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Assassin's Heart (Assassin's Heart #1)

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3.61  ·  Rating details ·  4,000 Ratings  ·  786 Reviews
In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should h ...more
Hardcover, 420 pages
Published February 2nd 2016 by HarperTeen
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Sarah Ahiers The story itself stands alone, but there will be a sequel/companion
Valetta Cannon Just so anyone in the future with this question knows, I work at a public library and our library system offers this book in Kindle format for loan…moreJust so anyone in the future with this question knows, I work at a public library and our library system offers this book in Kindle format for loan through Overdrive. Your library might do the same.(less)
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Community Reviews

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Sasha Alsberg
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I REALLY liked this book. Was really unique in the best of ways and such a cool high fantasy to read!
EDIT: WAIT THIS IS A SERIES?! It ended up so nicely! Whattttttt????
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Then his lips pressed against mine. He clasped my hands. I strengthened my grip around his, and for that moment everything else ceased to matter. All that mattered was Les—the way his beard scraped my skin and how his lips tightened in a smile against mine until he laughed and pulled away.

“This has been an excellent jailbreak.”


I mean, I should have seen this coming. No good can come of a book in which the word "heart" and "assassin" is used together in the title. Still, I was curious enough to
...more
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

In a county that worships a death goddess, nine families of assassins are her chosen disciples. Each family executes (HA!) their religious duty--legal assassination--from their individual territory, all except the Saldana and Da Via families whose territory is shared.

Unsurprisingly, these two families are also the top ranked, each of their blades kept sharp by the others', and, also unsurprisingly, while none of the families would ever consider one of the others an ally,
...more
Ben Alderson
Sep 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
Super brilliant novel.

I loved the Assassin's world and how it is organised! I really enjoyed the use of Ghosts in this novel. For some reason I got a very 'Return of the king' vibe from the use of Ghosts, which FYI is a super good thing!

I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel.
This book was VERY fast paced, made me cry and scream and on the hole i really enjoyed.

Minor issue: The introduction to the mythology in the novel felt slightly rushed. I don't think this is a fault of the auth
...more
Riley
Dec 11, 2015 rated it liked it
3.5

Assassin’s Heart is set in the kingdom of Lovero, where nine families of assassins kill people in the name of their goddess Safraella. “Clippers” as they are called, are respected by the commoners because their coins at the time of death are the only way Safrella will grant resurrection into the next life. If you die without her coin you will become a ghost and be lost forever. Our main character, Lea Saldana, is a highly skilled member of the Saldana family, the number one ranked family of a
...more
Cait • A Page with a View
Well that was excruciatingly dull. It started out SO promising and had a ton of potential, too! Ugh I still want to give it 3 stars for what I kept hoping would unfold.

The story starts with Lea and Val in a Romeo & Juliet situation. They live in this renaissance Italy-type kingdom where nine Families of assassins murder people in a way that's... good? (Because it lets you move onto your next life or something, idk). The setting had a ton of potential, but the worldbuilding was a bit of an in
...more
Mikee Andrea (ReadWithMikee)
I had such high hopes for this book but I must admit, I was pretty disappointed. Everything I hoped wouldn't happen happened so you could only imagine how I lost the motivation to muster the energy to finish this.

The relationship in this story was compared to Romeo and Juliet but that concept was just a very tiny speck in the whole plot line, meaning it was barely there. Close to nonexistent, actually, because it was only ever explored in the first few chapters of the book. Besides that, the for
...more
Ella
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
FINISHED! This was really good and not at all like Throne of Glass! The ending threw me off a bit though, as it was quite open and left a few of my questions unanswered but it turns out that it's actually going to be a duology so I'm hoping the sequel will tie up everything better. Not sure how I feel about it having a sequel as on one hand I thought Assassin's Heart was a mostly excellent standalone novel but on the other hand it was so good I want MORE! Excited but a bit nervous to see where t ...more
Melissa (Ever So Mela)

Oh, the conflict. Blur rating alert!

I am honestly so wrecked about how I feel about this book. There were parts I really liked but at the same time there were parts I didn't.

You see, when I read the blurb I automatically thought this was going to be some type of The Punisher(the movie) remake. I was expecting retaliation at its best. I mean, there is nothing sweeter than revenge served cold right? I don't really care that this plot has been done a million times over. It will always captivate me
...more
Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
This review appears on Happy Indulgence. Check it out for more reviews!

