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The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)
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Previous BRs - Authors; A - D > The Assassin's Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke- Start Date June 02, 2014 (June 2014 Young Adult)

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This thread is to discuss The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose. Be prepared for spoilers.


Synopsis:

Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. 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 spell, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks--all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic...and the growing romantic tension between them


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Chapter Breakdown

Date Chapters Pages DQ's

June 2nd 1 - 3 1 - 58 Amanda
June 3rd 4 - 7 59 - 121 Karen
June 4th 8 - 11 122 - 176 Sonia
June 5th 12 - 15 177 - 239 Lisarenee
June 6th 16 - end 240 - 298 Amanda



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Ananna may look like this (from pininterest)




Christine (inhalesbookslikepopcorn) | 1050 comments Awesome pic! Can't wait to start this.


Sonia (darktalynn) | 10123 comments yeah me too.


Sharie | 72 comments Just requested the book, hopefully it gets to my library in time.
Just by looking at the cover I didn't have any interest in reading the book, but then I read the synopsis and now I'm intrigued. Definitely a "don't judge a book by it's cover" situation.


Sonia (darktalynn) | 10123 comments Yeah, I read the synopsis this time, saw pirates, ninjas & complete tasks and ran to the shinning one-click-buy button.

:)


Audrey Jane | 1378 comments It's been a while since I read this book, I will be checking out this thread to refresh my memory. I'm looking forward to read your thoughts!

I must admit the synopsis was pretty convincing (Pirates & assassins :))


message 9: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (last edited May 30, 2014 03:40PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
Sonia wrote: "Yeah, I read the synopsis this time, saw pirates, ninjas & complete tasks and ran to the shinning one-click-buy button.

:)"


hahaha
and we get to start on your birthday! ;)


message 10: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
i love the cover, and as I was researching pictures I got quite excited about this book. I really loved that one of Ananna :)


Sonia (darktalynn) | 10123 comments Karen wrote: "Sonia wrote: "Yeah, I read the synopsis this time, saw pirates, ninjas & complete tasks and ran to the shinning one-click-buy button.

:)"

hahaha
and we get to start on your birthday! ;)"


Yep!


message 12: by Emily (new)

Emily | 118 comments Oh I have this! I would love to join, since I haven't done a readalong since before I started nursing school in January. Now that I'm on summer vacation I'm like "READ ALL THE BOOKS!!"


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Lisa Kay (lisakayalicemaria) | 15159 comments LOL!


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Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
:D
Great!


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Comments and Questions
June 2
Chapters 1-3

1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her?

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her?

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling?

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence?

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her?

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him?



message 16: by Imke (new) - rated it 3 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments June 2 - Comments and Questions: Chapters 1-3

1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her?
I like her, she’s a little rough around the edges. I like that the author shows that Ananna grew up on a pirate ship by giving her that accent and that she acts more like a boy.

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her?
I liked that she escaped too. I felt sorry for her that she had to escape and leave her parents behind. I’m not sure I would have done the same, I might have fought my parents more.

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling?
The woman in the dress shop definitely knows more than she is telling and I think Ananna knows that too. She seems to have a really good sense about who she can trust.

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence?
I think she does have some magic of her own, otherwise why would the shopkeeper “help” her.

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her?
The shopkeeper wanted the assassin dead or gone and if Ananna happened to go away with him all the better according to the shopkeeper, I think. That woman can not be trusted.

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him?
What I have read so far about him I like. I think Ananna can trust him. She didn’t get a feeling she couldn’t. I’m very curious to find out more about him and about his relation to the shopkeeper.


message 17: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
Comments and questions
June 2

My responses:

1. I quite like her head-strong nature, and she is quite different from other heroines in this type of genre. As Imke says, a little rough around the edges ;)

2. Yes interesting that her parents were forcing her down that path. I wish we knew a bit more about her family life

3. Totally

4. Pretty scary. I wondered if this would be one of those situations where she discovers her own powers

5. I found that really odd too. I'm not convinced I understand what that is all about

6. I like him. Clearly he will become a love interest, so it will be nice to learn more :)


Kelly (ladykatala) | 5020 comments Comments and Questions
June 2
Chapters 1-3


1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her?
She seems like she's playing along pretty well for not having any idea what's going on.

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her?
I think if I knew it was going to be bad I would have. Plus her parent's raised her to be pretty independent so it shouldn't really come as much of a shock.

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling?
Well, I suppose she obviously does now that she showed up in the desert. Otherwise, I found it a bit convenient that the store magically showed up buying exactly what she wanted to sell and announcing that loudly.

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence?
I think it was her. Otherwise the shopkeeper would have just killed him before since she seemed to want to in the desert.

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her?
Maybe it's one of those things where the magic only works if it sacrifices the person who uses it?

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him?
I think he probably is bound to her now. Otherwise I don't see a reason for him to stop his attack all of a sudden. He doesn't seem very forthcoming with the knowledge transfer though.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Kelly wrote: " Plus her parent's raised her to be pretty independent so it shouldn't really come as much of a shock."

I agree. If they raised her to be independent and think for herself, they really shouldn't think she's going to follow them blindly in something like this.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Imke wrote: "The woman in the dress shop definitely knows more than she is telling and I think Ananna knows that too. She seems to have a really good sense about who she can trust."

