The best books about assassins 📚

Browse the best books on assassins as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

Coming Fall 2022: The ability to sort this list by genre (signup here to follow our story as we build a better way to discover books).

Book cover of The Way of Shadows

The Way of Shadows

By Brent Weeks

Why this book?

This book is a great, expert portrayal of what assassins are all about. It shows the good and the bad in a very believable way, through the eyes of a boy who strives to escape from a life among street gangs into the elite world of top-level assassins. 

I love this book for its authenticity and the way it immerses the reader into the cutthroat environment of a kingdom in turmoil, filled with politics and danger. To me, there is a romantic thrill in an assassin’s profession, and Brent Weeks is so good at conveying it. I put it first…

From the list:

The best fantasy books about assassins

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of The Bourne Identity

The Bourne Identity

By Robert Ludlum

Why this book?

Jason Bourne is the second spy thriller character that inspired my creation of Michael Dolan. Though there are some similarities, Jack Ryan and Bourne are actually quite different. Unlike Ryan, Bourne possesses all the field skills necessary to succeed and again, unlike Ryan, he is challenged with considerable deficits in understanding himself—where he is from, how he became who he is, and the reasons behind it all. It is through this acute, internecine struggle, the cryptic complexity of the protagonist, that Ludlum succeeded with a character that was and remains wildly popular within the spy thriller world. My shaping of…

From the list:

The best thrillers with complex lead characters and philosophical undercurrents

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

Assassin's Apprentice: The Farseer Trilogy Book 1

By Robin Hobb

Why this book?

This book yanks you into the excitement and intrigue of a young boy without social power who gets pressed into the service of his king as a spy and wielder of a familial mind-magic that he was born to, but can’t claim because of his illegitimate birth. The characters show a wide breadth of kindness and cruelty, sacrifice and courage, and a healthy dose of humor and affection. I rooted for Fitz’s wins and ached for his heartbreaks. This book helped me grasp the deep impact that a foster parent’s love can have on a child as well as the…

From the list:

The best fantasy books with compelling, likeable, and gutsy characters

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Assassin's Gambit: The Hearts and Thrones

Assassin's Gambit: The Hearts and Thrones

By Amy Raby

Why this book?

This book was originally marketed as a “romance for the fans of the Game of Thrones”, and it is one of the books I really enjoy. The main character, Vitala, is sent by her secret order of rebels to assassinate the powerful Emperor of Kjall. When she arrives at court, she is quickly dropped into a torrent of intrigue that makes her question everything she’d learned, including her own mission. 

This book is pure fun, from start to finish. From the assassins’ standpoint, Vitala is a refreshing one, because her powers come from a special skill she possesses rather…

From the list:

The best fantasy books about assassins

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of A Shadow in the Ember

A Shadow in the Ember

By Jennifer L. Armentrout

Why this book?

Oh, this one? It is everything. The villain is a virgin! Which deep down we all want. Seraphena is promised to him since childhood, groomed into marrying him and killing him in order to save her country. When the wedding night comes – he rejects her, leaving her behind. People blame her. If she hated him before, she loathes him even more. Until he reappears into her life to save her and they both fight this attraction. She still has a mission, and this is her excuse to try to seduce him. He is a tough nut to crack. He…

From the list:

The best books about love hate

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Book cover of Takedown

Takedown

By Stephen Leather

Why this book?

This is another book of heart-pounding excitement from first page to last. Lex Harper is an assassin used by the British government’s shady department called The Pool, which has the remit to work in unconventional ways to achieve its goals.

The main storyline relates to a rogue soldier who persuades ISIS to support his desire to launch an attack on British soil. When The Pool learns what is happening, they hire Harper to neutralise him.

I wouldn’t rank it as highly as my other favourite picks because I found a few parts of the plot rather unrealistic, but the never-ending…

From the list:

The best page-turning assassin thrillers

When you buy a book we may earn a small commission.

Or, view all 15 books about assassins

New book lists about assassins

All book lists about assassins

Bookshelves related to assassins

Browse books by…