Assistant to the Villain by Hannah Nicole Maehrer: A Book Review 

This book has it all – a super-hot villain, a prince frog that communicates with signs, mythical beasts willing to destroy anyone and anything that hurts their mate, and an evil organization to take down the king. Talk about every reader’s fantasy, right?

Evie, resident of the kingdom of Rennedawn, just lost her job and is in search of a replacement in order to support her chronically ill father and ten-year-old sister. While walking through the woods, she runs into a notorious villain, known for being hunted by the guards of the kingdom. To avoid getting mixed up in the situation, the main antagonist, referred to as “The Villain,” helps her escape from the guards. The two converse as Evie shares her struggle to find a job, leading The Villain to offer her a job as his assistant.

Evie adjusts to the job immediately. She refuses to back down for the sake of her family, and she starts to have feelings for The Villain. While The Villain is inherently evil, he does little things to demonstrate his care for Evie.

As the plot progresses, we learn that there is a traitor in The Villain’s organization, a person who gives King Benedict information to take him down. The Villain trusts his assistant to help him uncover the truth, which leads them down a dark road of their pasts they weren’t ready to face. In this situation, they lean on each other for support.

The traitor is someone you would never expect. For your sake, I won’t spoil it, but you should go read and find out for yourself. The author did an excellent job of blindsiding the reader with the character chosen for this role.

The book feels like a young adult novel. Although it’s marketed as an adult fantasy novel, the language suggests a young adult audience.

Humor is used often in this book – some lines are actually funny while others reas awkward. Evie’s character acts far younger than she is. From what I understand, she is in her twenties. If I never knew this beforehand, I would have assumed she was sixteen, maybe seventeen.

The readers do not get a chance to see her initial reaction on her first day of work. The author only tells us from, what sounds like, a third-person perspective. Personally, I feel like the author should have expanded on the scene to show us her emotions. It would be more impactful and help us understand Evie better in this new situation.

Because of the scene’s ambiguity, I was left me with more questions. Why is Evie so accepting of The Villain’s evilness? Sure, she has a family to care for, but why keep the job and not look for a better one? I guess, having a hot boss has its perks, but if you were never an evil person before this job, you would have a hard time adjusting to this new lifestyle, no? I chose to just overlook this during the story since I loved the plot idea of working for a villain.

My favorite character is most definitely The Villain. He is a well-rounded, morally grey character that you just have to fall in love with. It is interesting when looking at his point of view on how he views the kingdom, and hearing his backstory, it makes valid sense as to why he hates King Benedict.

If the story was told by King Benedict, I feel like it would shift the readers’ opinion about The Villain as being a typical bad guy. But even then, after fully learning why he’s bad, the readers would still sympathize for him regardless.

We also see The Villain transform from a cold-hearted, evil person to a slightly cold-hearted, secretly cares for his employees and family, evil person. Seeing this transformation gives human characteristics to his character. It demonstrates that not all villains are just evil and bad people; they also have good traits to them.

If you enjoy reading stories from the point of view of a villain with light, awkward humor, a romantic subplot, and finding ways to take down the King, this is the book for you!