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After 6 long years, book 5 of Elizabeth Elliott’s the Montagues series, The Princess was finally published in June of this year. I was quite excited because every year I’d check at least once for any news without any luck whatsoever. Then again, the author stopped publishing for a long time before book 4, The Dark Knight (titled The Assassin before publication) was published in 2012. I like her writing a lot but big gaps between installments hinders the enjoyment sometimes. My discovery of her work was rather sudden; I had read the first 3 books already by then and enjoyed them enough to continue on with the series.
Before I get into my review, I want to mention a few things here about the series in case a new reader wants to know: The first 3 books, The Warlord (#1- 1995), Betrothed (#2 - 1996) and Scoundrel (#3 - 1996) were connected to each-other by characters. Set in the medieval era, more precisely around Edward I’s reign, the first 2 books are of the Montague brothers Kenric and Guy. Book 3 is regency set, of a descendant of one of the brothers. I count book 3 as a standalone release. Book 4 is also set around the time of 1 and 2, however, the storyline veered away from the original Montagues. In book 2 we were introduced to Dante Chiavari, who turned out to be the brother of the heroine of book 2, Claudia. He was a minor but a mysterious character and I was totally interested in knowing more about him. In that sense, The Dark Knight and The Princess are more connected than the previous 3 books. In fact, the Montagues were barely mentioned in the new release.
Dante is Italian and had a sad past when his parents were murdered by his greedy uncle. He came to England with his elder brother and only sister Claudia. Elder brother was another greedy bastard that died in book 1 or 2 in a battle with one of the Montague brothers. But Claudia and Guy fell in love and married. Dante, however, couldn’t fall in love with anyone. The darkness of how his parents were murdered, with the urge for brutal vengeance against the man who did so and took away the riches and lands that should’ve been his and Claudia’s, was eating at him for a long time. At a point while growing up, Dante came in contact with one of Kind Edward’s closest advisers, Mordecai. He’s also a mysterious individual with supernatural powers. He can see into the future and people believe in him. He’s also trained in many tactics to bring any enemy of the King down. Assassination was one of the most common deeds and Mordecai had trained people in the past just for that purpose. Dante became one of them. The King’s Assassin that everyone whispered about but no one would directly point a finger towards him cause they were scared. Yet, Dante had dark hair and intense green eyes; a handsome man by all means.