That's true. She did get a bad feeling about the woman in the dress shop, but she was perfectly at-ease with Naji after they fought. Hopefully in the future she'll learn to trust her gut more.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Karen wrote: "6. I like him. Clearly he will become a love interest, so it will be nice to learn more :)."

Same here :). Usually YA love interests are 'meh' for me, but I'm excited about Naji. Maybe that's just because he's a ninja assassin.
:D


message 22: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy (healthyandhappyin90) | 29 comments 1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her?

I really like her too. She's not the usual damsel in distress which really appeals to me!

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her?

I probably wouldn't have done the same as her but that's just my personality. I'm glad that she decided to stay true to herself.

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling?

That was strange. I'm sure she knows more than she's telling.

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence?

Well, at first I thought it might be Ananna's own power, but after reading it again I think it was the shopkeeper. I'm not sure Ananna has any power, she doesn't think she does.

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her?

I think the shopkeeper was using her to get to the assassin. I think she thought that Ananna might get the portal open and just before she was killed and that would solve the shopkeeper's problems. No more Ananna and the assassin just where she wanted him.

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him?

I do trust him. Probably most particularly because he looks so upset at the thought of protecting Ananna now that she saved his life. It says to me that he is a really good guy.


message 23: by Joy (last edited Jun 03, 2014 11:39AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy | 278 comments 1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her?

I loved her accent, and I felt like I got a definite sense of her voice. She seems really brash, not one to really think things through. I think she'd be an interesting, yet frustrating person to be around. I'm not sure yet whether I like her or not yet, actually.

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her?

I feel like not enough background is given for me to decide whether I would have done the same. Like Karen, I wish we knew more about what her family life was like. Still, the threat of going to the Isles of the Sky was probably enough to make Ananna think her best option was to escape, and it certainly took a lot of guts to do.

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling?

Definitely.

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence?

It was slightly confusing to read, but definitely scary. I think it's foreshadowed that she has some magical ability. The shopkeeper is probably responsible for the protection spell as well, and she probably could sense magic in Ananna, else why would she have decided to help her? So I'm with Imke on this one.

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her?

I think she wanted to kill the assassin as her primary target. Maybe, though, she gave the girl a faulty capsule and intended it for some other purpose. I don't think we know enough at this point to know what the witch's motives are. Also, is she dead or simply transported to "Elsewhere"? Will she be back?

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him?

Yeah, he could have killed Ananna, but he didn't. I do think he is bound by honor to protect her, which is rather convenient for our protagonist. I think he's an interesting character and would like more back story on him in the coming chapters.


Christine (inhalesbookslikepopcorn) | 1050 comments Comments and Questions
June 2
Chapters 1-3

1. So far I really like Ananna's spirited personality. What do you think of her? I like her. She isn't some boring crybaby and I hope that remains that way. She's due for the adventure of her life and I am right with her, awesome beginning of the book - leaving the to be husband in the dust and riding away on a camel *lol*

2. I love that she fled the arranged marriage. I think it took a lot of courage to leave everything she's ever known. Would you have done the same as her? I would not want to be forced to marry someone I don't know or dislike on sight either. I would like to be as couragous and brave as her and try to run away. She did not have any say in the arrangements and that does not sit well with me either. There are still countries like that in our time but I think it's overdue to change the rules on them.

3. The woman in the dress shop and her warning to Ananna was spooky. Do you think she knows more than she's telling? That woman is strange, I don't trust her. (Most)People want something in return, they don't give you protection for free. She smells fishy.

4. What did you think of the scene where Ananna faced-off against the assassin in the alley? Do you think she really does have some magic of her own that she doesn't know about? Or maybe it was just the shopkeeper's influence? That was a strange encounter. I thought first someone else was pulling strings but maybe she has her own magic and it just comes out when her life is threatened or something like this? Or maybe her mom didn't teach her the right magic and therefore she sucked at the stuff.

5. Why do you think the shop woman would pretend to help Ananna just to get her out into the desert? Do you think the vials and the green light was supposed to kill the assassin and her? Because she has her own agenda. Yup, I think they should've been dead and she was mighty angry that it didn't work.

6. What is your impression of Naji? Do you trust him? He is an assassin, he follows some kind of code and he did not kill her. must have been a first for him *lol* he feels dangerous but offers himself as protector, so I think he is ok for now. I wouldn't go as far as trusting anyone i've known for less than a day.


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Comments and Questions
June 3
Chapters 4-7

7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o



message 26: by Imke (new) - rated it 3 stars

Imke (immie75) | 1642 comments June 3 - Comments and Questions: Chapters 4-7

7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?
Maybe he’ll be able to teach her the “dirt” magic, I’m not so sure about the blood magic though it seems like that is connected to assassins and I don’t think Ananna wants to learn blood magic.

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?
I think he is. They both mention that he is human. The people with the gray eyes are not human. I think the trance and blood magic might be connected with his tattoos.

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?
I thought that was a funny scene. The priestess could have just helped Ananna and give her the directions, but she made her “work” for it.

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?
I think they are interested in both Ananna and Naji or in the connection they have. The woman probably noticed some magic lingering in Ananna and knew Naji was after her. As to why the people with the grey eyes (Mist people?) want them I don’t know, but I hope we find out soon.

