BOOK REVIEW: Iron (The Queen & The Assassin #1) by Lisette Marshall

BOOK REVIEW: Iron (The Queen & The Assassin #1) by Lisette MarshallIron (The Queen & The Assassin #1)
by Lisette Marshall
Purchase on: Amazon
Add to: Goodreads


The Queen

Two years ago she poisoned her violent husband. Now Tamar, Queen of Redwood, rules her kingdom on her own, with an iron fist and a closely guarded heart. Surrounded by scheming nobles, she can never afford to lose control of her court – or of herself. But when an infuriatingly handsome assassin breaks into her room one night, her careful web of authority shatters at once.

The Assassin

Raised in the treacherous Taavi Empire, Runo knows every rule of survival. Don’t love, don’t get attached. Kill, and live. His newest target may wear a crown, but thanks to a traitor offering him an easy way into her rooms, even the Iron Queen of Redwood will have to make peace with her mortality soon. Except that Tamar turns out to be everything but the easy prey Runo assumed…

A Dangerous Alliance

But as they play their deadly game of survival, a far greater danger looms. With a nameless traitor now out for both their lives, the queen and the assassin have no choice but to close an uncertain alliance. And as shadows of the past draw them deeper and deeper into a tangle of deceit, sizzling hate turns into something much more dangerous…

Iron is the first book of The Queen & The Assassin, a steamy fantasy romance trilogy taking place in the dangerous, passionate world of the Five Kingdoms. Perfect for readers of enemies to lovers fantasy and adult fairy tale romances, it tells a story of deadly intrigue, dark secrets and sizzling forbidden love.


Iron was a dark and luscious story that fantasy lovers will devour!  With castles, a queen, an assassin and so much up in the air, this enemies to lovers story will keep readers hooked!  I definitely need to go back and binge all of Lisette Marshall’s backlist!

Don’t get attached. It was the first rule of his world.

Runo, a paid assassin, received orders from his Empress to kill Queen Tamar.  Yet from the moment Runo showed up to murder Tamar, things didn’t go as planned.  It all ended up going a little bit sideways, especially since neither of them could deny the intense chemistry between them.  The desire.  The fact that they felt something, which is rare in both of their lives.  Yet at the end of the day, they were from two different worlds.  But fate doesn’t always follow the simplest of paths.

Something stirred in her, and she feared it wasn’t hate alone.

Queen Tamar put up a good facade.  Those around her listened to her and followed her orders.  All because people feared her, since she ruled with an iron fist.  She was driven and cold on the outside, but entirely different on the inside.  My heart hurt for how lonely she was.  She truly didn’t have a friend in the world.  She was a good and fair ruler and we got to see how her past shaped her into who she was today.  The moment Runo waltzed into her life, it allowed us to see a completely different side of Tamar.  And I ended up really liking and respecting her!

He smiled. He couldn’t help it. A warped triumph was rising in him, a sensation like that last, expectant turn before winning a game. A dangerous feeling to allow, sitting in a cell and staring down a queen not particularly known for her mildness.

It should be no surprise that I fell hard for Runo.  He was a paid assassin.  A murderer.  He was to have no heart and do what he was told.  But from the moment he met Queen Tamar, she made him pause.  We got to see his humanity and all of the other sides of Runo that he kept buried.  He was so resourceful and clever, and I loved that his arrogance knew no bounds.  But he too lived a lonely life.  And the more time he spent around Tamar, the more he wanted to not follow his orders.  For the first time ever.

‘As a general piece of advice, don’t expect assassins to care about your wellbeing.’
‘I didn’t—’
‘Sure you didn’t.’

Any moment that Tamar and Runo were together, the sexual tension was intense.  I loved that they both weren’t what the other expected and that they also got under each other’s skin.  Tamar should hate Runo for what he was to do.  Runo should feel nothing towards Tamar and do his job.  And them ever being together was forbidden.  But what unfolded instead was a web of clues, deceit, trust and the start of something so much more. The stakes become higher as each page passed, since a traitor was after both of their lives.  They were forced to team up and I loved how this story unraveled and played out!

In his arms she felt like everything he ever held dear in his life.

Iron was an extremely seductive tale filled with twists and turns.  Sexual tension dripped from the pages and consumed me.  And while I did start out this story confused and lost, once Runo and Tamar met I was hooked!  There was so much passion and heat between them.  Ohhh I have to say I should have put the clues together, but I devoured this book way too fast and ended up being shocked with how something played out.  Eeps.  Now I’m trying to patiently wait for the next book in this series.  While it stopped at a spot that calms my heart, there was way too much up in the air to know what will happen next.  I can’t wait!

*I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book, provided by the author. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*

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  1. Tanya @ Girl Plus Books

    Great review, Jen! You know I’m not really a fantasy reader but I feel like you’ve sold me on this one! I’m so intrigued by the relationship between Tamar and Runo and the combination of the impossible situation they’re in and the steamy chemistry!
    Tanya @ Girl Plus Books recently posted…The Sunday Post #270 | December 5, 2021My Profile

    • Jen

      Awww I’m so happy to hear that! I loved how they should never even feel anything towards each other, yet they do. It was a really fun book!

  2. Michelle Adams Gumula

    OOh this is a new to me book, and it sounds like something I woudl really love! I need to check it out.

    Great review!


    • Jen

      It SO does! I think you would really love this book too, Michelle!

  3. Lindsi

    Just added this one to my TBR! Sounds like something I’d really enjoy. 🙂 Also, that cover is amazing. <3

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬
    Lindsi recently posted…State of the ARC [33]My Profile

    • Jen

      Yay, I’m so happy to hear you added this one to your tbr. It completely swept me away and right?! That cover is gorgeous!

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