Review: The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Paperback, 320 pages
Published: Oct 2nd, 2012 by Strange Chemistry
Source: Purchased
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 very very close to perfection.  I went in with high expectations and it definitely met them.  But sometimes when you’re reading a book that is so so good you start to get nitpicky.  Generally I’m not a nitpicky reader, I don’t notice the little things.  But I was so in love with this book I started noticing things that would maybe make it even better.  The thing is, I LOVED this book and I think that it still is a 5 star book for me.  All the way.  But it could have made it into all time most favorite books EVER quite easily.

First I have to tell you about the characters.  Ananna is a very strong character.  She says what she thinks and does what she wants to do and she’s very headstrong and bold.  We’re in her head though so we also see where she’s vulnerable and we know that she has a very good heart inside her even though she’s been raised as a pirate, she’s definitely not ruthless.  At times Ananna makes some poor choices.  Stupid choices even, but for some reason it was so easy for me to forgive her this.  We all make mistakes, right?  Naji is the kind of character I LOVE to read about in fantasy.  He’s an assassin who can do a crazy magic.  He’s this person who’s basically suppose to be feared above all but because of this stupid curse Ananna is stuck with him because if she leaves it puts him in serious pain.  He has to protect her above all else.  Which is crazy since he’s suppose to kill her.  Through their journey of trying to break the curse they have to protect each other, save each other from everything that comes after them.  And through this we see that Naji is not this evil villain (well, we saw this pretty much right away) and while the two are constantly at each others throats you can see they are growing on each other.  One downside to Naji is that he’s hurt a lot and this made him feel weak to me.  He’s this kick ass guy who can literally blend into the shadows and does incredibly powerful magic, but yet Ananna spent a lot of time saving him and taking care of him.  Now I still loved him.  Seriously, he was an absolutely fantastic character, but that was a small issue for me.  I wanted to see more of his kick ass’edness.

The plot of this book moves along very quickly and even though much of it is a journey each little part of it goes by super fast.  I think this book could have been longer with more detail and been just as good if not better, but yet I kind of liked that it was a fantasy that was a quick read.  I just think it had all the elements to make it EPIC if maybe it had been a little more in depth.  But the world and the magic and all that was fantastic!  Really, I absolutely LOVED it!  It was so creative and so easy to picture.  While there’s not much with pirates at all it ended up not being a bad thing because everything else was just so great.  And Ananna has pirate blood, she thinks like a pirate and that was pretty awesome.

The romance…. I’m not sure what to say here without revealing too much.  These two are at each others throats a lot, but you really start to feel the sexual tension when they have rare tender moments, when they start to feel something for the other but yet almost don’t even realize it.  Like when one goes to automatically swipe the hair off of the forehead  of the other and then freezes up realizing it was a tender gesture and they hadn’t even realized what they were doing.  Those moments to me mean so much.  That tension between them, them thinking they could never work, or even that Naji maybe thinks he doesn’t deserve Ananna (I don’t know that he feels that way, but I’m guessing maybe he does).  But the romance itself doesn’t get far in this book.  And at first I was disappointed, but once I thought about it I realized that that’s what I love so much about it.  It’s those few moments of tenderness that speak volumes, and I think that really elevated this book for me.  But don’t get me wrong, I’m dying for things to move forward.  Seriously, dying here!

I really loved this book, so please take any of my nitpicking with a grain of salt, because this really was a fantastic read.  The characters, the setting, the plot, the magic, even the not-yet-romance, was so so amazing.  I most definitely can’t wait to read the next book!

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  1. You know, I am not sure I have ever read a book about pirates before. I didn’t realize that until now LOL!

    Well if I decide to read one, this one will definitely be it. It sounds like a fab read. :)

  2. Aaaaa!!!!!! I LOVED this book so much too!!! It totally took me by surprise by its awesomeness! and Naji? With his glowing tattoos? Totally made of win!

    The only complain I had was that I found the last part dragging out a little too long..

    Cant wait for the next one!

  3. This book just doesn’t seem to fit my expectations! It’s intriguing. Sounds fantastic, though. Love that there’s action, adventure and romance. That rocks.

  4. Ha *dances* YES! YOU READ THIS! YOU LOVED IT! And I know what you mean about having little things that were teeny bit bothersome which is why this book isn’t a Special Shelf yet. I have a sneaking suspicion, however, that the next one will be. Oh, the fantasy, magic, the action!

    THE ROMANCE. You touched on it so perfectly because YES those tender moments were so real and strong and enticing. It gave you a look at maybe what could be later on. OH GOSH. I can’t wait for the sequel. I really can’t wait!

  5. Whoo hoo….close to perfection, excellent characters can’t wait. I have this scheduled at the end of the month with an author guest post and I am so excited to hear it was a five star read for you!

  6. The Assassin’s Curse seems like a gorgeous story. I can’t believe I’d never heard of it before. I love the cover & am so happy you loved it. Great review!

  7. I don’t think you were too nitpick. I LOVED this book. For me the romance was what some people refer to as “slow burning”. This made the story for me. I just can’t wait for the next and final book! Just when it was getting good…. it ended!

  8. Oh wow, sounds fantastic! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I can see how you’d notice the little “annoying” things if you loved a book so much. I’m glad those still didn’t ruin it for you, though. And I really like slow-moving romances…but not TOO slow. Realistic enough, however. :)


  9. Loved those little moments between them! You did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the book in your review. I’ve already read the book and you made me want to go read it again. :]

  10. Yay! I’m so glad you loved this one, Candace! It wowed me too and completely surprised me, so I can’t WAIT for the sequel. I adored the characters and I’m so excited for the romance too. Fantastic review, dear! :)

  11. Glad you loved this book! While I didn’t quite love it, I strongly liked it. I kind of liked the lack of romance – this book seemed to be all about Ananna and Naji’s personal growth and gradual friendship and acceptance of one another. But based on where the book ended, I’m sure there will be tons of romance in part 2! ha and that’s an interesting observation. Naji did get hurt a lot. I mostly focused on Ananna’s characterization while reading, so it didn’t bother me quite so much. Again, though, I think that Naji’s role will be expanded and more kick-ass in part 2.

  12. This sounds amazing and now I want to read it! I think it’s interesting that you loved it even if you found that it could be better. It shows that you got really invested in the story and characters! Great review!

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