09 August 2012

(ARC) YA Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Release Date: 2 October 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Pre-order a copy! B&NAmazon

When Ananna of the Tanarau, the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the Pirate's Confederation, runs away from an arranged marriage, the offended parents hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

Ananna accepts the magical help of a mysterious woman to save herself from her assassin. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails, but Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him, binding them together. Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe in their desperate effort to lift the curse.
My Thoughts...
Fantasy novels are a "hit or miss" reading experience for me and I'm happy to say that The Assassin's Curse was a "hit." The combination of strong characters and the action-adventure story succeeded in pulling me in and leaving me begging for more.

What really made The Assassin's Curse a must-read for me was the characters. I liked Ananna from the very beginning.  She has a strong, no-nonsense personality and a deep sense of self-preservation. When she runs away from her arranged marriage, I found myself cheering for her because I liked that she wasn't willing to simply bend to the will of her parents.  (Yes, yes, sometimes it's better for the character to listen to her parents but this felt so much truer to her personality.) She takes off on her own and her fierce nature immediately shines through.  She's no slouch, that's for sure.  As she takes charge of her own destiny, she's not afraid to ask for help when she realizes she's in over her head (even if her naiveté leads her a bit astray).

Naji, her assassin and accidental traveling companion, is a character who really grows on you.  His plight is a sympathetic one at the very least. I found that the more I got to know him, the more I could appreciate his quieter personality and complexities. He's got the age-old combination of mysteriousness/aloofness and "bad ass" that will hook you right away, but he's really so much more than that. ;)

The plot line does lean a bit towards simplicity and I was disappointed that the Goodreads description seems to reveal seemingly the whole story! (Hence my edited version above.)  However, the writing is well-done and the story flows seamlessly through the pages.  Each twist in the plot and new character serves its purpose efficiently and flawlessly.

The bottom line is this: the magical settings and strong characters will entice the fantasy reader from page one. It's a quick, fun read that will leave you begging for the sequel.


Beth said...

Nice review. I have been watching for this one, and think I might add it to the TBR now.

Beth ^_^

Jennifer said...

I was intrigued by this one a few weeks ago...now I really want to read it! Great review!

Danny Bookworm said...

I loved this book too!!! It was absolutely great! I just had one problem, the pace towards the end was a little off, there were some parts where not much was happening and the story could have been a little shorter! But, this didn't affect my excitement in the end!

Scarlett said...

yay, I'm so glad you liked it as well! I thoroughly enjoyed it and was totally sucked it, Ananna was so much fun to follow! Totally agree about being a bit bummed, I too had supposed that this was the whole story but found out it wasn't only at the very end. At least the next one comes out fairly soon next year! Can't wait to read more on this. Great review!

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