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o
I was very surprised, I thought an army of Mist people was coming for them. But it was her almost husband. I can’t wait to find out what is going to happen now that she killed him and the mechanical things are after her and Naji. Also I’m curious about the friend Naji has brought along with him, will he help keep Ananna safe or will he try to kill her.


Kelly (ladykatala) | 5020 comments Comments and Questions
June 3
Chapters 4-7


7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?
Well. They said ti was dark magic because it usually used others blood. I still think she'll end up being "special" somehow. It seems to always be what happens since all teens seem to want to find out they're magically a princess.

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?
Hrm. When you're hypnotized it's supposed to be very restful sleep wise. I'm guessing you could use it to consolidate your sleep needs.

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?
Maybe the "gods" are from this other plane too.

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?
I'm sure she ends up being special but I suppose they could probably kill her to kill Naji since they're bound.

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o
How on earth did they track them two weeks into the desert since magic isn't supposed to work on her. Seems a bit hokey to me.


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

Lara | 676 comments I forgot the read started yesterday, but started tonight and haven't stopped reading since. Ananna is a real spitfire. She really isn't concerned with girly things at all, and seems really happy in her role as pirate princess.

The world building is developing in a bit more haphazard manner than I would normally like, but I do feel that I have a very small feel for the way this world works. However, I would have no idea how to recognize scary people like assassins, who seem to be quite publicly known. Which surprises me. And I'm left wondering whether Ananna's defection has hurt her family in any way. Since her father is higher ranking, perhaps not. But I still wonder.


message 29: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy (healthyandhappyin90) | 29 comments 7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?

Well, it seems that magic is more of a skill than something inherent. So I guess we'll see.

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?

Is it that he's not human or has learned a skill. I'm not entirely sure. Is he like half a Mist being and half human?

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?

I thought she was looking for directions from a priestess, not that she was trying to find directions in praying. I felt almost like she was forced into it by the priestess. That's just me though.

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?

Well, so far it seems to me that they are just using her to get to Naji. They must be able to see her connection to him through the curse without her protection.

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o

I was totally surprised that it was Tarrin that caught up with them in the desert. I'm not sure why it didn't occur to me, but it didn't!


message 30: by Joy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy | 278 comments 7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?

I think Ananna has innate magical ability, but I don't think she's willing or able to learn blood magic. Her mother thinks it's evil, and I think Ananna won't be willing. It looks like it comes at great personal cost, and I don't know if she's willing to give that.

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?

Current theory: He's human, but in order to become an assassin, he had to go through either a training or ritual that altered him and earned him that nasty scar and glowing tattoos/eyes. Maybe he's somehow tied to the Mists by his magic, and is partially spirit?

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?

I really like that the author addressed religion as part of the world building, because (like Lara said) the world building has been a bit haphazard and not well-defined. I think it's been put to the side more because she wanted to drive the plot forward, but having the world still fuzzy in my mind is slightly disorienting and frustrating. I thought the scene was humorous, and I liked the priest. I wonder whether the author will show/imply that the deities are real, or whether they will be portrayed as fantasy.

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?

I think it definitely has something to do with Naji, because the other woman wanted him dead. She did take a peculiar interest in Ananna, but the reason for that interest remains to be seen. I thought it was cool and creepy that they could just pop up as shopkeepers wherever they thought they might find her/Naji.

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o

I was surprised by the fact that they have landships. Again, world building has been sidelined in favor of a fast-paced plot, but I was totally not expecting that steampunk twist. I think the Hariris were able to track her because of the assassin with them. He can probably track her because the protection trinket only defends against the Mists or something. It's not entirely surprising to me that they showed up, because we don't know the extent of the assassins' powers.

Like Lara, I'm left wondering about her family. Is there war between the Hariris and Tanaraus because of her defection? Are they dead? Are they disappointed? I was hoping we'd find out from Tarrin, even if it came just as a threat (i.e. "Marry me or your family dies"). Hopefully we'll find out soon.


message 31: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
Good point Lara and Joy about her family. It would seem probable they are at war, or have been killed, because of Ananna.

I agree with a few comments about the world building being a bit haphazard in favour of a fast plot. It will be interesting to see where we head


message 32: by Lara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lara | 676 comments I couldn't help myself and finished the book last night. The world building continues to be haphazard, but the relationship between Ananna and Naji develops with a reduction in new concepts, so you're able to relax for a while in the second half before thing spick up again.


message 33: by Lisarenee (last edited Jun 05, 2014 11:15AM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Sorry for these being so late. Sonia has a migraine and I didn't see her message till this morning.
Questions and Comments for June 4th
Chapters 8 - 11

12) "No, no, you don't understand," Tarrin shook his head wildly. "I have to come back with you as my betrothed or as a corpse. It's the only way I'll get the colors..."
So he didn't express that she had to be the corpse. Do you think him being one is sufficient? A lovely family indeed. I wouldn't want to marry into it either.

13) Ananna finally seems to come into her powers. I wonder if it was her powers that saved her or, if perhaps, her mother invoked a protection spell on her as well?

14) Speaking of parents, they sent an assassin after Ananna, but what happened to her parents? Would they have been killed as well?

