Monday, July 16, 2012

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)
Ananna of the Tanarau is the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the loose assortment of cutthroats and thieves in the Pirate's Confederation. When she runs away from the marriage her parents have arranged for her, they hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

When a mysterious woman in a dress shop offers her magical assistance for dealing with the assassin, Ananna accepts. She never went in much for magic herself -- she lacks the talent for it -- but she's not quite ready to die yet, either. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails.

Fortunately, Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him a few years earlier. Now, whenever her life is in danger, he must protect her -- or else he experiences tremendous physical pain. Neither Ananna nor the assassin, Naji, are pleased about this development.

Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe, visiting such mysterious places as the Court of Salt and Waves, in their desperate effort to lift the curse. Soon they will discover that only by completing three impossible tasks will they be able to set themselves free.



Ananna of the Tanarau is the eldest daughter of a highly-ranked family in the loose assortment of cutthroats and thieves in the Pirate's Confederation. When she runs away from the marriage her parents have arranged for her, they hire Naji the assassin to murder her.

When a mysterious woman in a dress shop offers her magical assistance for dealing with the assassin, Ananna accepts. She never went in much for magic herself -- she lacks the talent for it -- but she's not quite ready to die yet, either. Unfortunately, the woman's magic fails.

Fortunately, Ananna inadvertently saves the assassin's life in the skirmish, thus activating a curse that had been placed on him a few years earlier. Now, whenever her life is in danger, he must protect her -- or else he experiences tremendous physical pain. Neither Ananna nor the assassin, Naji, are pleased about this development.

Follow Ananna and Naji as they sail across the globe, visiting such mysterious places as the Court of Salt and Waves, in their desperate effort to lift the curse. Soon they will discover that only by completing three impossible tasks will they be able to set themselves free.




Before I say anything, how awesome is that cover? It is absolutely gorgeous! I love the whole Arabian theme; since I'm Arab, I can definitely appreciate that :)


I was kind of disappointed in this book. The summary sounded so amazing and I had really high hopes for this book. It fell flat for me. It was good. But not quite great.


Let me start with the good. I really loved the idea. It was original and unique. I liked the characters. Ananna was a firecracker. As a pirate, she will not hesitate to slit your throat if she has to. Definite girl power there. Her constant jabs, particularly at Naji, were hilarious. Naji was wonderful, too. In the beginning, he's just the faceless assassin. By the end, you get to see how complicated a character he is. Even with the curse forcing him to protect Ananna, he eventually grows to actually care about her safety. The romance between those two grows slowly, very believably. There relationship develops naturally; first friendship, then slowly into something more. By the end, they're still not together, but the seeds of a romance are growing. The setting was nice. The imagery was detailed and created a clear scene that was incredibly fun and interesting.


Now, unfortunately, to the bad. It is really just one thing. But one thing that is really important: the world-building. The only thing that was well done was the imagery. But I didn't get a feel for that world at all. I didn't understand how that world works, if that makes any sense. The workings were only explained if it pertained directly to the plot. That's all well and good, but that meant that I never really understood how the world words. The biggest problem this caused was with the magic. I didn't understand how the magic works. Where does that power come from? What is the difference between the different forms of magic they mentioned? How does a person gain that power? None of that was explained and I was a little bothered by it. 


I do have one other problem, though this one is smaller. The plot didn't quite flow. It jumped from scene to scene without a clear break. I found myself confused several times because the plot jumped without warning.


The Assassin's Curse isn't a bad book. It just has a few problems. I still found the story interesting. It caught me enough that I would read the sequel; I'm really interested to find out what happens next to our cursed duo. This book isn't a perfect book, but it is good, and worth the read if you can get past the few problems. I would recommend it to anyone who likes a fantasy adventure with a few stirrings of romance.


In the end, 3/5


Thanks to Netgalley for a copy!

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