The Assassin's Curse (Cassandra Rose Clarke)

The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

From 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."

If I were to summarize my reading experience of this book, it would be the following: I like you very much. You are different.

And The Assassin's Curse is definitely different from most of the other YA fare I've been reading these days. This is not to say that there is something wrong with "the same" if it's done well. It's just that I'm the sort of reader (as I suspect many of you are) who is always on the lookout for different, unusual, NEW.

I love Ananna, a more-than-capable heroine with wits and heart. I love Naji, the dour assassin who turns out to be so much more than just a sword and a shadow. I love the world they exist in. I love the bad guys and the good guys and the in-between guys. They're new! Different! Refreshing! I'm also a big fan of the magic in this book. It's slippery enough not to be immediately recognizable and understandable. I could go on. But I probably shouldn't.

The one criticism I would make of this book is not so much a criticism as an acknowledgment of a disagreement between the content of the book and the jacket copy. The back of the book (at least the edition that I read) says that Ananna and Naji must break a spell by completing three impossible tasks. However (and this is not much of a spoiler), they don't even learn about the impossible tasks until about twenty pages from the end of the book. Of course there isn't enough time to fulfill those tasks in the remaining pages. Clearly, there is a sequel forthcoming.

I'm glad of a sequel. I'm not ready to stop following Ananna and Naji. I just wish that the jacket copy hadn't been so misleading.

In conclusion: Love Ananna! Love Naji! Can't wait for the sequel.