15) I find it interesting that Naji seems to use his desert mask as a way to hide behind or hide his disfigurement. At least I'm guessing that's why he wanted it before they saw Leila. It sounded like she'd already seen him and that's the only significance I could see as to why he'd be upset about his mask disappearing. I wonder what the full story is behind him entering the Order of Assassins? Any ideas? I also wonder about Leila and Naji's relationship because of this unfinished statement: "She's always played games, but it got worse after--" I wonder what that was about?

16) Seems like Ananna is developing feelings towards Naji. What did you think about her thoughts on beautiful people not being trustworthy?

17) Ironic that Ananna didn't want to to go the Isles of the Sky, and now she has to go there anyway to seek out the Wizard of Eirnin? Anyone else feel like they're being sent on a wild goose chase?

And they're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, er, Eirnin. (Sorry couldn't help myself.lol)



message 34: by Joy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy | 278 comments 12) "No, no, you don't understand," Tarrin shook his head wildly. "I have to come back with you as my betrothed or as a corpse. It's the only way I'll get the colors..."
So he didn't express that she had to be the corpse. Do you think him being one is sufficient? A lovely family indeed. I wouldn't want to marry into it either.


The Hariris are probably more than meets the eye. I wonder if we'll be running into them again before the story's through. When I read that quote the first time, I thought he meant he had to bring her back as a corpse, though of course the interpretation you give makes it so much more epic. I wonder why Tarrin was denied the colors in the first place.

13) Ananna finally seems to come into her powers. I wonder if it was her powers that saved her or, if perhaps, her mother invoked a protection spell on her as well?

I think she has magic in her. Like she said, she never wanted it bad enough until Naji was nearly dying. I'm looking forward to seeing how her skills progress. I hope it doesn't become the stereotypical story line where her powers are much greater than a normal magician. I'd love to see just an average-powered hero.

14) Speaking of parents, they sent an assassin after Ananna, but what happened to her parents? Would they have been killed as well?

We still have heard nothing about her parents, and it's driving me batty. I hope we get to hear something soon, even if it's bad news for Ananna.

15) I find it interesting that Naji seems to use his desert mask as a way to hide behind or hide his disfigurement. At least I'm guessing that's why he wanted it before they saw Leila. It sounded like she'd already seen him and that's the only significance I could see as to why he'd be upset about his mask disappearing. I wonder what the full story is behind him entering the Order of Assassins? Any ideas? I also wonder about Leila and Naji's relationship because of this unfinished statement> "She's always played games, but it got worse after--" I wonder what that was about?

Naji may have been very vain and proud of his attractiveness before he got the scar. That's at least the way I'm reading it. He's kept us in the dark thus far about his personal story. I'd almost love to read a novel about Naji's entrance into the Order. It would probably be really exciting. I think the event Naji references in that unfinished sentence is whatever made him get that scar.

16) Seems like Ananna is developing feelings towards Naji. What did you think about her thoughts on beautiful people not being trustworthy?

She was obviously jealous of Leila. I love that Ananna isn't a beautiful person, because it seems most YA protagonists are. I love how Ananna has a developed and well-thought out opinion on beautiful people, and while I don't necessarily agree with her, it's a reasonable enough argument. It makes me wonder what Ananna looks like, because we haven't really had a description of her appearance.

17) Ironic that Ananna didn't want to to go the Isles of the Sky, and now she has to go there anyway to seek out the Wizard of Eirnin? Anyone else feel like they're being sent on a wild goose chase?

I don't think Leila would direct them to her deaths. She doesn't want them to die. The irony was hilarious, though I'm sure Ananna is happier going to the Isles with Naji than with Tarrin.

I can't help but thinking their ship is going to get attacked. They're never going to reach the port at Qilar.


Kelly (ladykatala) | 5020 comments Questions and Comments for June 4th
Chapters 8 - 11


I'm questioning a bit if the chapter numbers are different in this book like we've had before. I thought the first question pertained to the previous day's readings.

12) "No, no, you don't understand," Tarrin shook his head wildly. "I have to come back with you as my betrothed or as a corpse. It's the only way I'll get the colors..."
So he didn't express that she had to be the corpse. Do you think him being one is sufficient? A lovely family indeed. I wouldn't want to marry into it either.

Ohh. I thought he was saying that he had to come back as a corpse if he didn't come back as married. Hrm. I suppose either might have worked. Seems strange to send your kid after the girl after your assassin failed.

13) Ananna finally seems to come into her powers. I wonder if it was her powers that saved her of, if perhaps, her mother invoked a protection spell on her as well?
Maybe the gods are picking her as someone to save the world from the misty people? Seems like "gods chosen" is a popular title for the hero of the book.

14) Speaking of parents, they sent an assassin after Ananna, but what happened to her parents? Would they have been killed as well?
Hrm. Parent's in teen books seem to have a very short shelf life. However, it seems like she would have mentioned if she knew they were dead.

15) I find it interesting that Naji seems to use his desert mask as a way to hide behind or hide his disfigurement. At least I'm guessing that's why he wanted it before they saw Leila. It sounded like she'd already seen him and that's the only significance I could see as to why he'd be upset about his mask disappearing. I wonder what the full story is behind him entering the Order of Assassins? Any ideas? I also wonder about Leila and Naji's relationship because of this unfinished statement> "She's always played games, but it got worse after--" I wonder what that was about?
Maybe she reacted poorly about his disfigurement and that gave him a complex about it?

