Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
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.
Pirates, magic, assassins and an impossible curse: everything that could only result in an amazing adventure. The Assassin's Curse is a great mix of strong characters, exciting adventure and the author's amazing creativity. Not to mention the gorgeous cover that completely matches the inside of the novel. However it's worth mentioning that in my opinion the world-building and characters' background were somewhat lacking.
The Plot: The beginning already starts with a bang, Clarke promises us an exciting novel and she sure fulfils this promise. Ananna embarks on an unexpected adventure through the desert and the sea with an even more unexpected companion: an assassin. The development of the story certainly entertains and surprises us. What I mostly disliked about the story was the world-building, which for me wasn't as developed. I wanted to know more about Naji's enemies (the Mists) and about that parallel world in which they live in.
The Assassin's Curse was a fun and quick read that provides readers with an amazing adventure. The author's way of writing gives off an Arabian feeling that takes us to the world Clarke's story takes place in. Even though I really enjoyed the plot, in my opinion there are some important components missing (characters' background, Ananna's family disappears, world-building) but being a series, it is imaginable that certain will be explained in future novels . If you are an adventure lover, you should certainly check this one out.
A huge thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with a copy of this amazing novel!
Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.
During the summer of 2010, she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, where she enjoyed sixty-degree summer days. Having been born and raised in Texas, this was something of a big deal. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund. Website