ASSASSIN'S BLADE begins a whole new mentality behind the MTG fluff novels. With this book, characters from the trading card game start playing a major role in the stories. All of the characters in this book come straight out of the Legends expansion, including Tor Wauki, Tetsuo Umezawa, Ayesha Tanaka, and Lady Caleria. The book provides great in-depth backgrounds for lots of the previously-mysterious Legends from early Magic mythos. The story itself is actually quite decent here, following Tetstuo Umezawa, the Emporer's Champion, as he tries to thwart the nefarious plans of the Emperor's Assassin, Lord Dark. The Emperor plays an interesting role in the book, technically the leader of both Umezawa and Lord Dark, but basically playing them against each other. His motivations are unclear, but he acts like a sort of awe-inspiring and terrible puppet master, leading an empire (or many empires?). The best characters are Tor Wauki, who follow Umezawa, and Xira Arien, lead by Lord Dark. These characters have well-developed personalities and encounter all manner of monsters and heroes during their adventures. This isn't exactly high-brow literature, but it is entertaining, and better than your average MTG fluff. I'm happy that the novels are starting to better mirror the stories and characters found in the game itself. Recommended for fans only.