July 14, 2020, 09:43:42 PM

Author Topic: How many books can you name about assassins?  (Read 758 times)

Offline Yora

How many books can you name about assassins?
« on: March 03, 2020, 02:29:00 PM »
My biggest beef with contemporary fantasy is that it seems that every single protagonist is a teenage assassin. This is obviously not true, but I was wondering how many books there actually are in which the protagonists are assassins or call themselves assassins, or something to that effect.
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Offline S. K. Inkslinger

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2020, 02:48:59 PM »
Night Angel trilogy, Throne of Glass, Red Sister, Nevernight Chronicles, Kushiel's Dart, Robin Hobb's Assassin's Quest trilogy, Age of Assassins by R. J. Barker., Novels based on Assassin's creed game series, The Left Hand of God, etc. .

I've been dying to complain about this issue too, hahah.  ;D There's just too many of them these days.

Online ScarletBea

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Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2020, 02:55:22 PM »
erm..

I think only:

Brent Weeks --> first series about a teenager assassin, in the second series one is a main character
Robin Hobb, partially --> Fitz is obviously an assassin, but only a teenager in a small part of the series; and he doesn't exactly act like a proper assassin
Douglas Hulick --> the protagonist of his duology is an assassin

In my books there seems to be more soldiers and magicians than assassins, hehe

Red Sister
Oh, I wouldn't call them assassins, really, they're more fighters/boduguards
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Offline Yora

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2020, 03:03:52 PM »
The idea is cool, stylish people who make a living out of killing lots of people with their amazing fighting skills.
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Offline Cherie

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2020, 03:31:20 PM »
I'd disagree with Kushiel's Dart; Phedre is a courtesan and spy, not an assassin, and she's not a teenager.

Offline Peat

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #5 on: March 03, 2020, 03:37:12 PM »
I'd disagree with Kushiel's Dart; Phedre is a courtesan and spy, not an assassin, and she's not a teenager.

Beat me to it.


To add to the list...

Conclave of Shadows by R.E. Feist has a kid becoming an assassin of sorts

I think Lian Hearn's Tales of the Otori is somewhat in that direction?

Pyramids by Pratchett (although tangentially)
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Offline Eclipse

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Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2020, 05:11:54 PM »
How many are hooded?
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Offline Bender

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2020, 06:27:22 PM »
Waylander series by David Gemmell

Though assassin is not a teenager.
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Offline cupiscent

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #8 on: March 04, 2020, 12:12:04 AM »
Gosh, so many assassins. And if you broaden your definition just sliiightly to "sneaky violence-delivery concepts" then I agree, it sometimes feels like you can put the majority of recent fantasy in there. I have a tag of "ninjas get chicks" on goodreads because this felt overused and I wanted to start counting. And I don't actually like gloomy-gritty-dude-assassin fantasy.

Though... isn't Douglas Hulick's main character a thief/general rogue, rather than outright assassin? Maybe I'm misremembering, it's been a while.

Some other assassins in recent years...
- KA Doore's Ghadid Chronicles (The Perfect Assassin)
- Linsey Miller's Mask of Shadows
- Brian Staveley's Skullsworn
- Robin LaFevers' His Fair Assassin books (Grave Mercy)

For some gender parity, these are mostly lady (or genderfluid) assassins. :D

Plus David Dalglish and his Shadowdance books to add to the Dramatic Hooded Figure Cover Art school of assassin fantasy.

Offline Elfy

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Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #9 on: March 04, 2020, 05:45:27 AM »
Can’t leave out the Assassin’s Creed books based on the popular video game. While the books have a cast of thousands, Arya, who is training as an assassin, is one of A Song of Ice and Fire’s most popular POV characters.
I will expand your TBR pile.

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Offline Yora

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #10 on: March 04, 2020, 09:39:39 AM »
Where does this all come from? What makes writing and reading about cool broody people who want to stab people in the heart so hugely popular in recent fantasy?

One hypothesis is that it's simply the old barbarian on a mountain of skulls concept, but without the dumb bodybuilder aesthetic, because that's no longer a desirable image of masculinity.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

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Online Neveesandeh

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #11 on: March 05, 2020, 12:57:12 AM »
Where does the hood trope come from? Did it start with Assassin's Creed or is it older?

Also, I'm pretty sure the first AC protagonist wore a hood because he was disguising himself as a monk. Every over protagonist in the series wore them to... look cool, I guess?

Offline Peat

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2020, 01:33:41 AM »
Where does the hood trope come from? Did it start with Assassin's Creed or is it older?

Also, I'm pretty sure the first AC protagonist wore a hood because he was disguising himself as a monk. Every over protagonist in the series wore them to... look cool, I guess?

Stands to reason you don't want people to see your face innit.


I have to say that on review, it doesn't actually feel like that many assassins. Like, we've named all these... and now to name all the books not about assassins?
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Offline cupiscent

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #13 on: March 05, 2020, 04:52:02 AM »
Where does the hood trope come from? Did it start with Assassin's Creed or is it older?

Pretty sure it's older? The internets tell me that Assassin's Creed was 2007, and I'm absolutely sure there were a lot of hoods around before that. I remember big hood energy from Trudi Canavan's first books, which were more like 2003 or thereabouts. (Though possibly I'm conflating the initial covers with the reprint covers, which may have been more like 2007 and on-trend with AC.)

And now that I think about it, I think the Big Hooded Cloak on that cover was actually a magician, which points to the versatility of the hood as a multi-class marker of mysterious bad-assery. (Now I'm wondering how much influence the Star Wars prequel trilogy, with its cloaked and hooded jedi, have had on shaping that part of the imagery.)

Offline Yora

Re: How many books can you name about assassins?
« Reply #14 on: March 05, 2020, 11:01:15 AM »
Hoods have been the visual clue that identifies thieves in D&D illustration all the way back since the 70s.
I assume they got it from Gray Mouser and the hobbits from The Lord of the Rings, but I don't know how often they appeared in pictures before the mid 70s.
We are not standing on the shoulders of giants, but on a big tower of other dwarves.

Beneath the Leaves of Kaendor