Assassin by Keith McArdle – A Book Review {Short Read Sunday}


My incredibly infrequent, (supposedly) weekly, post, ‘Short Read Sunday’, returns …and hopefully doesn’t vanish again for so long this time. My main problem is that I have been reading so many short story collections and not enough individual ones like this. I suppose I could simply break them apart like I did with the Stephen King collection I reviewed previously. Ah well, that’s a problem for another Sunday. On with the review.


Vyder Ironstone is an assassin with a troubled past. At the order of his king, Vyder must undertake his most dangerous mission yet. A mission from which he may never return.

If he is successful, it might just be enough to alleviate war tearing the kingdom apart.

The prospect of failure is not worth considering.


Author: Kieth McArdle

Publisher: Kieth McArdle

Release Date: 22/12/2013

Pages: 32

Genre: Fantasy

My Chosen Format: Kindle

My Rating for ‘Assassin’: 2 out of 5

Purchase: Amazon UKAmazon US



This was a really strange one for me to review. I know, the score I gave it was a mere 2 out of 5. You’d expect it to be really bad, right? Well, it isn’t. The writing is good and the ending to the story really does intrigue me as to where it’s going. Enough that, if I didn’t have such a huge reading list that I may well hop on and read the series. Here’s why it only scored a 2:

To me, an assassin should use a multitude of weapons, skills and techniques in order to finish his task in as silent and efficient a way as possible. Vyder, supposedly an assassin, kills his mark in the most un-interesting and un-assassiny way imaginable. I said ‘supposedly an assassin’ and I mean that. The author tells me he is one. But what the author shows the reader is a bar-room brawling drunk with enough money to have a maid looking after his home and nothing more. 

Admittedly, I have said that a good few points of the story are pretty good. But, for me, if I can’t enjoy a character than that detracts just as much, if not more, than a bad end or a poor story. Sounds like Vyder is just a mercenary/sell-sword rather than an assassin. 

I didn’t feel intrigued by his character towards the end. I am intrigued to see where the series goes as the author set that up well. I’m just not intrigued by Vyder. At all. This could well just be me expecting more than I got and anyone else who reads this short story may well enjoy it far more than I did. I only wish I liked it more.

14 thoughts on “Assassin by Keith McArdle – A Book Review {Short Read Sunday}

  1. Well, I am running behind on reading books even more than I am running behind on movies, anime and tv series (if you can believe that 😂). After reading this post, I am not really finding an urge to check out this short story anytime soon, even if it is only 32 pages. I usually like assassins, but as this seems like it is a character that is pretending to be an assassin I think I will pass on this 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So, you like skilled assassins.. Have you read Nevernight yet? 😀
    I have to say, the pushing through the window, yeah, a bit lame… a pen in the throat would have been better… or an ashtray hit to the head or something.. gosh, in a tavern, you have so many options!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, darn it- that’s what happens when I try to multitask 😀 I best go back and check the emails I sent yesterday- hope I didn’t add any references to poor assassins in them!

        Yeah, Nevernight is good and Godsgrave (book 2)- I;m about 100+ pages in and it’s quite… imaginative and rich… with good assassins and kill scenes 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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