“The Assassin’s Curse” by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Fantasy
Source: NetGalley in exchange for an honest review [Thank you!]
Summary from Goodreads:
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.
This book is scheduled to be released October 2, 2012.
I think one of the coolest parts of this story is the different type of fantasy within it. I guess most of the fantasy I read has American or European influences. It makes sense because those are the types of books I’ve grown up reading so I tend to see them out. The Assassin’s Curse is set in the Middle East (correct me if I’m totally wrong on that) so it has a Middle Eastern vibe going on. As someone who has very little experience with that type of fantasy/mythology, it was a bit difficult to completely click but once things got going it was easy enough to move on with the story. Reading about all the world building and seeing everything fall into place was enough to keep me reading.
I thought the fact that Ananna being a Pirate would make the story be super fun because I adore most of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Pirates should be fun, right? There wasn’t nearly enough swashbuckling for me. I did like what little pirate-ness there was in the story though. The other action/assassin stuff seemed to drag a bit for me. I never fully enjoyed it for whatever reason.
Naji was supposed to be a swoon-worthy guy but I didn’t swoon over him…at all. Truth be told, I didn’t like him all that much. For me, he was just annoyingly overprotective. Yes, I get that protecting Ananna is part of the curse but it was just too much. It was almost too much like a crazy boyfriend for me. I wasn’t a fan of a fan of the way he treated Ananna as if she were a child. Ananna was pretty cool. I like that she takes charge. She doesn’t need someone to rescue her. She can do that fine all by herself. I really loved that there was no insta-love here. Yes the grew fond of each other time but it felt natural.
The ending completely infuriated me! It was way too abrupt. I seriously flipped back and forth a few times to see if I was missing a page. I’m never too fond of stories that don’t fully wrap things up. Yes you want readers to pick up the next book but at the same time you need SOME closure.
The bottom line? It’s a nice change of pace fantasy story.