Friday, August 21, 2015

Review: The Assassin's Curse - Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse #1
Genre: YA, fantasy
Published on October 2, 2012
Published by Strange Chemistry
Pages: 298
Read From: 08.23.15 - 08.26.15

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. 

To break the spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks - all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic. . . .and the growing romantic tension between them.


Dear Assassin's Curse,

I've been wanting to read you ever since you came out, and at long last I finally got the chance to this year! You sounded wonderful from the very beginning and I had the reassurance of several trusted friends that you were good. I was admittedly worried about the romance, but my fears were instantly put to rest.

Ananna is the daughter of pirates, and like them, she's free-spirited and craves adventure and a ship of her own. So when her parents decide to marry her off to the son of another powerful pirate clan, Ananna puts her foot down and runs away. Things get sticky when the Hararis send an assassin after Ananna for the slight she's paid them. When Ananna and the assassin, Naji, face off one night in the desert, Ananna instinctively saves his life from a poisonous adder. Unknowingly, she triggers a curse: Naji must now protect Ananna at all costs from any danger, otherwise he'll die. Together, pirate and assassin set off to find a way to undo what's called an "impossible curse" - but they aren't prepared for the dangers along the way, especially when Ananna starts falling in love with Naji.

I loved everything about you, Assassin's Curse. You take place in a rich, vivid world full of magic and mystery and exotic Arabian Nights appeal. The pirates are whimsical and believable all at once, while the assassins are shrouded in myth and mystique. I was swept away from the very beginning, when we're introduced to Ananna - a spunky, sharp-witted protagonist who is also very relatable and down-to-earth. Naji, the quiet, decent assassin was an immediate hit, too; he is the sort of dark character that I love. The Mists - a race of otherworldly beings chasing after Naji - are chilling and scary.

Your narration style took a moment to get used to, as it's told through Ananna's words and written the way she speaks. But it worked so amazingly well in immersing me further into the world and understanding Ananna's character better.

The ending was a tiny bit anticlimactic. The synopsis gives the impression that this first book in a series deals with Naji and Ananna undertaking three impossible tasks to cure an impossible curse, when in fact that is what the second book is about. Naji and Ananna don't find out about the tasks until the very end; your plot is leading up to it the whole time.

Nevertheless, you left me wanting to dive into the sequel immediately. You are a rollicking fantasy adventure with amazing characters, an amazing world, and a romance that doesn't at all interfere with the action and mystery. It's very much there, but it's a slow-burning romance that I can totally get behind. I absolutely loved every moment of you, Assassin's Curse. You are my new favorite fantasy series.

Feeling excited,
~ Mara A. ~

Others in This Series:
1)The Assassin's Curse
2)The Pirate's Wish
3)The Wizard's Promise

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