For a book about assassins, I would’ve expected more assassinating. Set in a fervently religious world where killing each other is normal, Assassin’s Heart featured more telling than showing.

The world in Assassin’s Heart made no sense to me whatsoever. Built upon a world with nine families worshipping a death god, the Saldana family are the most powerful and revered. But there is bad blood between them and the Da Via family,
...more
Jeff Zentner
Jul 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Move over, Katniss Everdeen and Arya Stark. The Sacred Order of Badass Young Heroines has a new member:

Oleander Saldana.

Assassin's Heart is a thrilling, hard-pounding, intriguing adventure full of richly realized characters, romance, a gripping plot, and palpable descriptions of sight, sound, and smell.

I inhaled this book, and believe me when I tell you that it's way off my beaten reading path. I don't read a great deal of YA fantasy, but I know masterful worldbuilding when I see it. Here, Ah
...more
Nastassja

DNF at about 60%

Once in a while I am in a mood for angsty romantic stories, so when I saw some of my friends complaining about an absolutely whiny heroine and sugar-sweet romance I thought: ok, the heroine is a ninny but all I want is a decent romance, please. Oh my, get what you asked for, Nastassja. From this point I am going to rant a lot about all the things I didn't like about this book, and if you haven't read it - beware the spoilers.

The first thing I noticed is the world-building. It i

...more
Anatea Oroz
This review is also posted on my blog, Anatea's Bookshelf.

When I read the description of Assassin's Heart I immediately knew that I just have to read this one. The plot sounded so interesting and I just couldn't help myself, so I went ahead and downloaded it from Edelweiss. The sole premise: "With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet", told me I can't skip on this one. I really love The Godfather theme. Anything that relates to mafia intrigues me, and I always find books like that inte
...more
Alyssa
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-releases
3.5 stars.


***Review posted on The Eater of Books! blog***

Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Publisher: HarperTeen
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (from Goodreads):

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in
...more
Sarah
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)

“Family over family.”


free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com

This was an interesting YA fantasy story, with some detailed world building.

I liked Lea in this story, she was an assassin, and she seriously owned that title. She believed that murder was exactly what her Goddess expected of her, and had no problems dishing it out, even when lines got a bit blurred! I did feel pretty sorry for her over what happened
...more
Sue (Hollywood News Source)


Rating: 3.8 stars

Can you believe I finally finish something after weeks of trudging through countless of books.

Assassin’s Heart has a mesmerizing prose. This book will easily pull you in. The world building is rich and luscious, for a standalone there is never a shortage of history. The characters are well developed. Aside from that, it has a lot of elements that guarantees it would appeal to a lot of readers. In a way the story reminded me of Romeo and Juliet, with a twist.

I want to give it a
...more
Kelly
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: to-reread, favorites
I am so happy that I could read this book before the release date! I loved the world created by the author and I would love to read another book from her. This book was quick and easy to read because of its fast pace. It was full of intrigue and action. It was about family and revenge. There was also a sweet touch of romance in it but it really wasn't focused on that and it wasn't forced. I loved it.

Oleander Saldana is one strong heroine and I am not going to forget her anytime soon, that's for
...more
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
Please be as awesome as the Throne of Glass series, but please, please don't be similar.
----- FINISHED -----

Actual rating: 3.5 stars
Well I just finished reading this book and I must tell you that thankfully, this is definitely different from Throne of Glass. Yes, the main character is an assassin with a murdered family set on revenge, but I can assure you that that’s where the similarities end. And while this might sound a bit sarcastic, I, again, assure you that it’s not.

