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The Assassin’s Curse

(The Assassin's Curse #1)

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  17,505 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. And 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 curse, Ananna and the assassin must co
Paperback, UK, 304 pages
Published October 1st 2012 by Strange Chemistry
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Thea Yes, it has romance. It's unrequited at the moment, though (so if you like angst, this book got it).
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  17,505 ratings  ·  2,148 reviews

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This is an accurate portrayal of me after reading The Assassin's Curse:

In fact. You know, what? Hit it:

Ananna is a pirate, born and raised
and on the high seas is where she spends her days.
Sword fightin', riggin', stealing your loot.
Handy with a lie and a knife in her boot.
All she wants is to travel to distant lands,
but her mom and pop are plotting marriage plans.
She'll take adventure over a relationship,
so on the big day gives her fiance the slip.
She has no idea just what trouble she's in,
turns out he wasn't joking about
Emily May
2 1/2 stars. So, I finally tried the much-recommended The Assassin's Curse after all this time. I recently tried Clarke's adult novel - Our Lady of the Ice - and found it painfully slow, but I wanted to see how her YA book compared.

The Assassin's Curse was not as slow as Our Lady of the Ice and I was able to finish it, however, I am a little surprised by all the hype. There were some parts that I had to push myself through and I can say I have no desire to read The Pirate's Wish.

Firstly, there is no world-building. Occas
Jun 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourite, arc
This review is also available on my blog, Qwerty

Easily, the BEST BOOK of 2012 I've read so far.

First, I would like to offer a shitload of virtual Nutella for mah girls,
and Lisbeth as a sign of gratitute. Without their gushing reviews, I wouldn't go about requesting this from Netgalley.

I think I may have found my favourite book of 2012 so far.
This review is also available on my blog, Qwerty

Easily, the BEST BOOK of 2012 I've read so far.

First, I would like to offer a shitload of virtual Nutella for mah girls,
and Lisbeth as a sign of gratitute. Without their gushing reviews, I wouldn't go about requesting this from Netgalley.

I think I may have found my favourite book of 2012 so far.

No, I'm not kitten you.

My favourite shelf had been so loneleyh! SO LONELEYH! No books, and I mean no books had ever made it into that list after Daughter of Smoke and Bone earlier this year. Some made it close, but this book just went cruuuuuuuuising into my favourite shelf.

Like a boss.

This is the book which I need it in physical form no matter what.
This is the book which worth a place next to my Lord of the Rings trilogy on my shelf.
This is the book which needs to be read slowly because you don't want it to end.
This is the book which I'll re-read over and over again in my lifetime until the cover eventually falls off.
This is the book I want to marry. I don't care if I die alone with 72 cats.
This is the book which left me lost for words. I have nothing bad to say about it! Now, how the hell I'm going to write a review if I like everything about this book?

I know, I know...shame on me for never running out of ideas on how to condemn a book but not to praise it.

I mean, I expect nothing less from an author with mitochondrial as her twitter username.

This is a usual story of how a girl meets a boy, well, except that the girl is Ananna, a pirate and the boy is Naji, a blood magician/assassin who is assigned to kill Ananna. Ananna is hunted by the groom's family when she decided to escape the wedding day. During the confrontation between Naji and Ananna, Ananna accidentally saved Naji's life which resulting in an impossible curse inflicted onto Naji. Consequently, Naji is bound to be with Ananna all the time to protect her, otherwise he will experience great physical pain. Together they cross the desert, the ocean and a magical island on a mission to break the curse.

Hurm, that's why I hate summarizing. The story ended up sounding so dry.

It was hard to get into at first for me. First, because it's from Ananna POV and she got all these pirates vibes going on in her speech and monologues. Second, I couldn't grasp the reality of her relationship with her parents that made her decided, it's okay to leave them to escape the arranged marriage.

Ananna or as I'd like to call her

How do I describe this young lady... I adore her so much, I wish to breed her, I wish for all the versions of myself in parallel universe to be like her. She is err...Anannananana batman. Unique. Fearless but not reckless. Ambitious but practical. Eager to learn. She does all those pirate stuff, cursing, shoplifting, pickpocketing but she possesses an admirable ability for compassion and loyalty. She could just leave Naji to die in the desert but she sticks with him anyway, through thick and thin.

Most importantly, she is so much fun to read, to learn about.

I was building up to my best one, about a whore and a court magician, and I knew it'd get a laugh of Naji for sure.

I like 'em well enough, even though they teased me and tried to embarrasses me with crude stories and the like. Course, I had a few stories up my sleeve that made them blush.

He was curled up on the net and didn't move. "E'mko and his twelve dancing seahorses, you better not be dead."

A million possibilities raced through my head. Maybe he'd turned into moonlight after all, and I was next. Maybe he'd turned into a fern and I was ripping him into shreads in my fear.



