Lindsey Buroker's Emperor's Edge book, a self-published little fantasy that was a lot of fun and managed to twist a few conventions along the way. Although not the kind of thing that endures a lot of plot scrutinizing, it does a good job of assembling distinctive people and throwing them into interesting situations, accompanied by snappy dialogue and clever ideas.
So I've slowly kept reading along, buying first the anthology of the first three books and then the fourth book, Conspiracy, where many of the plot strands start to weave back together. Sadly, my constant barrage of library books distracted me from Buroker's book; since I had paid for it I knew it wasn't going to vanish from my NOOK. But the TBR Triple Dog Dare has me reading the stuff I own, which is nice because I wouldn't have bought it if I didn't want to read it! And I'm glad I did, because this one may be my favorite of all. It has flying ships, a train hijacking, real character growth, a confrontation with the Emperor, and enough laugh-out-loud moments (mostly dialogue, but a few situational) that my older son finally demanded that I put the first books on his NOOK as well.
Which led to us noticing that he's misplaced the thing, but that's another story. Anyway, anyone looking for a fun fantasy series, with assassins, emperors, great female characters, and a little bit of magic, you might try these books. The first one's even free. As soon as my no-new-books season is over I'm going back for book five. Lately I've been reading a lot that I want to HAVE read rather than want to read; this book is definitely one where I enjoy the journey and hate to reach the last page.