Fierce and ambitious, Aina Solís as sharp as her blade and as mysterious as the blood magic she protects. After the murder of her parents, Aina takes a job as an assassin to survive and finds a new family in those like her: the unwanted and forgotten.
Her boss is brutal and cold, with a questionable sense of morality, but he provides a place for people with nowhere else to go. And makes sure they stay there.
DIAMOND CITY: built by magic, ruled by tyrants, and in desperate need of saving. It is a world full of dark forces and hidden agendas, old rivalries and lethal new enemies.
To claim a future for herself in a world that doesn’t want her to survive, Aina will have to win a game of murder and conspiracy—and risk losing everything.
Full of action, romance and dark magic, book one of Francesca Flores’ breathtaking fantasy duology will leave readers eager for more!
I liked the sound of the world-building in this novel – it gave me some Ace of Shades vibes (a book I adored!), so I immediately requested it from NetGalley.
If you love action-packed books that move at a brisk pace, Diamond City checks those boxes. From nearly the first page, the story takes off and rarely slows down – which makes sense given the MC is an assassin. And she’s very good at her job. Other reviewers have mentioned difficulty in connecting with Aina because of her profession. Admittedly, she’s racked up quite the body count, but she was also orphaned at a young age and lived on the streets. She could choose to either give up and die or kill others to survive. Someone from her walk of life doesn’t have a long list of options.
The world-building is dark and gritty with gangs, rampant religious persecution, and a wide divide between the rich and the poor. Magic is connected to religion and is outlawed, but there are still those who practice it and risk their lives.
Initially, I became annoyed with Aina and the way she’s attracted to nearly everyone she meets, but the reason becomes obvious to Aina and the reader by the end of the book, and I was glad romance isn’t a prominent element of the story. There are some fascinating, complex dynamics going on between some characters, and I’m anxious to see where this goes in the next book.
Diamond City is a dark, bloody tale and requires suspension of disbelief in a couple of places, but it’s a solid debut novel and a series I plan to continue.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.