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The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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Jul 20, 12

bookshelves: arc-or-galley, fantasy-or-pn-favourites, fantasy-or-paranormal, romance, fantasy, 2012-favourites
Read from July 11 to 13, 2012

The Assassin’s Curse opens with a runaway bride making a getaway on a camel. I kid you not.

Ananna of the Tanarau dreams of sailing the vast seas with her own ship and her own crew. She longs to be the most beautiful and fierce of all female pirates and trapping herself into a marriage with Tarrin of the Hariri is the last thing she wants. In a moment of sudden rashness, she flees from the reach of her family and his, only to land herself at the receiving end of an assassin’s sword. Naji is hired by the Hariri family to kill Ananna for her disobedience… but things don’t go quite so according to plan. An old curse laid upon Naji is ignited the moment Ananna inadvertently saves his life, thrusting them both into a strange partnership where Naji is forced to protect Ananna in order to protect himself. The assassin and the pirate have to learn to get along, to trust each other, however reluctant they may be…

Cassandra Rose Clarke clearly knows what the definition of kick-ass is. Pirates and assassins? Just the mention of the two had me desperate to read this book. My expectations were reasonably high, especially after the influx of positive reviews, so I’m incredibly pleased it delivered. With adventure, magic and a delicate helping of romance, The Assassin’s Curse is easily one of my favourite fantasy books of the year.

Ananna was a refreshing bundle of wit and courage. I loved her from the moment she set free a vendor’s camel and raced across the desert on it. Albeit a little reckless and quick to speak her mind, she is very easy to like. Her interactions with Naji were particularly entertaining. I loved the subtle romance that blossomed between the two of them and think Clarke was right to develop it the way she did, without letting it interfere with the plot. Naji himself was just as likable as Ananna, although a very different character entirely. With a scar marking his otherwise attractive face, there is a certain sense of vulnerability about him. I’m eager to unravel the layers of his character in the next book and find out more about his past.

There isn’t much of a climax to this book, which surprised me a little as I was expecting one, but it didn’t leave me too disappointed. However, people who are expecting great developments in the plot as the book progresses may not be so pleased. The book description up on Goodreads pretty much summarises the whole story – it is probably better to avoid reading that before proceeding with this book. I am intrigued by the ending though and can see the foundations forming for another adventure in the sequel.

Minor details aside, The Assassin’s Curse is a brilliantly entertaining debut novel and I hope book two is just as thrilling and engaging as this one. The characters were undoubtedly my favourite aspect and I’m way too invested in them to really be bothered by any flaws in the story. This is a series I will definitely be continuing with and can’t wait to reunite with Naji and Ananna in book two, The Pirate’s Wish.

(This review also appears on my blog)
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Quotes Sam Liked

Cassandra Rose Clarke
“You don't realize how much you miss something till it comes back to you, and then you wonder how you went so long without it.”
Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin's Curse

Cassandra Rose Clarke
“I can't believe this," I muttered, cradling the skein of water up close to my chest. "Two weeks in the desert all on account of some assassin who doesn't know how to look out for snakes."    

"If you hadn't killed that snake," Naji said calmly, "I would have killed you."

" Oh, shut up.”
Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin's Curse

Cassandra Rose Clarke
“She moved like water, graceful and soft and lovely. Every part of me wanted to stick out my foot and trip her, just to see her stumble.”
Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin's Curse

Cassandra Rose Clarke
“Well, look who's on my front porch," he said, speaking Empire with this odd hissing accent. "A murderer and a cross-dressing pirate."

I looked down at my clothes, ripped and shredded and covered in mud and sand and dried blood. I'd forgotten I was dressed like a boy.

"So are you here to kill me or to rob me?" the man said. "I generally don't find it useful to glow when undertaking acts of subterfuge, but then, I'm just a wizard”
Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin's Curse

Cassandra Rose Clarke
“I'd handed my heart over to him, a damned blood magic assassin, without even realizing it.”
Cassandra Rose Clarke, The Assassin's Curse


Comments (showing 1-42 of 42) (42 new)

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Nick Wohooo ! You're reading it ! :)
I can't wait to see what you think of it. :D


message 2: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I've been looking forward to this! Fingers crossed it doesn't turn out to be a let down. ;)


Nick I hope so too ! :)
The reviews so far have been generally positive though, so it shouldn't be too much of a disappointment.


message 4: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah This seems fun but at the same time with deeper and darker elements. Isn't it a little extreme to send an assassin after your daughter? It's not my usual kind of pick, but something about it appeals. Hope you enjoy it! :)


message 5: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Nick, they have been! I's partly why I've wanted to read this so badly. :)

Aa'Ishah, I know, right?! Sending an assassin out to murder your own daughter is as extreme as it gets. I hear there are pirates in this too so I'm pretty much bouncing to get started. ;)


message 6: by Henrietta (new)

Henrietta I'd be super curious to find out if you like it...


message 7: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I'm enjoying it so far. It's looking promising. :)


message 8: by Henrietta (new)

Henrietta That's really good to know, thank you :)


message 9: by Aa'Ishah (new) - added it

Aa'Ishah The Assassin’s Curse opens with a runaway bride making a getaway on a camel. I kid you not.

You had me hooked from there. This is a seriously great review, Sam! Ananna sounds very likable - Naji, too. It seems this book is very character-driven, which is absolutely fine. You definitely have me even more intrigued now. :)


message 10: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks, Aa'Ishah! Ananna and Naji were great characters and so easy to like. I can't wait to read about them again! :) It's not completely character-driven and there is a substantial amount happening plot-wise... but all of it I sort of already knew from the book description. :P Anyway I'm feeling hopeful for the next book!


