The Assassin's Curse
Cassandra Rose Clarke
Released: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Source: the publisher
You can read the Goodreads summary here.
Ananna is the daughter of pirates and when she's betrothed to the son of a different pirate tribe, an unwanted marriage, she escapes the wedding on camel back. Her fiancé's family soon sends an assassin after her in retaliation, but when Ananna saves the live of the assassin, Naji, they become bound together in a curse and together they must travel through the desert to find a cure for the curse.
Okay, when was the last time I read a kick-ass book about pirates? I can't remember, but probably never... until now. The Assassin's Curse was one of the best books I've read this year simply because of the plot line, which drew me in right away. Who doesn't love a good runaway bride story? Or a story where two characters who should hate each other are forced to spent all their time together and are thusly forced to like each other a little bit? I mean really, what more could you ask for?
And that's why I loved The Assassin's Curse! Ananna is a spunky, independent girl who doesn't need saving; in fact she's the one doing the saving much of the time. This is the kind of heroine a girl can get behind. It took me a second to get into The Assassin's Curse, because of Ananna's voice, though. She doesn't speak properly (she uses the word "ain't" a lot, for example) but once I got into the swing of Ananna's voice, I really got into the book. I wanted to see how she would escape her wedding and fiancé, and later how she would escape her curse.
I was really intrigued by the way Ananna and Naji were bound to each other. If Ananna was in danger and strayed away from Naji, he would get a terrible headache or worse depending on how far apart they were from each other. It forced Naji into the role of protector, a role that neither of them found very comfortable. This adds an underlying tension to the plot that was delightful to read because it meant it could turn into another kind of tension, if you know what I mean.
The book is filled with all sorts of treats described by the author, I really felt like I could picture every setting Clarke described. Everything from pirate ships by the ocean, bazaars, and deserts. Her secondary characters were all rich, too, and it all adds up to a spectacular debut novel. And let me say a quick word about the ending - fantastic. It set everything up for the second book in the series in such a way that I cannot wait to get my hands on it next year.
Four stars! I really enjoyed this novel! Everything about it made for a joyful reading experience - the plot, the characters, the foreshadowing and ending - I loved it! If you're a fan of pirates or fantasy novels, I highly recommend this one. Currently the ebook is priced under five dollars - score!