storyteller. Here, he blends history, politics and dark fantasy in a compelling vision of an alternative Venice. "