Juhina I read the first sentence. I'm sold.


message 12: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Ha! I'm glad. ;)


message 13: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika The Assassin’s Curse opens with a runaway bride making a getaway on a camel. I kid you not.

LOL... Great review Sam! When I first saw the cover I thought it's a retelling of Aladdin...


message 14: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks Erika! I see what you mean about the cover! It's perfect for this book though. :)


message 15: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Well I added it to my mountain because of the cover ;) Now your review even makes it more interesting. How about the ending Sam? If it ends with cliffhanger then I prefer to wait for the sequel. I hate cliffhanger.


message 16: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I wouldn't call it a cliffhanger as such but it does end a little abruptly. There are unresolved issues but we aren't left hanging. :)


Juhina And after getting past the first line of your review amdnreading it all.. Wow, I need to get myself a copy of this book!


message 18: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika That sounds pretty safe. I can take a little abrupt, like Angelfall or The Immortals Rules. But I can't take something that ends like Cinder, or worse. I think I made a vow about Cinder as my last book with cliffhanger LOL...


message 19: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Juhina wrote: "And after getting past the first line of your review amdnreading it all.. Wow, I need to get myself a copy of this book!"

You should! It's probably still up on NetGalley if you want to read it early. :)


message 20: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Erika wrote: "That sounds pretty safe. I can take a little abrupt, like Angelfall or The Immortals Rules. But I can't take something that ends like Cinder, or worse. I think I made a vow about Cinder as my last ..."

Don't worry, this isn't the sort of ending that will leave you in agony. ;) I hate cliffhangers too. It wouldn't be so bad if there wasn't always months to wait before the next book! :D


Livvy Great review. I'm so glad I have this to read from NetGalley. I've heard lots of positive things, so I'll be looking to pick it up soon-ish now, I believe! :)


message 22: by Erika (new) - added it

Erika Totally :D Waiting is uncomfortable, but well, that's the thing about publishing business. Authors and publishers have to do their works, and hopefully the outcome is worth the waiting. Because everything will be sucks if it turns out to be a disappointment LOL...

I'm relieved to know this one is safe. Thanks Sam!


message 23: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Olivia, thanks! I hope you enjoy it! I'll keep an eye out for your thoughts. :)

Erika, I agree! It's all about quality... even if it means a torturous wait for us. ;)


Zuleeza Hey, you liked it too! :D
That blurb! Urgh, if only we could do something about that.


message 25: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam I know right! It would be better if there was nothing there at all. I can't believe how much is gives away. Maybe they will change it before publication or something. :)


message 26: by Lauren (new)

Lauren I actually always get this book mixed up with Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, so never really looked closely at the summary. Pirates + assassins definitely sounds badass! Glad you liked it! Will def try to read this.


Jasprit Another fantastic debut fantasy? I'm glad I grabbed this one when I did, I'm hoping I'll enjoy it just as much as Throne of Glass! Wonderful review Sam! I honestly can't wait to start this! :)


message 28: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Jasprit wrote: "Another fantastic debut fantasy? I'm glad I grabbed this one when I did, I'm hoping I'll enjoy it just as much as Throne of Glass! Wonderful review Sam! I honestly can't wait to start this! :)"

I didn't enjoy it ass much as Throne of Glass but it is still a really good read. I can't wait to see what you think of it! :)

Lauren wrote: "I actually always get this book mixed up with Tiger's Curse by Colleen Houck, so never really looked closely at the summary. Pirates + assassins definitely sounds badass! Glad you liked it! Will de..."

Oh I suppose the covers sort of look similar from afar. :) I hope you do give this a shot Lauren! :)


Eunice Wonderful review, Sam! This sounds like a really fantastic read. Just requested it, I don't know why I didn't request this right away when I first saw it in Netgalley! Hope they approve me! :D


message 30: by ♥Rachel♥ (new)

♥Rachel♥ This sounds like a lot of fun! I had to laugh at the image of Ananna escaping on camel back. I love heroine's that speak their mind even if they are a bit reckless. Brilliant review Sam. :)


message 31: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Eunice, thanks! I completely overlooked this book at first too but I'm glad I went back to check it out. It's worth a read! :)

Rachel, it was a lot of fun! Ananna was a great heroine, probably one of my favourites. I hope you pick this up one day. :)


message 32: by Sonia (new) - added it

Sonia I must not read the summary then. Knowing this book is about pirates and assassins alone already make me want to read it! Wonderful review, Sam! ;-)


message 33: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Isn't that one great combination? ;) I hope you enjoy this as much as I did! Thanks, Sonia. :)


Hilda I have to read this soon! Pirates seem like a good pick for summer read LOL! Fabulous review, Sam! :)


message 35: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thanks Hilda. Pirates are a good pick for any time of the year in my opinion. ;) I can't wait for you to read this! :)


Donna  Happy Booker I need to get this book asap. :)


message 37: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam You do! I think it has been released now? It was a very fun read, even though I already knew what was going to happen. I loved the characters. :)


message 38: by Eve (new)

Eve I saw your review and suggested the book to my daughter. She loved it and can't wait for the 2nd one. Thanks.


message 39: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thank you for reading it! I'm so glad to hear your daughter enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to book 2 myself. :)


Kristen Sometimes Sam, you make me not want to bother to write my review because yours does such a perfect job!
Just finished this one and I thought it was a wonderfully fun adventure! So happy I have the arc for book 2.


message 41: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Thank you! <3 I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed it! Book 2 is a lot of fun, too, though I did have a few more mixed feelings. Can't wait to see what you think of it. :)


message 42: by Sam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sam Yay! I hope you like it, Nidah. :D


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