16) Seems like Ananna is developing feelings towards Naji. What did you think about her thoughts on beautiful people not being trustworthy?
I think being beautiful can be a curse in some regards. I think people tend to regard beautiful people as shallow so if you are shallow you probably tend to act that way even more or manipulate people and if you're not shallow then you may become shallow or just get bitter from being treated as shallow all the time. I imagine that if you could get lots of things easily with your beauty that it would be hard to suppress those urges.

17) Ironic that Ananna didn't want to to go the Isles of the Sky, and now she has to go there anyway to seek out the Wizard of Eirnin? Anyone else feel like they're being sent on a wild goose chase?
The whole book seems a bit like nothing's really happened so far. They just keep ping ponging around not knowing anything.

And they're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, er, Eirnin. (Sorry couldn't help myself.lol)
That's ok. I caught myself wondering if the fishies that were eating at her toes were making Naji wince in pain. But then I figured since they have those weird fish pedicures that it couldn't be too painful.


Kelly (ladykatala) | 5020 comments Joy wrote: "She was obviously jealous of Leila. I love that Ananna isn't a beautiful person, because it seems most YA protagonists are. I love how Ananna has a developed and well-thought out opinion on beautiful people, and while I don't necessarily agree with her, it's a reasonable enough argument. It makes me wonder what Ananna looks like, because we haven't really had a description of her appearance."

I've seen that comment a lot on reviews of YA books where it gets rather annoying when the main character is smart, beautiful, talented, finds the smart/handsome/talented boy to date, etc. But then drama drama drama. It's hard to feel much sympathy if the person is described as being perfect in every way.


message 37: by Lisarenee (last edited Jun 05, 2014 09:49AM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Kelly said, "Ohh. I thought he was saying that he had to come back as a corpse if he didn't come back as married. Hrm. I suppose either might have worked. Seems strange to send your kid after the girl after your assassin failed."

The quote was from the previous day's reading, but the interpretation, at least for me, didn't become clear or questionable until poor Tarrin died--which happened in this section. I felt the statement deserved a second look at.


message 38: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Questions and Comments for June 5th;
Chapters 12 - 15

18) Marjani is an interesting character. I wonder if the rumors about her running away from marriage are true. That would make her very much like Ananna. What did you think of her? I think there's more to her than meets the eye.

19) So captain's sons are well thought of, but not captain's daughters. Seems strange to me that Ananna didn't know ship navigation after growing up on a ship. Do you think Ananna may be the person/catalyst who changes things?

20) Ninjas, mythology, pirates, wizards..Oh, my! Are you liking this combination or do you feel there's too much going on?

21) So at some point (I can't remember when) we learn that Ananna's mother probably could have tracked her. I wonder why she hasn't? Seems odd.

22) What did you think of Naji using blood magic to get them to the island? Was he too impatient or justified in doing so?

23) What's your first impression of the island? Think you'd want to visit it? Do you think it's as scary as its reputation?



message 39: by Amy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Amy (healthyandhappyin90) | 29 comments 12) "No, no, you don't understand," Tarrin shook his head wildly. "I have to come back with you as my betrothed or as a corpse. It's the only way I'll get the colors..."
So he didn't express that she had to be the corpse. Do you think him being one is sufficient? A lovely family indeed. I wouldn't want to marry into it either.


I suspect that is the pirate way though. Still, what a horrible thing to demand of him.

13) Ananna finally seems to come into her powers. I wonder if it was her powers that saved her of, if perhaps, her mother invoked a protection spell on her as well?

That's an interesting thought. I couldn't quite figure out how come she got out of the fight relatively unscathed while Naji was so injured. Maybe she does have some innate power.

14) Speaking of parents, they sent an assassin after Ananna, but what happened to her parents? Would they have been killed as well?

I can't imagine they would have been killed as well, but it certainly is possible.

15) I find it interesting that Naji seems to use his desert mask as a way to hide behind or hide his disfigurement. At least I'm guessing that's why he wanted it before they saw Leila. It sounded like she'd already seen him and that's the only significance I could see as to why he'd be upset about his mask disappearing. I wonder what the full story is behind him entering the Order of Assassins? Any ideas? I also wonder about Leila and Naji's relationship because of this unfinished statement> "She's always played games, but it got worse after--" I wonder what that was about?

Something traumatic happened to him I think that made him enter the Order. It is probably also the reason he hides behind his mask. Was his disfigurement described and I missed it? It can't possibly be as bad as he thinks it is. I think that he possibly had some sort of romantic relationship with Leila and she played games with him before he was hurt, but with her arrogance it would most certainly be worse after his disfigurement.

16) Seems like Ananna is developing feelings towards Naji. What did you think about her thoughts on beautiful people not being trustworthy?

I have always felt the way that she does, about beautiful people having things easier. In her mind, in her experiences, this is true. I wonder if it will continue to be true.

17) Ironic that Ananna didn't want to to go the Isles of the Sky, and now she has to go there anyway to seek out the Wizard of Eirnin? Anyone else feel like they're being sent on a wild goose chase?

