Thursday, October 04, 2012

Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

From Back Cover: Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to another pirate clan. But that only prompts the scorned clan to send an assassin after her. When Ananna faces him down one night, armed with magic she doesn't really know how to use, she accidentally activates a curse binding them together. To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks - all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic ... and the growing romantic tension between them. 

My Rating: 3.5 hearts 

Thoughts on the Novel: When I first heard about Angry Robot’s latest imprint, Strange Chemistry, and its upcoming releases, I was most excited about Cassandra Rose Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse because the synopsis promised pirates, assassins, curses and magic. It’s not surprising then that my expectations for this fantasy novel were high … perhaps too high.

Although I didn’t really fall in love with any of the characters, I did like the secondary character of Marjani. I also liked the main character, Ananna, because I found her to be spunky and very unladylike. She lies, steals and curses, and is clearly capable of surviving by herself. It was much harder to appreciate Naji as a romantic lead because I felt that he was quite useless as an assassin. After all, not only does he fail to kill Ananna, but he also manages to get himself bound to her through a curse! Furthermore, he refuses to tell Ananna anything important. I couldn’t understand why Ananna would find Naji appealing – he didn’t seem to find her quite so attractive – nor did I feel like there was much chemistry between the two.

Another thing that bothered me was the lack of details about certain parts within the plot. For example, I still feel like I don’t know anything about the Order or the Mists. Readers also don’t learn much about Naji’s background – or even how old he is. 

In spite of its flaws and the lack of a climax, I did enjoy The Assassin’s Curse while I was reading it because the pacing was relatively fast and didn’t give me time to dwell on the book’s faults.

The Assassin’s Curse was released by Strange Chemistry on October 2, 2012. 

Comments About the Cover: The desert setting of the novel evokes a Middle Eastern feel, which is why love the Middle Eastern-inspired artwork and font.

In exchange for an honest review, this book was received from the publisher (Strange Chemistry) for free.


  1. I thought this book lacked a solid climax too, but I still really enjoyed it. I guess the lack of chemistry between Ananna and Naji felt more to me like a slow-burning relationship. I preferred it that way, but I do hope things progress in the next book. ;)

    Lovely review as always, Z!

  2. I'm glad to read your review, Z, as I get a better picture of what problems I may have since we've got similar reading tastes. I was hoping the book would set the stage for a Middle Eastern vibe like the cover suggests. Naji's name in paticular is a common Arabic name. Hope book 2 makes things clearer for you.

  3. Aw, sorry you didn't love this one as much as I did. Especially the romance because that was my favourite part of the novel, but I can see where you're coming from. It could be that I read this at just the ideal time for this kind of book and maybe I wouldn't have liked it as much otherwise. Who knows!

  4. I have to say I'm really curious about this one. It seems to be getting mixed reviews and that always makes me want to read something even more. The lack of details in certain areas is slightly problematic for me though, in fantasy worldsI like answers to all my "why" questions! Thanks for the review Z, I'm keeping this one on my "maybe" list:)

  5. This one is coming up for me really soon, so I'm sorry to see you had some issues with it. I've seen other readers who also really liked Ananna so I'm looking forward to meeting her. Great review Z :)

  6. An assasin and a pirate and a girl who lies, steals and curses sounds interesting. Sorry this wasn't a bit better for you. I have it coming up soon so I am hoping for a good read.Have a great weekend!

  7. Z, I was so very excited about this book when I first saw it on NetGalley. But, well, I forgot I was excited for this so I still haven't read it until now. Naji and Ananna both sound interesting to me. I think it's cute that Naji found himself bound to Ananna instead of assassinating her. It's quite funny. ;)

  8. This sounds like a cute adventure book. Pirates and Assassins definitely would have made my expectations sky high too! I mean, how can you not make that a wicked plot!! :D It sounds like it was alright, though, at least. It's a shame about the lack of a really awesome climax though I see that happening more and more, the book just kind of fizzles at the end.

  9. Anonymous12:50 pm

    Nice article, thanks for the information.
    Steph @ rental mobil

  10. Yayy! I'm so glad you enjoyed this one! I adored it when I read it a few months ago and I really can't wait for the sequel. Naji is especially such an intriguing and multi-layered character, so your review really does so much justice to him. Fantastic! :D

  11. Sounds interesting. Maybe the information comes in the sequel..if there is a sequel coming out. ;)


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