Diamond City by Francesca Flores
Good things don’t happen to girls who come from nothing…unless they risk everything.
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!
This was a fairly fast paced book that I enjoyed.
I admit, Aina made me crazy. I understand it was her circumstances. When her parents were killed, she became an addict until Kohl saved her. He taught her how to kill and she did jobs for him. Aina admired Kohl. She might have loved him. But Kohl was an abusive ass who threw her away to be killed when one thing went wrong. Aina needed his protection and it was taken. Still, she wanted to fix the problem and make Kohl proud. Ick. I will say that things got better which was helpful. I did grow to like her, but she was never my favorite character.
Teo is Aina’s best friend and he goes with Aina to do the job that went wrong. He wants to help her, even though he doesn’t think Kohl should really be a part of her life. Teo’s father had died and he took care of his sick mother. Teo complimented Aina not just because they were friends, but their killing methods were different. Teo used a gun. Because Aina’s parents were shot in front of her, she didn’t want to use guns. She became an expert with knives/daggers.
My favorite characters in the book are ones I can’t talk about without giving away the plot. But there were two standouts to me that I adored. I liked the one right away, but I didn’t like the other until much later in the book.
There is magic in this world, but they went to war over it. The people who still worshiped (and used magic) were killed or locked up. The magic used was blood magic mixed with diamonds. The Hirai family owned the mines, but the parents died years earlier. They had two sons and Aina is sent to kill the older brother. She doesn’t know who was paying Kohl, but this would be the biggest and toughest job she’s ever done. Unfortunately for Aina, Kouta Hirai didn’t actually die. This is when Kohl took her money and her protection. Aina teams up with an unlikely person and what she finds is a lot of secrets and betrayals. This is a place where money buys power and she learns quickly how strong that power actually is. There are still people that risk using magic, but they know that they may die because of it. People worship in secret.
I won’t get into the plot because there are some twists. I felt a few things were a bit repetitive, but overall, this was really good. I gave it 4 stars. I won an arc from Goodreads, but this did not factor into my rating or review.
Warnings for deaths, including children, cutting for blood magic, physical and emotional abuse, loss of parents, issues from poverty, and drug addiction.
Have you read Diamond City? Is it on your TBR?