And they're off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz, er, Eirnin. (Sorry couldn't help myself.lol)


Well, it feels like a wild goose chase to me. Leila played them for sure. :( Although I do find it interesting that she left Tarrin because she didn't want to go to the Isles of Sky and now she has no choice but to go. Funny how those things work.


message 40: by Joy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy | 278 comments 18) Marjani is an interesting character. I wonder if the rumors about her running away from marriage are true. That would make her very much like Ananna. What did you think of her? I think there's more to her than meets the eye.

I think it's interesting that Naji found her trustworthy enough to let her know about his plight. She shares a lot of similarities with both Ananna and Naji, since she shares university experience with the assassin. I hope we'll see her back at some point. I would love to know more of her back story.

19) So captain's sons are well thought of, but not captain's daughters. Seems strange to me that Ananna didn't know ship navigation after growing up on a ship. Do you think Ananna may be the person/catalyst who changes things?

I think the reason she didn't know navigation was because she wasn't a son. She says her parents didn't think it would be worthwhile to teach her, because she wouldn't become a captain and require navigational ability. I think she's shown herself more than capable of it though. I think by nature Ananna is a person who bucks the status quo. Her first action in the book is running away from an arranged marriage, so it seems like doing her own thing is one of her highest priorities.

20) Ninjas, mythology, pirates, wizards..Oh, my! Are you liking this combination or do you feel there's too much going on?

I like the combination. It keeps things fresh and exciting. My only complaint though is that the world building is still not strong. I don't really have an idea what the world looks like and the rules have never been clearly defined--for magic, for the Confederation, or even society. I wish she'd taken the start of the plot slightly slower in favor of bringing forward world building. When we're hearing about universities and their importance halfway through the book, you know something's a bit hazy.

21) So at some point (I can't remember when) we learn that Ananna's mother probably could have tracked her. I wonder why she hasn't? Seems odd.

Protection charm? I still hold to my theory that her parents are probably dead, or otherwise preoccupied with a clan-on-clan war.

22) What did you think of Naji using blood magic to get them to the island? Was he too impatient or justified in doing so?

He says they were being followed, though it hardly seems wise to use up all your magic for a single spell. It seems like with all his power he could have thought of a better plan that didn't involve putting him in a dangerously weak position. Since he doesn't share much about it anyway, it's hard to tell whether he was impatient.

23) What's your first impression of the island? Think you'd want to visit it? Do you think it's as scary as its reputation?

Floating island = way cool. Well, I wouldn't want to be stranded without a boat with a nearly dead assassin. I think it would be a really cool twist if the islands weren't scary at all, and it was just reputation and hype. However, with it being the center/source of blood magic, and Naji claiming it comes straight out of the mists, I don't think they are a nice place to be. Not the ideal vacation spot.


message 41: by Lara (last edited Jun 05, 2014 02:40PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lara | 676 comments Questions and Comments for June 4th
Chapters 8 - 11

12) "No, no, you don't understand," Tarrin shook his head wildly. "I have to come back with you as my betrothed or as a corpse. It's the only way I'll get the colors..."
I read this as saying that Ananna had to marry or die. However, as I recall, Tarrin's father seemed to lack respect for him, so this alternate meaning may also be true.

13) Ananna finally seems to come into her powers. I wonder if it was her powers that saved her or, if perhaps, her mother invoked a protection spell on her as well?
I didn't see this as her having come into her powers, but more that she accepted, under duress, that she has them. She has otherwise made no effort to build upon that one experience.

14) Speaking of parents, they sent an assassin after Ananna, but what happened to her parents? Would they have been killed as well?
I wonder about this, but she seems to think that her parents are higher ranking, and that they would only be angry with her. If the parents were regularly punished in deals like this gone wrong, then I think she'd be more anxious about them I do want to know their reaction though.

15) I find it interesting that Naji seems to use his desert mask as a way to hide behind or hide his disfigurement. At least I'm guessing that's why he wanted it before they saw Leila. It sounded like she'd already seen him and that's the only significance I could see as to why he'd be upset about his mask disappearing. I wonder what the full story is behind him entering the Order of Assassins? Any ideas? I also wonder about Leila and Naji's relationship because of this unfinished statement: "She's always played games, but it got worse after--" I wonder what that was about?
Yes, how and when did he become disfigured? I agree that he is sulking by hiding. He is so traumatized by his scars that it seems to define his self-image. Leila was definitely manipulative and used her looks as a hook. I wonder if she blamed him for his injury and its aftermath. "Why couldn't he be continue to be my extremely talented lover that makes me look even better?"

16) Seems like Ananna is developing feelings towards Naji. What did you think about her thoughts on beautiful people not being trustworthy?
I thought this was an interesting perspective in that, as a pirate, she has found that people have used their beauty as a tool to get what they want. And it's interesting because she does think Naji is one of the beautiful people. Perhaps his inability to see his attractiveness makes a difference for her?

17) Ironic that Ananna didn't want to to go the Isles of the Sky, and now she has to go there anyway to seek out the Wizard of Eirnin? Anyone else feel like they're being sent on a wild goose chase?
That was my first thought--ironic. However, I didn't feel that Ananna fought hard enough against going there. And I wondered how much the trip would solve their problems.


