Series: The Assassin's Curse #1
Published by: Strange Chemistry on October 2, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon • 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.
The Assassin’s Curse is an adventure story filled with pirates, magic, assassins, curses, and a new world that will intrigue you and keep you turning pages. It’s written from first person perspective, but the language and slang really throws you into the story. If you’re a fan of good ol’ fantasy, then you’ll probably really enjoy this book!
I have to say, when I read this book, the Goodreads blurb was different. It actually contained spoilers about the book. It was written as a summary of the entire story from start to finish, rather than a quick intro/teaser. So when I read the book, I was expecting something more to happen, and instead, just got the blurb but in more detail. That really ruined my reading experience and didn’t make it as enjoyable as it could have been otherwise. So really, my four star rating is because I know the book would have been better if it hadn’t been spoiled to me first.
The book starts off with Ananna, the daughter of a pirate family. Her parents are about to marry her off to a man she barely knows and already dislikes. To save herself from this fate, she runs away. This results in the would-be-groom’s parents hiring an assassin—Naji— to murder her. But in this world, assassins aren’t just normal sword-wielding fighters; they deal in the darkest magic — blood magic. They creep through the shadows — literally invisible, cast complex spells, and are expert swordsmen.
Ananna is an awesome character! First, she’s a pirate. That’s immediately awesome. But she’s also really smart, fierce, and brave. Ananna is a really strong lead character who isn’t afraid to back down from a fight, even when she knows she’s outmatched.
I have two main issues with the book though. First: Naji. At first I was pretty interested in him. He’s a really mysterious character and I wanted to learn more. Unfortunately we never really learn that much about Naji, even by the end of the book. We do get a really vague backstory but I feel like he’s still kind of a mystery to me. And furthermore, as the story goes on, he kind of becomes an annoying, weak character. Ananna is constantly having to save his life while he moans uselessly. I mean it makes sense — he’s usually extremely weakened because he performed a complex spell that drains him of his energy — but it still bothered me. I guess I just like reading about a strong, noble male character to stand on level with a strong female lead, and this story doesn’t quite deliver that for me. And, Naji got to be super bossy as well — always telling Ananna what she could and could not do. It just built up over time and got on my nerves!
A romance does start to brew between Naji and Ananna, but it’s very subtle, and because of my issues with Naji I wasn’t all that into it. I wasn’t falling for him, so I didn’t want Ananna to.
As I said, if you’re into fantasy and magic, you’re bound to enjoy this book! The pirates are a really interesting touch and I loved learning about their culture and traditions. This book has several intense battles and interesting characters. The second book sounds like it will be quite interesting, and I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it!