Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse #1
Publication Date: October 2, 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Reading Level: Young Adult
Pages: 295 (Paperback)
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.
This book was everything I hoped it would be and more! I wasn't expecting to enjoy it as much as I did, so this review is going to be short and sweet.
Ananna ran away from her engagement on a camel because she was a pirate that wanted to get her own ship, not be tied down to someone else, no matter how attractive they are. They sent an assassin after her, but there was a fluke accident where she accidentally saved his life while he was trying to kill her, resulting in a curse that's going to keep them together for a while. Their only chance to break the curse? Go to the Isles of the Sky--the most feared place among pirates.
The character development in this book was superb. Ananna is an incredibly strong heroine and Naji is mysterious and intelligent. Together, they should repel each other, but they make an amazing team and their story is full of many slightly humorous moments. Ananna was written to be a pirate, though one with a great deal of knowledge. When she's speaking, she doesn't use proper English and we see her using the words "ain't" and "no" more than we realize. I adjusted to this easily because it was so believable since she grew up as a pirate. Naji's smooth, educated speech contrasts with this greatly, but proves to be incredibly interesting.
The plot was amazing in this one as well. I loved the use of magic throughout the story and the description that accompanied magic made it incredibly believable. I also respected the fact that they never gave up, even in times of desperation. They fought if people were after them, they hid if they could, and they repeatedly saved each others lives while discovering other abilities that they never knew they were capable of.
The end of this book was satisfactory, but left me begging for book two. The last fifth of the book was full of unexpected action that I don't want to ruin, but once Naji and Ananna learn more about the way to break their impossible curse with impossible tasks, only one is really on Ananna's mind. And it's the one task that she never thought she would care about. True loves first kiss.
I highly recommend this book to just about anyone, but especially those fantasy lovers. This is a book rich with fantasy for you. However, this one doesn't have much romance in it, so I wouldn't pick it up if you're expecting any of it.