D.F. Jules's Reviews > The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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's review
Oct 25, 2012

really liked it

** spoiler alert ** Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be


Read this and loved it right at the first page when I came upon this sentence:

We were standing in the Hariris’ garden, Mama and Papa flanking me on either side like a couple of armed guards. The sea crashed against the big marble wall, spray misting soft and salty across my face. I licked it away and Mama jabbed me in the side with the butt of her sword.

…I just find it totally awesome that her MOM jabbed her not with her elbow, a fan or whatever, but with the butt of her SWORD.

Anyway book is good!! Pacing is smooth and characterization is fleshed out and layered, and story is action-packed and hella interesting. World-building is also quite rich and complicated. Very compelling.

Plus, the relationship between Naji and Ananna is thick with chemistry and loaded with tension. At first it just tickled me, I mean the irony of an assassin owing his life to the person he’s supposed to kill, but as they grew closer, their relationship became less antagonizing and more tantalizing.

Some scenes between them is just killer. This one is one of my favorites:

“Do you know who the Jadorr’a are?” he asked.


My answer made him look worn out.

”No, do you know their involvement in the history of the Empire?”

I shrugged. Not much use for knowing history on board a pirate ship.

”They used to prevent wars,” he said. “Before the Empire bound together the countries of the desertlands, they were a way to put a cease to the constant fighting between kings. Better to kill one man than allow soldiers to destroy the countryside, raping and burning their way across the desert.”

War between countries was something the Confederation didn’t much get involved in beyond its own internal squabbling. Though there hadn’t been war for a long time, not since I was a little girl, and that was over on Qilar anyway. The Empire had formed long before I was born.

”I don’t see what any of this has to do with me,” I said.

”It doesn’t,” Naji said. “That’s my point. The Order was always paid for its services, but once the Empire formed, gold lust opened them up for use by any merchant with enough wealth to provide payment.”

Like Captain Hariri?” “Yes ”Like Captain Hariri.” Naji shook his head. “I joined the Order after my strength manifested itself – after I learned my magic came from darkness and death, not the earth, the way it did for my mother, my brother–”

”You have a brother?”

Naji fixed me with a steely gaze. “My mother sent me away. She said I could harness my darkness into something good, that I could stop the Empire from destroying all the people living under its banners…” He laughed, a short, harsh bark. “I suppose I’ve done that. Once or twice. But mostly it’s errand-running for rich men. I despise wealth.”

I didn’t say nothing to that. Wealth is power, Papa always told me. Wealth is strength. But I could see where Naji was coming from, too.

”So that’s why you didn’t want to kill me?” I finally said. “Cause you didn’t think it was worth your time?”

Naji looked up at me. “No,” he said. “I didn’t want to you kill you because I thought it was wrong.”

I dunno why, but my face flushed hot at that. Hotter than the fire.

”I won’t tell nobody,” I said.

”It doesn’t matter. No one’s going to believe you escaped an assassin.”

”A Jadorr’a,” I said.

He looked at me again, and I still couldn’t read his face none. Not even his eyes.,” he said. “A Jadorr’a.”

And his voice was soft as a kiss.

*whistles* woah, tension and meaningful. At first, Ananna was dismissive but then as Naji tells her about the history, about what being Jadorr’a means for Naji, when Naji calls himself an assassin, a word that she had often called him, she corrects him, calling him by the title, giving the impression that she understands that being a Jadorr’a is not as simple as she thought.

I LOVE those little moments between them.

Plus, come one pirate princess, assassins, magic, swords, camels, and cannons? I am so there!!!

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