Tuesday, October 9, 2012

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

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke (#1)
Pages: 320
Release Date:  October 2nd, 2012
Date Read:  2012, September 17th-18th
Received:  ARC from Publisher; OWN
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+

Ananna of the Tanarau, daughter of a pirate, fierce young woman raised on he sea, is given no choice: she must marry Tarrin of the Hariri, or else, he threatens, his famiy will send a highly trained and deadly assassin to kill Ananna.  Instead of agreeing, however, Ananna makes her escape - and is soon attacked by the assassin, Naji.  With the help of some magic she is told will send the Assassin into the Miss, she instead binds herself to him!  The two set out on the adventure of a lifetime to break the curse, but as the time goes on, Ananna is amazed to discover another bond growing between them: one of friendship and - could it be love?

Those books that sneak up behind you, blindfold you, and then lead you into a wonderland full of endless beauty and magic?  Those are the best books.  EVER.  I always have this burning passion for them for years after I read them.

This is one such book.

Despite the amaaaaazing things I'd heard about it, I was still skeptical of The Assassin's Curse in the first two chapters. Slang language in the first person POV? Random F bomb?  Unusual lady in the store passing out magical vials?  Ooook.  But, holy crud you guys.  The third chapter said, loudly in my face, "Lo and behold!  Be skeptical no longer!"  And so it came to pass that every page brought me one step closer to heaven.  Cassandra Rose Clarke, can I just hug you???

Ananna is one of my favorite heroines.  She's got spunk and a lot of worldly knowledge, but there's something about her that's innocent.  I love every single thing about her: her love for the seas, her loyalty and her fearlessness.  She kicks butt and is sensitive and is capable of loving greatly.

But seriously, who couldn't love greatly when referring to Naji??  Ummm hello!  I adore this guy...like, Okay, by "adore" I actually mean I'm madly in love with him.  (See!?!?!)  He's so...unusual.  He's different from most heroes I've ever read about.  He's beautiful, yes, but his face is marred with scars that mask that beauty to some.  He has a history and is a very skilled assassin, but he hsa some of his own ideas about his job.  And *sigh* I have this feeling he's going to be a wonderful kisser.... :D  In any case, I just loved the dynamics Naji brought to The Assassin's Curse - I need more of both Naji and Ananna!

The cast of side characters is just as brilliant.  They all become well-developed in a matter of pages.  Clarke is very skilled in the art of saying a lot with only a few words.  (This is a huge compliment: I've only ever said that about Suzanne Collins before!)

In particular, I thought Leila was amazing, in an I-hate-her-guts kind of a way.  Sheesh!  She added all the tension in the world to the story.

Gosh...  What can I say?  It was so utterly wonderful I think I've lost my words.  (As I now proceed to write a million words...)

I loved the traveling.  Naji and Ananna are alllll over the map, and it's brilliant. I felt like every place was perfectly described and developed, even if we only got to see it for a short time.  I can't even pick a favorite location - they were all sooo great!

The pacing was easy and fast, but not too fast so that it felt rushed.  Everything was smooth and a balance between being character and plot-driven.  The writing was superb and the dialogue made me feel like I was the one speaking and hearing.

But the best part about this story, by far, is the romantic tension.


There is magic in every single moment Ananna and Naji spend together.  The tension built slowly and surely - no insta-love here!  It's believable, and thought they don't exactly like each other at the beginning, it's not hate-turned-love, which I greatly appreciate.  The whole entire book I gripped the pages so hard and wanted to yell, "Oh hurry up and realize the obvious!  You're madly in love!!"

Now, here I am going on about love and romantic tension and kissing and all that stuff - but I seriously want to point out that...BOYS!  Boys need to read this book!  I'm serious.  There is an appeal for both genders.  Ananna is a very relatable character and can read boys and girls.  And of course, Naji and the crew of the ships, and Tarrin, and many others, will totally be good for male readers.

So, boys, why don't you go ahead and take my advice:  Read this book!!

Annnnnnnnddd..... THE END.  The end, in all its cliffhanger glory, had me dying to read more!

So romantic.  And intense.  So gorgeous in every way.  Do I need to say more?  Or will you take me at my many words and rush out to buy this book this verrrry moment??

For the Parents -
Some brief strong language (a few F's in tense situations, a few minor cuss words).  Reference to Naji being Leila's former lover.  Leila is very seductive.  Some violence, not gory.  Recommended 15+


  1. Gina @ My PreciousOctober 9, 2012 at 9:13 AM

    Yay, I'm so happy you enjoyed this one as much as I did. Isn't it strange how clueless Naji is to Ananna's feelings. I didn't want to see this one end so soon. I can't wait until the next book!

  2. Candace's Book BlogOctober 25, 2012 at 7:08 PM

    Holy crap, did you just steal the words from my brain?! I just read this one last weekend and ADORED it! I was just about screaming at Naji to open his eyes and see what's before him! It's like he thinks his scars matter to Ananna or something, how could he not see that she cares for him?! I guess it's her personality and how she's always getting frustrated with him. But yes, that tension was nearly tangible, I loved it! I can't WAIT for the next book!

  3. Oh my gosh, this books was AMAZING! This duology is amazing, LOVED IT! One of my faves :)

  4. I really agree with you on so many points! I'm a huge fan of fantasy books but this one really surprised me with how good it was. I really recommend it to anyone, now I just have to continue on with the next one!

  5. YAY!! I'm sooooo glad you loved this book/its sequel. THEY ARE AMAZING. Definitely on my Forever Favorites list. <3

  6. Oh yes, Shamara, you MUST read the second book. It's crazy good, and oh, so bittersweet! Let me know what you think of it when you read it!

  7. I know! I already own it and it has been sitting on my shelf for a couple of months already. But when I tried to pick it up I realized that I really didn't remember some things about the first one. Maybe it's time for a re-read :)