- “The Assassin’s Curse” by Cassandra Rose Clarke
- ISBN: 1908844019 / ISBN13: 9781908844019
- Number of Pages: 298
- Publisher: Strange Chemistry
- Publication Date: 02 October 2012
- Date Read: 13 January 2016
- Format and Source: Own copy, bought at Fishpond
- Rating: ★★★
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.
I am not a big fantasy book reader, but knowing that Strange Chemistry closed its doors making the book series an “endangered specie,” my friends and I took interest in it, and decided to buy our own copies. There are two books in the series, but for this post, I will talk about “The Assassin’s Curse” first.
A girl left home to escape her wedding and by doing so, an assassin was sent to kill her. In the world of hyped YA fantasy books, that line sounded a lot like The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and if you have read that book, I would understand if you might have hesitations about this under-hyped book, because I admit I did feel the same.
However, just like in many Dystopia and Romance books, the two books I mentioned might have a similar string, but their similarities ended there. When Lia (of TKOD) and Ananna (of TAC) left their homes, both heroine took on a very different path – The Kiss of Deception had a mystery vibe to it, by cracking who was the prince and who was the assassin, while in The Assassin’s Curse, Ananna have met both her husband to be and the assassin at the early part of the book. The Kiss of Deception, in my opinion was more romance, and The Assassin’s Curse was more adventure, and I loved that this book gave me something unexpected.
Ananna sure was a fierce heroine, someone who could carry herself well…but I liked that even with the list of things she could do, her character was believable to be a 17-year old lady. She wasn’t the type of a character who could slice the world in two (like some YA heroines I have met – ehem Katniss, Tris, and June), and most of the time, she would still rely on the lessons her parents taught her. I liked that. I like characters who, despite leaving their families, still holds on to the memories, because some book characters don’t really do that. She may not be superheroine extraordinaire, but she had a good head between her shoulders, and that was enough for me to admire her (I also admired the other YA heroines I mentioned, don’t get me wrong… I just wanted to express how I admired the author for creating a good character who is not what readers might have expected her to be).
As for Naji, I liked his mysterious persona, but like Ananna, I wanted to see more of him – to know him, to know things. Their dynamics was funny at times, and though they were very different, I won’t hesitate to board their ship…if it comes to that. Like I said, this book was more adventure than romance, so don’t expect butterflies and all that on this book.
As a person who doesn’t read fantasy books that much, I was greatly satisfied. The images of the world I created in my head were vivid, thanks to its good world building, and as a part of a book series, it had a good cliffhanger to look forward to on the next book, and most of the things tackled in the first book were answered — there weren’t a lot of loose ends, but still not enough to stand alone as I felt this book was just an intro and the bigger adventures await on the next book. I couldn’t pinpoint it really… I liked the book a lot, but I felt there were a few things missing for me to give it full five stars. Could be the “magic” element of it, or the dark cloud of mystery over Naji’s head, or it could also be the idea that Naji was supposed to protect Ananna, but what happened in the book was actually the other way around.
If you will ask me if which I liked – The Kiss of Deception or The Assassin’s Curse, I would say I liked them both. They were very different books, but both with great main female characters, and an awesome world building. If you have the chance, I recommend you read both.