In the kingdom of Lov
...more
mith
oh boy.
no bueno.
I really wanted wanted to like this book. I'm a sucker for high fantasy and assassins. This had such a unique premise, too--people killing lawfully. In reverence for Clippers--fear, too, but the one that's overpowered by respect.
I mostly liked the beginning, the little back and forth with Val. Although I didn't entirely like Val, the short-lived romance he and Lea shared was kind of cute, given the circumstances.
After The Thing happened, everything kind of went downhill from ther
...more
Kali Wallace
Feb 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book! It's a wonderful fantasy adventure set in a lush, interesting world full of imaginative politics, religions, ghosts, traditions, and social structures. I love the Lea, the main character, and I was thoroughly engaged enough by her anger, her grief, and her determination to go along for the ride. She changes and grows over the course of the book, as she meets people and travels outside her beloved home city and is faced with reality of a future unlike any she had ever ...more
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
The Assassin’s Heart is hands down one of the most exciting debuts I’ve come across in ages. The fast pacing leaves very little time to breathe, but with such an exciting story in hands, breathing becomes secondary anyway, and all you care about is the fate of the characters. Sarah Ahiers has an excellent sense of her characters and knows just what to do to keep us at the edge of our seats. I loved several things about her debut, but more than anything, I loved how it enveloped me completely, to ...more
Mlpmom (Book Reviewer)
Aug 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
I'm a sucker for a good star crossed lovers romance. Add in a family filled with deadly assassins all fighting to be top dog and you have one read that I just couldn't resist.

And while this wasn't quite the star crossed Romeo and Juliet lover's story the synopsis promised, this was the assassin story that I was hoping it would be and I found myself caught up in it before I even knew it.

This was such a fun read. It wasn't anything too special or mind blowing but it was well written and just plai
...more
Traci Chee
Aug 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I had the good fortune of getting a sneak peek at ASSASSIN'S HEART as part of an ARC tour, and let me just say WOW. Ahiers's world building is spectacular--every tradition has a history, every piece of architecture is part of a culture, and every form of worship is filled with the most exquisite details (the coins! the masks!). I could read this book again and again for the sheer pleasure of running around Lovero with Lea, Les, and Safrella, and I plan to, once it's released in hardcover!
Greyson (Grey) Edwards
Assassin's Heart Series Ratings:
Assassin's Heart: Actual rating 3.5 ★'s but I am feeling generous.
Thief's Cunning: Actual rating 3.5 ★'s


“Dying is the easy part.” Marcello got to his feet. “But what you leave behind is another matter.”

Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers is set in a world where ghost's prey on humans and the only way to keep them at bay is to worship Safraella, the god of death and murder. In the kingdom of Lovero, to appease Safraella further, the cities have Families of clipper
...more
Brooke (The Cover Contessa)
I want to thank HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this book to read and give an honest review. Receiving this book for free has in no way altered my opinion or review.

Just the blurb for this book sounded so awesome. There was no way I wasn't going to read it. I thought for sure it would be like Throne of Glass, which is one of my all time favorite fantasy series. And I really enjoy assassin books (ToG, His Fair Assassin). So, given the chance to read such a book, I jumped at the chance.
...more
Shannon (It Starts At Midnight)
This review was originally posted on It Starts at Midnight
Ah, the kind of book a mini-review was made for! You know the kind- spoilery stuff happens within the first like, 20% of the book making it nearly impossible to tell you anything else about the book? Yep, this is that stuff!

I wasn't sure about it at first, to be honest. The beginning was a little "meh" for me- not for very long, mind you, but the very beginning was a bit underwhelming, even with assassining. ("Assassining" should absolut
...more
Brittany (Brittany's Book Rambles)
DNF at 25%

The pitch says it has "shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet" and though it does, it's awful. The plot itself is interesting but the writing is really cheesy and the characters are really annoying. The MC is supposed to be a badass assassin (which she feels the need to remind the reader of this constantly) but she doesn't show any signs of being the well-trained assassin she's supposed to be.

I'm really upset that I didn't like this one because I was really looking forward to it
...more
Glory
Jul 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Shelves: dnf, wtf

Colleen Houck
Loved this book! Wow, the heroine was so amazing. Still thinking about her life. Can't even imagine it. The world was really unique and interesting. Love the masks!
Justine
Nov 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-read
Nicely written with decent world building and a female protagonist who really knows how to win in a fight...well, she is a professional killer after all. Lea Saldana is a clipper, or professional assassin, in a family of assassins, living in a country where the patron goddess is Safraella, goddess of death, rebirth and resurrection.

After her entire family is killed, Lea becomes obsessed with the idea of avenging them, and accepts she will likely die in the process. However, she soon learns that
...more
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“Les,” I whispered. “Hmm?” he answered, barely awake. “What does kalla mean?” He gave a little smile. “Beautiful.” 2 likes
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