Damn, I lost my ovaries to Logan from Defiance two days ago but right now I'm in dire need to have them back so that I can explode them all over again. For Naji.

Not much has been revealed about Naji's background up until this book but I think I've learned enough about him to decide that he is indeed swoonworthy. Naji doesn't talk a lot, hides many things, a bit sarcastic, rarely smiles let alone laughs but he is not a douche, not even close. Instead, he is sort of ermm...socially awkward no matter you believe it or not. He is...well, Naji, a very special character and perfect for Anannananana batman.

"You really don't have to stay-it's-well, I'm doing something very rare, full ack'mora-I wouldn't expect-" He straighened up, ran one hand through his tangled-up hair. "Though I ask that you stay in the hotel. My-oath-I'm not sure what would happen to me if you got caught up in danger while I'm away."

*sigh* Well, I ran out of things to say, so to whom I recommend this book to? I want to say everyone but I don't think this book will appeal to everyone. Not that I care, hah! I'd love this anyway if the whole world hates it. Suffice to say that if you're looking for romance and cookie-cutter male and female protagonists, you wouldn't get any because this is one of those books where the characters started off as friends, taking their time to know each other first. A relationship built on trust not lust.

So...Book2, The Pirate's Wish


**The ARC was provided by Strange Chemistry in exchange for an honest review.
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
DNF @26%



Sign me up!

...and then quickly un-sign me. Because as fun as this idea is, it’s executed really poorly.

The story focuses on Ananna, who runs away from her pirate family to escape an arranged marriage. In doing so, she invokes the wrath of an assassin, and accidentally binds them together with a curse or some other mumbo-jumbo.

(I’m gonna be honest, I didn’t make it to the curse part.)

Though I really hate to put this down so ear
Rachel E. Carter
Nov 19, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ladies and Gentleman, this is how you do fantasy.


If you enjoy spunky, defiant protagonists a la Alanna (Song of the Lioness) or Saba (Blood Red Road), or, hell, even Arya Stark, then meet Ananna: the headstrong pirate’s daughter who wants to own her own ship to pillage the coast one day. Umm, who doesn’t?

If you enjoy awesome world building (and we are talking the desert, sea, and a magicked is
I don't think there are words to describe my severe disappointment after finishing THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE.

I began the book with high expectations after individually going through the glowing reviews my co-blogger friends wrote. I was ridiculously excited for THE ASSASSIN'S CURSE - but not only did it let me down... I disliked it heartily in general.

I, along with a majority of the readers, found the idea of the plot to be interesting and original - a strong, independent pirate-chick on a quest to cut the bond between an assa
Cece ❀Rants, Raves &Reviews❀
There are few things I FUCKING LOVE MORE than reading about two adversaries FORCED to become allies for some higher goal.

Saving the assassinNanji's life binds him and Ananna together so Naji HAS TO protect her. The awkward teamwork! The reluctant bonding! Yelling at each other while fighting people! An odd pair but they were great

”Well, look who’s on my front porch,” he said, speaking Empire with this odd hissing accent. “A murclass="gr-hostedUserImg">
Jillian -always aspiring-
When I first read the synopsis for Cassandra Rose Clarke's The Assassin's Curse, I was very intrigued. Pirates? Assassins? Magic? Curses? Yes, please! Who wouldn't want to read a novel that seems like what might have happened if someone like Tamora Pierce had written Pirates of the Caribbean? As often as I've been burned by false promises in novel synopses, I need not have worried with this novel:  The Assassin's Curse fulfilled its promises and managed to soar above and beyond my expectations.

In a world whe 
The ...more
May 05, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5/5 stars
I really really enjoyed this book and can't wait to read the next one!
Do you love Grave Mercy, Blood Red Road, or The Bloody Jack series? Then you need to read this book.

Do you like Grave Mercy, but wish it had more actual murder and a less prim heroine?
Do you like Blood Red Road but wish it had a plot that actually made sense?
Do you like Jacky Faber, but wish she would just grow up already?

Then you definitely need to read this book.

This book is an absolutely entertaining, fun ride that swept me up onto the back of a stolen camel and never let me go. I finished it in one day/>Then
Ronak Gajjar
Mar 02, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, 2018
Magic - Check!
Pirates - Check!
Assassins - Check!
The Hero with worst past - Check!
The dumbest Heroine who for once doesn’t do what she is told to - Check!
Guns - Check!
Swords - Check! (**If you could get the irony!)
Machines - Check!
Poor world building - Check!
Controversial reviews - Check! (**I should have followed my intuitions! - I wish!)
Weird comparative Metaphors - Check!
Whatever! - Check!
Concept: 2.0/5.0
Execution: 2.5/5.0
Characters Bespoken: 2.25 /5.0
Cover: 3.0/5.0
Overall: 2.5/5.0
So, where to start this fantastic review? Ah, I know!
*Shouts* Even the magic written here was boring! Nothing happeningCheck!
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Give this at least 3 chapters...

