Title: The Gecko’s Gate – Assassins
Author: Dennis Stein
Review: The opening chapter to The Gecko’s Gate – Assassins was amazing we are introduced to different races of reptiles including geckos and their respective cities. I loved the fact that all the characters we have meet so far are anthropomorphic and it is something I haven’t seen much of and was very excited to continue reading. I loved the vivid descriptions of the characters and the different kinds of nature surrounding them. The novel gets very suspenseful earlier on when one of the Emperors is murdering by a monitor called Cyrus. Emperor Cyrus then send a mission to the Guild; where the assassins are training to kill the Chameleon King. Earlier on in the novel we learnt of previous wars between many of the kingdoms and this feels like there is another war to come.
As we approach the 1/4 mark in the novel, the monitor assassins succeed in poisoning the Chameleon King but unknown to them he knows of a prophecy where three would save them all. Kiko an anole and her two gecko friends Chase and Jonas who are often referred to as the three visit the dying king as he bestows their mission upon them and all the while we can see Cyrus and the other monitors preparing for war that would allow them to control all the kingdoms. Once the three are dispatched it sends a message to the other peaceful kingdoms that their time of peace is coming to an end, the monitors also learn of their quest and seek to stop them before they can save the Chameleon King, it is going to be a very dangerous mission indeed. I love the bonds of friendship between Kiko, Chase and Jonas despite being two different species.
As the three move towards the Eastern coast the are sidelined by the Salamanders who after learning of the Chameleon Kings’ dire situation agree to help them. The Salamander Prince; Taka also knows of Chase’s father, meanwhile Cyrus is enraged that the three are once again seeking to defeat him as they had done once before using the Gecko’s Gate, although the three remain unaware that Cyrus is behind these horrid events. As we cross into the second half way mark in the novel, the three gather the antidote ingredients they need with some help from old and new allies but the monitors aren’t far behind them. It is now a race against time to get back to the Chameleon King before the monitors get to them. As we approach the 3/4 mark in the novel, the three after an ambush by the monitors are on their way back home and save the Chameleon King but Cyrus has sent a legion after them in the hopes of killing the three and retrieving the Gecko’s Gate. As the leaders of peace uncover Cyrus is the one in charge the fate of Evaria is now in the hands of two young geckos and an anole and whether they succeed in their mission. But it is clear that the time of peace is over and war may be upon them once more. Once the three return home with the flowers and work begins to save the King, the monitors plan to attack on their turf and wipe them out and preparations must be made for battle immediately.
As we cross into the final section of the novel, some old allies come to the geckos aid as they wait anxiously for the monitors to make their move. I loved the scenes where we see Chase transform from a solider into a leader only minutes before the monitors are going to invade the cavern and attempt regicide and to steal the Gecko’s Gate but I doubt they will get their hands on it. In the tense final minutes before the battle begins, Chase becomes a lot like his father who fought in the war when he was only a hatchling. The final battle was amazingly tense and just astounding the read I was flying through the pages at an unbelievable rate, and the ending was just spectacular and I can’t to read more from this author especially in this world.
Overall I found this novel to be an amazingly wonderful and suspenseful fantasy novel, everything from the characters to the descriptions of the world were prefectly written. The pacing of the novel was one of the best things about this book even when there was very little action going on the book never felt slow and I read the novel in its entirety in under 3 hours and loved it. I highly recommend this book to all fantasy lovers and for anyone looking to break into the genre. It earned its rating.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley
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