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

Lara | 676 comments 18) Marjani is an interesting character. I wonder if the rumors about her running away from marriage are true. That would make her very much like Ananna. What did you think of her? I think there's more to her than meets the eye.
I liked Marjani. She seemed much more mature than Ananna, and given that she went to university, probably was when she left. I do wonder about her motivation in helping Ananna and Naji though. Or is it just that she is more cosmopolitan and looking for others who she can relate to?

19) So captain's sons are well thought of, but not captain's daughters. Seems strange to me that Ananna didn't know ship navigation after growing up on a ship. Do you think Ananna may be the person/catalyst who changes things?
This is a point I felt was less than consistent in the book. Her parents obviously made serious effort in educating her on my topics. However, she then claims that they wouldn't react if she were assassinated. I'm not sure she will have much impact on how things operate, but would not be surprised if she ended up with her own ship.

20) Ninjas, mythology, pirates, wizards..Oh, my! Are you liking this combination or do you feel there's too much going on?
I'm enjoying it, but feel there are still too many world building points that need to be clarified.

21) So at some point (I can't remember when) we learn that Ananna's mother probably could have tracked her. I wonder why she hasn't? Seems odd.
I don't recall this. But, I wonder if her mother does know where she is and just isn't doing anything about it.

22) What did you think of Naji using blood magic to get them to the island? Was he too impatient or justified in doing so?
Heh. I thought Ananna was too easy on him. Even after finding out why, I still thought he was reckless.

23) What's your first impression of the island? Think you'd want to visit it? Do you think it's as scary as its reputation?
Well, maybe I was reading too quickly, but I didn't get a good feeling for the atmosphere of the island. it's clear that it is creepy, but that is inconsistent. Unexplained things happen, but that is also inconsistent. So, while I don't think I'd want to be stranded there, I also didn't have a solid feeling of how bad it would be.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments June 3
Chapters 4-7


7. We are being introduced to some interesting magic. Naji has now used blood magic a few times (with the drunk man after the fight, the protection charm), even though it is meant to be dark magic. Do you think he will be able to teach Ananna any of this magic?
I think he could, if he wanted. I don't think he's in any hurry to teach her about magic at the moment.

8. So Naji goes into a 'trance' rather than sleeping. Is he human?
I think he is human. I think the trance is just a part of his type of magic.

9. I thought the scene with Ananna going to the temple and needing to pray to Kaol a bit odd, and I'm hoping it will be referred to later in the story. What did you think?
I thought it was odd too. I almost got the feeling it was put in purely for worldbuilding purposes.

10. The man in the market with the grey eyes is from "The Mists", but they can't track Ananna with her protection. Any theories on why they would be interested in her? Is it just to find Naji?
I'm not sure yet. I think there has to be some reason that they are after her besides the fact that she is with Naji.

11. The travelling across the desert sounded pretty grueling. Were you surprised when they met up with the Hariris? What will happen to Ananna now?! :o
I was surprised that the Hariris caught up with them. How were they able to track them? I was interested and hoped to hear more about the land striders (or whatever they were called).


message 44: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new)

Moderators of NBRC | 30803 comments Mod
Questions and Comments for June 6th
Chapter 16 - end

24. What do you think of the Wizard Eirnin? Was he what you were expecting?

25. We've finally heard how Naji was cursed. Do you think it was unfair, or a just punishment for killing some of the tribesmen?

26. What did you think of the impossible tasks? Any theories as to what they have to do? I had the same reaction as Naji about the 'life from violence' one.

27. The three impossible tasks reminds me of old fairy tales where the unlikely hero has to journey to the ends of the earth to complete three impossible tasks. Did you notice any similarities? Maybe the author is giving homage to fairy tales?

28. How did you like the book? Would you continue on with the next one?



message 45: by Joy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Joy | 278 comments 24. What do you think of the Wizard Eirnin? Was he what you were expecting?

I thought he was interesting, but from all that he was hyped throughout the book, he was slightly disappointing. He was just a funny, old man. He wasn't at all what I was expecting.

25. We've finally heard how Naji was cursed. Do you think it was unfair, or a just punishment for killing some of the tribesmen?

I don't think it was unfair. He murdered innocent people, and for that, his punishment is rather light. Besides, Ananna saved him, so the fact that he owes her for it seems just. I think maybe Naji held back from explaining the reason he was cursed because he thought Ananna would see him as a murderer.

26. What did you think of the impossible tasks? Any theories as to what they have to do? I had the same reaction as Naji about the 'life from violence' one.

I have no idea. It has to be something other than rape for the 'life from violence' one... but I don't know. I also don't understand why the true love's kiss is an impossible task. It doesn't really seem impossible to me, unless it's because Leila is Naji's true love and she will never love him the same way.

27. The three impossible tasks reminds me of old fairy tales where the unlikely hero has to journey to the ends of the earth to complete three impossible tasks. Did you notice any similarities? Maybe the author is giving homage to fairy tales?

I immediately thought of Hercules and his twelve tasks. There's definite similarity.

28. How did you like the book? Would you continue on with the next one?

I doubt I'll read the next one. This book was a fun read, but the ending was disappointing and the world building wasn't really strong. I love fantasy because it creates a different world, and this book didn't really do a good job of that.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Questions and Comments for June 5th;
Chapters 12 - 15


18) Marjani is an interesting character. I wonder if the rumors about her running away from marriage are true. That would make her very much like Ananna. What did you think of her? I think there's more to her than meets the eye.
I really liked her. I thought she was a lot more intelligent that the captain and crew gave her credit for. If she really did run from an unwanted marriage, maybe she sensed that Ananna was going through something similar?

