Thursday, August 1, 2013

Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse
Author:  Cassandra Rose Clarke
Publisher:  Strange Chemistry, 298 pages
Publication Date:  October 2, 2012

From Goodreads:
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.

I really enjoyed this book.  It's a great adventure story, filled with pirates, magic, and Naji, an assassin.  What more could you want?  Naji is hired to kill Ananna, who ran away from her husband-to-be (an arranged marriage), but things go wrong and instead of killing her, they are bound together (he feels her pain and she can't even get very far away from him without him feeling it).  So now they're stuck together and most of the book is them traveling together, trying to find someone to help them figure out a way to break the curse.  

Ananna is a fun character.  She's outspoken, strong, feisty, and a bit reckless.  She's grown up in a pirate family and it shows.  She's also sensitive and caring.  

Naji is very mysterious and I wish we got more insight into his character and his background.  He's an assassin who practices blood magic, and scares everyone to death.  Except Ananna.  Although he's handsome, his face is scarred, which he is sensitive about.  Which means he dresses like a ninja, hiding his face.  Interestingly, although Naji is supposed to be the bad-ass and protect Ananna, she ends up saving him a lot.  

This is the first book (of two) and it ends in the middle of the story.  From the summary, it sounds like the book is about the quest to complete the three impossible tasks, but they don't even find out what those tasks are until the end of the book.  But since the second book is already out, you don't have to wait and you can go ahead it, which is what I did.

In the end, this is a fun, exciting, original fantasy novel.  Highly recommend!

Posted by:  Pam


  1. Ooh pirates, magic, a feisty heroine, and assassins? Sign me up! Plus, that cover is gorgeous.

  2. I've heard great things about this series. You're right. You really can't go wrong with pirates, magic, and an assassin. I love the cover. Sometimes I do think it's best just to wait until the complete series is out before you start the first book. I often don't wait and end up anxiously waiting the next book--or, inevitably, having to go back and re-read the first book in the series since I'll have read 100 books since I read it and I can no longer remember all the important details. Great review! I'll have to check this one out sometime.

    1. Same here. I love having the whole series to read back to back. Definitely helps with all of those cliffhanger endings! ~Pam

  3. Ahh!!! I was supposed to have read this one + Pirate's Wish (which I saw you reviewed but avoided for fear of spoilers) a few weeks ago but failed/got overwhelmed by some other stuff, and now you're making me severely regret that. I'd heard the same about the fierce MC - and I did read the first couple of pages - and loved that she was so... unwilling to marry. So few YA heroines actually *protest* in the same way. There are a lot of arranged marriages in fantasy, but Ananna *fights* that, which sounds plain cool (and that curse must make for some interesting romantic tension). Plus I'm looking forward to the Middle Eastern elements - or so I'm assuming there are, given the last names (Hariri is a famous Lebanese name).

    1. Ananna is definitely an independent character. She actually reminds me a bit of Katsa from The Graceling. You should definitely read them! ~Pam