...okay, maybe 4 chapters...

...come to think of it, go with 5, just to be safe...

3.5 stars. I can't remember where I got hooked, but it took a short amount of time. But when it happened, I was all in. It was sort of like when I read Graceling and felt like the story didn't really start until Katsa and Po hit the road. That's what happened to me with Assassin's Curse. Things start to pick up when Annabanana (uh...or something like that, her name was similar) get
Tamora Pierce
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-ya-yr
A very unusual fantasy, with a female pirate hero and a brooding assassin male hero. You have to know I loved it because I gave it a quote for the cover!
May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, angry-robot
This book has been making the rounds much more than I would have thought, considering it's published by a new indie publisher. But honestly, The Assassin's Curse is one of the best debuts I've read all year.

I've been saying for quite a while that what YA needs more of is pirates. There just really aren't that many. And I mean, come on. Who doesn't love a good pirate?

And the pirates in Ms. Clarke's book are epic. Think Pirates of the Caribbean #3, wit
This, ladies and gentleman, is how you write a spectacular debut novel. Clarke’s first book is a masterful mix of imagination, thrill, suspense, and a subtle, but underlying, romance. Although I do have my own qualms with this book – which I will get to in a little bit – I can’t deny that it kept me entertained, forcing me to devour it all in one sitting. I fell in love with the character interaction and rich world that Clarke had created and I am already eagerly anticipating the sequel of thi ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The Assassin’s Curse, Cassandra Rose Clarke’s debut novel, is an exciting and unusual adventure filled with pirates, magic and, of course, assassins. It’s a must read for everyone who’s grown a bit tired of the same ol, formulaic stories. This book could never have a girl in a pretty dress on its cover.

Here’s something I’ve noticed in Clarke’s adult book (3.5
The Assassin’s Curse, Cassandra Rose Clarke’s debut novel, is an exciting and unusual adventure filled with pirates, magic and, of course, assassins. It’s a must read for everyone who’s grown a bit tired of the same ol, formulaic stories. This book could never have a girl in a pretty dress on its cover.

Here’s something I’ve noticed in Clarke’s adult book (
The Mad Scientist’s Daughter), and it’s even more pronounced here: she tends to write slow-developing, complicated and subtle romances. Sometimes they’re so subtle, in fact, that you can’t even be sure they’re there. She doesn’t hesitate to throw a third, fourth or even a fifth person into the mix, and she doesn’t hesitate to let that third (fourth, fifth, you get the picture) person win. While I recognize and even appreciate the originality, I don’t always like it. Call it a personal flaw if you will.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure (and please take into consideration that I’m risking my life by writing this down because there will be quite a few bloggers willing to come for me with torches and pitchforks), I must admit I didn’t like Naji all that much. I understand why a girl like Annana would be drawn to him after growing up in such unusual circumstances, but I guess that, somewhere along the line, I’ve outgrown characters like him.

”Yeah,” I said. “This is Naji.”
“I was expecting a little boy,” Marjani said.
“He acts like one sometimes.”

And he does. For a trained assassin, Naji acts far too much like a twelve-year-old boy, and his behavior was just too off-putting for me. He takes the whole broody-and-mysterious thing just a bit too far. I like a dark, quiet hero as much as the next girl, but for me, there really wasn’t much to like about him.

In terms of plot, The Assassin’s Curse is seriously underdeveloped. After an excellent introduction in which our heroine, Ananna, escapes an arranged marriage on a stolen camel of all things, the usual narrative structure quickly becomes neglected, if not altogether abandoned. Even the ending wasn’t the cliffhanger I’d expected. Instead, the book just sort of ended at a pretty random place, there was no real climax and the resolution never came. A few questions were answered, but nothing was actually resolved.

What I really did like about The Assassin’s Curse was the language. A lot of people thought it was inferior to Moira Young’s writing, i.e. the dialect she used for Saba, but I think the two were created with different things in mind. They serve different purposes, and they are both excellent, each in its own way. Ananna’s language use cleverly emphasizes her lack of education and social finesse without disrupting the fluidity of Clarke’s prose or taking away from the reader’s enjoyment. In other words, it is different and useful, but by no means impenetrable.

Considering that this is the only positive thing I’ve written so far, I wouldn’t blame you for thinking that I didn’t like this book, but I honestly did. I just felt that there were enough positive reviews out there and that I could afford to be brutally honest and critical. The Assassin’s Curse is certainly worth your time and I hope you’ll give it a chance.

Caz (littlebookowl)
Jan 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
WEEEEEEE I can't wait to continue this!
I love it!
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

First of all : I've always been a sucker for pirates.