19) So captain's sons are well thought of, but not captain's daughters. Seems strange to me that Ananna didn't know ship navigation after growing up on a ship. Do you think Ananna may be the person/catalyst who changes things?
I thought that was strange, too. Why would she be allowed to climb the rigging and do other pirate tasks, but not learn navigation?

20) Ninjas, mythology, pirates, wizards..Oh, my! Are you liking this combination or do you feel there's too much going on?
I like the combination. I read a lot of fantasy, though, so it's the same as having wizards, elves, dwarves, etc. :D

21) So at some point (I can't remember when) we learn that Ananna's mother probably could have tracked her. I wonder why she hasn't? Seems odd.
Maybe they know she is safer off not being found? Or maybe they've made her an outcast?

22) What did you think of Naji using blood magic to get them to the island? Was he too impatient or justified in doing so?
He was too impatient. Or if he was going to do it, he should have let her in on his plans. It was just frustrating to see that he still doesn't treat her like a partner.

23) What's your first impression of the island? Think you'd want to visit it? Do you think it's as scary as its reputation?
I thought the island was very creepy. I definitely wouldn't want to visit it, no matter how interesting it was.


Amanda (daughterofoak) | 3473 comments Joy wrote: "I have no idea. It has to be something other than rape for the 'life from violence' one... but I don't know. I also don't understand why the true love's kiss is an impossible task. It doesn't really seem impossible to me, unless it's because Leila is Naji's true love and she will never love him the same way."

Maybe he only thinks it is impossible? I was wondering if Leila's attitude toward Naji made him doubt anyone could care for him.


Kelly (ladykatala) | 5020 comments Questions and Comments for June 5th;
Chapters 12 - 15


18) Marjani is an interesting character. I wonder if the rumors about her running away from marriage are true. That would make her very much like Ananna. What did you think of her? I think there's more to her than meets the eye.
I think they'll end up meeting again. She didn't seem scared of Naji like most others seem to be.

19) So captain's sons are well thought of, but not captain's daughters. Seems strange to me that Ananna didn't know ship navigation after growing up on a ship. Do you think Ananna may be the person/catalyst who changes things?
I think maybe she'll end up captaining her own boat.

20) Ninjas, mythology, pirates, wizards..Oh, my! Are you liking this combination or do you feel there's too much going on?
It's still feeling a bit shallow to me, like it's just skimming over the top of what the story should be.

21) So at some point (I can't remember when) we learn that Ananna's mother probably could have tracked her. I wonder why she hasn't? Seems odd.
Maybe her mother knew that she had to do this to fulfill some prophecy?

22) What did you think of Naji using blood magic to get them to the island? Was he too impatient or justified in doing so?
I think he was trying to avoid the things following them.

23) What's your first impression of the island? Think you'd want to visit it? Do you think it's as scary as its reputation?
It reminds me a bit of the black sorcerer's island in Raymond E. Feist's series. They set up scary lightning bolts and such to keep others away but those who lived on the island were nice.


message 49: by Lara (new) - rated it 4 stars

Lara | 676 comments 24. What do you think of the Wizard Eirnin? Was he what you were expecting?
I was also disappointed in him. He seemed more snarky than powerful, and I have no idea why he wants to live on the island.

25. We've finally heard how Naji was cursed. Do you think it was unfair, or a just punishment for killing some of the tribesmen?
Hmm, it was a mistake, but wouldn't have happened if he weren't there to kill anyway. I do think it was harsh, though.

26. What did you think of the impossible tasks? Any theories as to what they have to do? I had the same reaction as Naji about the 'life from violence' one.
These are like prophesies by an oracle. I wonder if Eirnin knows what they are. After all, it wasn't clear how he knew what the tasks were, so he could have just been describing them instead of explaining. And I wonder if they are a curse because they will require Naji to see the world in a different manner than the one he has thought was right or best.

27. The three impossible tasks reminds me of old fairy tales where the unlikely hero has to journey to the ends of the earth to complete three impossible tasks. Did you notice any similarities? Maybe the author is giving homage to fairy tales?
They are definitely like fairy tales and mythology. And the entire book is like many different types of tales turned at an angle.

28. How did you like the book? Would you continue on with the next one?
Well, I already owned this one, and it turns out I had bought the second (it must have been a special price). So, I expect I'll read it, if only to find out what happens. And it is somewhat restful--adventure without much angst or real tension.


message 50: by Karen ⊰✿, Fiction Aficionado (new) - rated it 3 stars

Karen ⊰✿ | 14217 comments Mod
I feel similarly to Joy about this book.
I think this book would be best marketed as middle-grade rather than YA. There is little character or world building, and the book is so short and lacks conclusion that it just feels like the first part of a novel. It is enjoyable enough as a bit of fluff, but there are much better books in this genre out there. I don't think I will continue the series, there just wasn't enough done to make me care about the character's future and the meeting with the wizard was just completely anti-climactic as I already knew about the three impossible tasks from the synopsis. Overall I was disappointed and I think the cover was probably the best part of the book


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