Friday, October 19, 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse

The Assassin's Curse
by Cassandra Rose Clarke (Website | Facebook | Twitter)
Series: The Assassin's Curse, #1
Published: October 2nd, 2012 by Strange Chemistry
Pages: 320 (Paperback)
Genre: Fantasy
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.

The Assassin's Curse seriously has everything - pirates, assassins, wizards and curses! Everything to make this one of my favorite books. The story starts with Ananna, the daughter of a pirate captain, being married off to form an alliance within the pirate clan. This is not what Ananna wants - she wants to become the captain of her own vessel and sail the seas. Naturally she runs away and an assassin is sent after her, to bring her back to be married or if not, kill her. This is where the story starts to get really interesting because in the course of fighting off her assassin, Ananna saves his life, which sets in place a curse that makes Naji have to watch over her for the rest of his life. That certainly is an interesting premise, and one that was delivered quite well I might add.

The setting of The Assassin's Curse is a fictional world where pirate clans rule the seas, assassins have legendary powers, and magic is part of everyday life. There are several types of magic: fire, earth, and water, along with the blood magic of the assassins. The main setting is a desert and a city on the border of it, giving the book an Arabian Nights type feel, as the cover suggests, and much to my liking. Cassandra Rose Clarke developed her world with so much detail and imagery I had no trouble imagining where the characters were. Like the moving tattoos?? That is so awesome!!! Another thing I appreciate is how flushed out the magic was. Often times in fantasy, the magic used and around in the world is touched on but not thoroughly described. This can be a good thing in a way because it gives a realness to the story since the characters who live in this world wouldn't describe or explain something that's a facet of everyday life. But it always leaves me wanting more. Clarke was able to fill my craving without taking away from the pace or the solid world building.

I was really impressed by the characters in this book. Ananna is a strong female lead that reminds me a bit of Saba from Blood Red Road - she’s determined to get what she wants and is willing to do whatever it takes to get that. Naji is a mysterious figure throughout the beginning and the middle of the book, but over time more of his personality shows through and you start to find out about his past. I thought the relationship between the Ananna and Naji was done really well. It progressed perfectly. They start off trying to literally kill each other, but over time they start to become first uneasy allies and by the end of the book they genuinely care for each other. I loved the gradual character and relationship develop like this because I felt like I got to know Naji as Ananna did. And vis-versa.

Overall The Assassin's Curse is an exciting read that gripped me from start to finish, with an interesting world and a great story, as well as engaging and mostly multidimensional characters. The only problem I had with this book was that it was too short. It was SO GOOD and I can't wait until 2013 for The Pirate's Wish. I need to know what happens to everyone. I hope the sequel is released in early 2013... an October release would probably kill me.

Rating: 5/5 stars
Buy The Assassin's Curse and pre-order the sequel today (if you can anyways). You won't be disappointed!

No comments:

Post a Comment