Humm. Nah. Not those ones


Hell, yeaaaaah!

*blush* Okay I must confess, I loved the first two too.

Guybrush Threepwood powaaaa!

Oh, well.

Moreover, I haclass="gr-hostedUserImg">

I feel like the blurb for this book very much summarises the whole story and is more than a little spoiler-y. I usually don't mind that too much, but if you would like to be surprised, better try to not take a closer look at it. (I just noticed the blurb was changed, so you are now free to read it ;) - and not be spoiled.)

You may not believe it: we have here a book about assassins and pirates that actually includes - hold your breath, hold your breath - real pirates and a real assassin
Feb 20, 2017 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Pirates? Assassins?
Take all my money now and feed me badassery.
Ash Wednesday
Jul 01, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ash Wednesday by: Buddy Read with Samantha
”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’m still having a hard time figuring out how a book from this author, with this kind of premise, in my go-to genre could have failed me monumentally.

A sassy seventeen year old pirate bride ditches her groom who in turn sends a deadly assassin after her to… well, kill her. By some brilliant turn of events, the pirate bride saves the assassin’s life, binding both/>”Well,
Anja H.

“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.”

This book was okay.
Not very special and gave me an overall meh feeling.
It's a shame really, because this could've been really good, had the author took the time to explain the world-building and the magic system because now it was all pretty vague.
Didn't really care for any of the characters either. On the plus side, this was pretty fast-paced and kept m/>

I read about 30% of this before I did some severe skimming. The heroine speaks like this "I ain't had no dreams." the whole way through the book, personal dislike. The magical world, the magical associations, characters, and pretty much everything makes no sense to me. I'm not a usual YA reader, not sure if that is the problem here but I did not like the writing style, flow, or point of the story. It looks like 90% of my friends really liked this, I'm definitely in the minority here.
I've read T
Norah Una Sumner
Real rating: 3.5

Interesting book.I don't think I've ever read a book about pirates and their adventures.However,there is some fantasy and magic involved.The main character,Ananna,is quite cool,but she can be a bit impulsive sometimes.The main male character,Naji,is an assassin with bad-ass magic skills.I really liked him but he,too,was sometimes a bit impulsive.The world-building could've been a bit better but once you get accustomed to the setting the book becomes more interesting and easier to follow.Also,t
Jan 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-owned-read
A really fun read! The world may not have been explained all that well but the characters were awesome! I love where this story and adventure is going to go!
Jun 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-addiction
Original Review found at:

This was a cute, fun, light, adventure with pirates, magic, curses, and of course, assassins.
However the problems I had with this story is it was underdeveloped, I had a hard time getting into the story. I felt that the beginning of the story was fine where the main character Ananna runs away from an arranged marriage and the fact that his family sent assassin's after her to kill her because of it. But after that I was hoping for more, I wanted a little more about this abandoned fiancé and
Feb 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fan of action & pirates
Shelves: kindle, 2015-reads
*3.25 stars*

This book was okay. And okay, sometimes, it's not enough.
It's not that I had high expectations because there isn't that much hype around this duology but still, I was kind of disappointed. I thought I was going to like it more.

The Assassin's Curse is the first book in a duology and it mixes magic with pirates and sea with assassins. I had never read something like this before, so obviously A+ for the original plot.
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This book is action-packed from the first page, it was really easy to follow but at the
Experiment BL626
The Assassin's Curse (TAC) was a fun read. What a pity that the YA fantasy lacked substance.

Hollow Characters

+++ Ananna

Ananna was feisty, practical, and compassionate but these traits of her were not in good synergy. One example is when she rescued Naji from an asp after his failed attempt to assassinate her. She acted compassionately but how was it practical to save someone who was trying to kill you?

She had no problem, or I should say no hesitancy in stealing, lying, and killing whe/>Hollow
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
This review is Breakdown of a Heroine Style because I just love Ananna that much.

Who is Ananna?
Ananna is the seventeen year old daughter of a pirate captain. She's been raised on a confederation pirate ship, knows her way around the riggings. She's handy with a sword and can find her way out of almost any problem.

Strength of Character
Ananna is kickass in all the best ways. She can defend herself with a sword and knife. She doesn't hesitate to fight off evil. When she decides to learn navigation, she/>Strength/>Who
Recently I’ve noticed that the type of books I seem to get the most enjoyment out of as late are fantasy books. Contemporary novels are typically my best friend, I know I can turn to them when I need a quick pick me up and they always deliver through and through. But in the last few weeks’ books such as Throne of Glass, Defiance and Stormdancer, books which at the beginning of the year I never would have considered are ending up as my favourites of 2012. They seem to bring that extra oomph throu ...more
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Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.


Other books in the series

The Assassin's Curse (2 books)
  • The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)
“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.” 129 likes
“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.” 101 likes
More quotes…