Becoming a Cold-Blooded Killer by Todd Rutherford

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, an “assassin” is “a person who commits murder; especially one who murders a politically important person either for hire or from fanatical motives.” The more important question, however, is what prompts an individual to become a ruthless, cold-blooded killer? Whatever the reason, an assassin has to have complete control over his/her feelings with nerves of steel, and the patience to wait for opportune moments.

Similarly, in David Andrew Crawford’s Dark Solus: An Assassin’s Tale, a thirteen-year-old child, Dark, attempts to rationalize the death of his parents knowing all too well that the people who killed his parents must suffer the same fate-if Dark is to ever have closure and a sense of peace.

Grandson of the legendary silver dragon, Mephistopheles, Dark is part-dragon and is constantly haunted by the image of his parents’ souls tied in Hades for eternity-at the hands of the evil enchanter Taliesin. Can one possibly imagine the psychological impact on a thirteen year-old boy accustomed to the protection and company of his parents? Crawford describes the haunting memories, stating, “Deep within Dark a vast empty space opened, and inside was a feeling of despair as dead as dreams. Sinking to the forest floor, he called out to his parents until his throat was raw and sore, but the only reply was the faint, hollow cries of the wind.”

Within the deep reservoir of Dark’s emotion, a volcano brews, threatening to inflict pain and damage to those who destroyed his family. Left with only his grandfather, Dark flees into the forest, where he encounters members of the Halfling Guild, who are celebrating the death of his parents. Despite his age and inexperience in battle, the energy and anger that erupts within him is enough to overcome his fear and slay the Halflings and gold-faced magician who are led by veteran assassin, Criss-Cross-much to the astonishment of Mephistopheles and his faerie, Teigue.

An assassin is born when Dark, with reckless abandon and a lack of fear for his own existence, is intent on single-handedly battling Kalifen, Blackthorn, and the thousands of trained and skilled henchman at their disposal. Read Dark Solus to find out if this avenging assassin reigns victorious.

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