Lauren's Reviews > The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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's review
Jul 22, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy, young-adult

Who loves the cover to this book? I sure do! It's beautiful and just seems to promise you a world of fantasy. The font is awesome, I love the colors, and this is most definitely a book I would be drawn to in the book store. And then there's the description - pirates, assassins, a deadly curse, and a dangerous quest. Tell me that doesn't sound like an amazing book? The cover + the description = definite pick up!

When I started reading the story, I was initially disappointed. I thought I wasn't sure that I would like this book because I didn't think I would be able to handle the way the main character, Ananna, spoke. "Ain't" instead of "isn't," "don't" instead of "doesn't", and just a jolting rhythm of speech. The writing, because of the narration of the character, wasn't smooth. So, initially, I was a little dismayed that the book wouldn't live up to the character and the description. However, my initial misgivings were unfounded. I ended up really enjoying this book!

Ananna is 17 years old, a pirate, and about to be married off. When the guy she's about to marry insults her, she's through. She escapes and runs away even though it means giving up the only life she's ever known and even with her betrothed warning her that his dad will send assassins. And send an assassin he does. When Ananna saves the assassin's life, he becomes bound to her due to a curse set upon him. Now, he must protect her and more than that, they are bound together. If she gets hurt, he feels her pain and if she leaves his side for any period of time, he suffers. Determined to break the curse, they set off on a dangerous quest that takes them across a desert, over the seas, to spooky islands, and forces them into battle against creatures from the Otherworld, into dealings with witches and wizards, and to fight against the family that wants revenge for her jilting their son.

Ananna is a pretty great character. She's tough, feisty, sly, knows her way around boats like the back of her hand, and can pickpocket and steal. Her assassin turned bodyguard, Naji, is basically an insanely skilled ninja. Naji can use magic, fade into the shadows, move faster than a snake, but he also shows vulnerability and weakness, especially when he's used to much magic or when he's suffering from the curse. He's closed off, never smiles, has a scar that disfigures his face, and doesn't spend much time talking, but he takes his protection of Ananna seriously. And those few times when he does almost smile or make a joke are great, like you're cracking through the hard surface and about to see what's really underneath.

As Ananna and Naji travel, they encounter everything from "landships" to supernatural storms to regular old bullies. Although the two fight and bicker, and Ananna occasionally threatens to leave Naji pretending she doesn't care what happens to him if she does, they have a relationship and friendship that grows stronger everyday. There's no insta-love here. In fact, there's barely any romance, although there is a hint of one that might possibly blossom in the future. I like that the quest was the main focus of this book, not a romance. But I am hopeful that one will develop!

As for the ending - well, it's basically a cliffhanger. The duo learn they have so much more to go through before the curse can be lifted and I will be excited to pick up the sequel to this book to read more about Ananna and Naji.

This book is due out October 2, 2012. Pick it up! You're in for a fun ride, pirates vs ninjas taken to a whole other level. Definitely recommend if you like a strong, feisty heroine, magic, acts of bravery, dangerous quests, and a brooding assassin determined to break his curse, protect his savior, and fight off the forces of the Otherworld.

Disclosure: An e-galley was provided by the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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