I am impressed with this book on so many levels. To start with, the author articulated so well what I personally believed in all these years - that history is a fickle but a loyal mistress to her stoic master, destiny; She weaves this wonderful tapestry of human emotions and ideals to achieve what her master wishes but ever so fickle she now and then lets her guard (purposefully or not is a speculation) down to allow certain events to happen which alter the pattern but then regrets her faults and sets it right almost always in a messy way but secretively. It is this wet clay of an idea that the author caresses and beautifies to put together a story as beautiful as it is. A personal husband and wife strife story with a touch of historic accuracy, an assassin so made-to-order to be the wet dream of every action-thriller fan, a nerdy protagonist who is just an inch behind the assassin all the time while set in a time period where international espionage was in its infancy. Beautiful! wonderful story expertly written and presented.