“It Ends with Knight” by Yasmin Angoe

It Ends with Knight (Thomas & Mercer 2023) is the impressive conclusion to the Nena Knight thriller series by Yasmin Angoe. Although it can be read as a stand-alone, you won’t want to miss the first two Knight books, Her Name is Knight and They Come at Knight.

The dazzling and deadly Nena Knight is a Black assassin working for the African Tribal Council. Their mission is to unite Africa and make life better for all of its citizens. Sometimes, that means removing obstacles—which is Nena’s role. Deliverer of vigilante justice.

There are plenty of assassin thrillers out there, but this one is in a category of its own. A witness to the murder of her entire birth family and village and a survivor of human trafficking and horrific abuse, Nena is later adopted by the Knight family. She becomes an assassin for the Tribe to help her regain a sense of power. Her adopted father, head of the Tribe, and his wife Delphine enable her to play this role. Nena and her sister Elin live in Miami, as do Nena’s love interest Cort, his teenage daughter Georgia, and her friendly neighbor Keigel. These figures, all strong Black characters, serve as Nena’s anchors.

It Ends with Knight focuses on exploitation of minerals in Tanzania. The Tribe is working to prevent “the historical rape and pillage of African resources.” This time Nena’s mission, with new team members, is to protect one of the Tribal Council members who is negotiating an agreement to mine the Tanzanite in such a way that the miners and the villagers get a fair deal. They encounter several players in the negotiations and have to quickly determine what sides they are on. Are they motivated by greed and self-interest? Or are they working for the good of the locals? All manner of violence ensues as the various parties clash.

Like the other books in the series, It Ends with Knight offers not only the fast-paced action scenes thrillers are known for, but also offers glimpses of Ghanian culture that enrich the story. A joyous celebration of a newborn takes place early in the novel, as Elin has given birth:

And for him, they were throwing an outdooring as only Ghanian-Born Delphine knew how. It was the official presentation, a naming ceremony or baptism of the child, where a blessing would be received, his name would be offered to the world, and everyone could celebrate his little life and all he would come to be. It was a coming out, so to speak, for the child and parents after they’d stayed shuttered in the house for as long as the elders made them.

The Ghanian tradition was to shelter the newborn and its parents for many months until deemed “strong enough to withstand any germs or ill will or bad juju anyone might have toward him.”

As a Black woman, Nena’s internal dialogue often reveals resentment that people underestimate her because she is a woman. She also frequently reflects on race, and that people “who look like us, who come from where we come from, have to do more, be more, and live above reproach for anyone to take us seriously.”

It Ends with Knight is a gripping novel full of intrigue and fight scenes balanced with scenes that develop Nena’s relationships and reveal personal growth. If you like thrillers, don’t miss this one.

Yasmin Angoe

Angoe is a first-generation Ghanaian American and the recipient of the 2020 Eleanor Taylor Bland Award for Emerging Writers of Color. Yasmin is a nominee for the Anthony Awards for Best First Book and the AAMBC Awards for Debut Author of the Year. Her work has received numerous recognitions, Best Of lists, and a Library Journal Starred Review. Her book has appeared in Woman’s World Book Club, POPSUGAR, Nerd Daily, the Washington Independent Review of Books, and other platforms. Angoe is a former educator.


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