Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Release Date: October 2nd, 2012
Page count: 320
Publisher: Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry
Format: E-arc
Who I'd Recommend it To: Fans of books like Blood Red Road and Throne of Glass.
Rating:  ★★★★

From Goodreads:
Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan: she wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to her handsome yet clueless fiance. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns the scorned clan has sent an assassin after her. 

 And when the assassin, Naji, finally catches up with her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse — with a life-altering result. Now Ananna and Naji are forced to become uneasy allies as they work together to break the curse and return their lives back to normal. Or at least as normal as the lives of a pirate and an assassin can be.  


To be honest, I definitely didn't get into this book straight away. It found it pretty ridiculous at first. Within the first couple of pages, we get to see Ananna, the main character, run off on a camel to avoid having to be marry some guy from a allying pirate clan. Yeah, a camel. It was pretty damn strange. But fear not! As you can tell from how I gave this book a four star rating, I enjoyed this book immensely! When I got through maybe two, three chapters, I absolutely fell in love with it, and was transported into this fantastic world. 

Let's talk about the characters: Ananna is a great main character (although her name is super annoying to say). Being a pirate, she can kick major ass, obviously. She's strong, witty, brave, smart, speaks her mind but she's also very naive and is sometimes quite reckless. Definitely no damsel in distress business here, as she saves Naji (the assassin) as much as he saves her.

Now on to Naji. He definitely isn't your typical male hero. Although he's strong and capable, he's also very vulnerable and insecure because of his facial disfigurement. I loved that he wasn't that typical egotistical, amazingly attractive guy who seems to be popping up everywhere lately. It was definitely a refreshing change, and made him more realistic. Naji is a very mysterious and secretive guy, and we don't get to know a lot about him until the end of the book, which is a shame. But I'm definitely looking forward to knowing more about his past (and is it ever mentioned how old he is? I wanna know!). 

Also, I pictured him like Zuko from Avatar: The Last Airbender:

Just the facial expression and the scar screams Naji to me. 

Most of the supporting characters we see throughout the book were equally as interesting to read about. And let's just say most of them weren't the nicest of people.

Another thing I adored about this book was Ananna and Naji's relationship. The author could've easily made it an insta-love romance, but decided to develop their relationship more, which I loved. I enjoyed seeing them start to trust each other, and care for each other. Obviously there was a little bit of tension between them (though it only really started near the end), but it was very subtle and lovely. I'm really excited to see where it goes in future books!

The plot was all kinds of bad ass, obviously, and moved at a fast pace all throughout the novel. It was filled with action and danger. The writing style was fantastic, and Ananna's narration made it even better. The world building was really good; I absolutely loved the setting and it felt as I was there with them, but I would've liked a bit more information here and there. I also felt like this book was too short for me to enjoy it fully, and it ended too abruptly for my liking. I think I expected more out of the ended. Like, I wanted it to go out with a bang, but it didn't.

In short: The Assassin's Curse is, without a doubt, a fantastic debut from Cassandra Rose Clarke. Although it has its flaws, its thrilling, action-packed, and keeps you turning the pages. I mean, c'mon, it has assassins AND pirates AND magic. What's not to love? An amazing, thoroughly entertaining read! Definitely one to check out and put on your to-read list.


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