Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Reading Level: Young Adult
Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry (October 2, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1908844019
ISBN-13: 978-1908844019
Series: The Assassin's Curse
Source: ARC provided by publisher
Cover: I am so in love with this cover. I love that you can look at it and think it's pretty but every time you start to really look, you notice more detail. I'd always seen the ship but I never registered the moon behind it and the buildings shapes and the pattern in the design. For being only a few colors, it's so detailed and beautiful. It fits perfectly with the story it's covering!
First Sentence: I ain't never been one to trust beautiful people, and Tarrin of the Hariri was the most beautiful man I ever saw.

Mini-Review: The Assasin's Curse is like nothing you've ever read and awesome for it!

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.

If you're looking for a book exactly like everything else then do not pick up The Assassin's Curse because this book is truly like nothing else out there right now. Exotic, intoxicating and completely unputdownable, The Assassin's Curse blends unique locations, larger than life characters and heart stopping adventures on every page.

The Assassin's Curse reads like it's right out of a child's head in the sense that it truly feels like anything can happen. It breaks all the rules of the genre it's in by adding whatever it wants into the story and pushing the limits of magic into something interesting and fresh. I loved that it felt like literally anything could happen on every page and that was really refreshing because I never knew what to expect and when I tried, I was usually wrong.

Besides the plot being completely surprising (and yet simple), Ananna is unapologetically like no character you've ever met. Growing up around pirates has made her brash, morally ambigious and rough around the edges. For me, those things made her a little hard to embrace at first. I was thrown off by the accent because I aint never used to reading very much stuff like that before. But it made her voice so much clearer in my head and I found that I missed her voice when I went on to a different book. I love that even though Ananna isn't educationed, she is smart and The Assassin's Curse went a long way to show this. Ananna's roughness made her unpredictable and I loved seeing how she was going to react to everything that was happening to her. She felt so capable and I liked knowing that whatever situation she got into she could handle.

Her counterpart Naji was equally interesting. Where Ananna was uneducated, Naji was well learned. Where Ananna used the brash approach, Naj was much more sneaky. I became obsessed with learning all the secrets Naji possessed with his blood magic and like Ananna I was cautiously interested and partly horrified by what Naji could do. His dark powers coupled with his noble personality made for a great mix and a lot of inner turmoil in his character. I also loved that he was scarred. So many YA heros or love interests are usually pretty. I thought it was a bold move to make half of Naji's face scarred so that he had to rely on other things and it gave him a lot to wrestle with. Plus, it allowed Ananna to see him vunerable sometimes which really helped to shape his character.

I was completely encahnted with the exotic setting and magic system in The Assassin's Curse too. From Naji's dark blood magic that can be used to protect Ananna to the way hebecomes shadows to the curse that bind he and Anna together to the water magic Ananna and her mother possess, it was hard to not to be interested. I liked that there were really no rules. Don't confuse this with their being no cost because there was but it wasn't overly complicated. A lot of fantasy feel heavy because they are so loaded with cans and can'ts but The Assassin's Curse doesn't fall pray to this. On top of that we get so many amazing places to adventure with Ananna and Naji. I loved the quaint desert town we star out with that is half green land by the sea and half dry desert. But I equally loved the pirate ships and island of magic. It all felt reinvented and fresh and exhilirating.

To say I loved this book is probably an understatement. It's got pirates traveling with ninjas and magic and a feeling that anything could happen. From charming characters to surprising places, I don't think The Assassin's Curse will disappoint. You get the feeling that the moment you pick this book up you are reading something different and it's so well done that you don't want it to stop.


Favorite Lines:
There are three ways of bettering yourself, Mama told me once: murder, mutiny, and marriage. Figures the Hariri clan would be the sort to choose the most outwardly respectable of three.
--Pg. 12 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke
...he spat out a word in a language like dead flowers, beautiful and terrible at once.
--Pg. 33 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke
"Don't feel the need to defend my good reputation," Naji said as we made our way up the stairs to the room, out of earshot of the innkeep. "I don't have one."
--Pg. 60 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke
We took off, me and the camel marching through the streets like we were important, Naji creeping through the dark places like a ghoul in a story.
--Pg. 85 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Naji stared at me. I stared back as long as I could but Naji was always gonna win a staring contest.
--Pg. 174 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke
"Well, look who's on my front porch," he said, speaking Empire with this odd hissing accent. "A murder and a cross-dressing pirate."
--Pg. 252 of an ARC of "The Assassin's Curse" by Cassandra Rose Clarke


  1. YAY! So glad you liked this!!! It's one of my favorite reads of the year so far - I was totally obsessed with the setting. And I agree that it was risky for Naji not to be really attractive, but that sorta made me like him more, you know? I can't WAIT to read the second book in this series!

  2. This sounds amazing. Pirates, Ninjas, Magic?! What could be better. Adding this to my 'must buy' list right now :)

  3. I noticed that it was a completely different book in the first few pages itself! Cannot wait to finish my copy :)

    Great review Amber
    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  4. This really does sound so fresh, original and entertaining - I definitely need to get a copy. Also: how can I see mention of cross-dressing pirates and not have to read this?

  5. Awesome review. I love the cover! I've been waiting for this book for a long time. Can't wait til it comes out.

  6. Wasn't this so good?! It surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Absolutely can't wait for the next book!


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