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 spell, 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.
Design – Sarah J. Coleman Rating – 5/5
This cover is spectacular. It’s so beautiful and does such a great job of depicting the setting for the story. I love the starlit sky and the silhouettes of the ship and city, and those that form the intricate frame. I have a soft spot for covers with hand-done typography and covers with text front and center. The curving, calligraphic feel of the title is so nice and I love the way it fills up so much space without using overly thick lettering. I would, however, remove the publisher’s logo from the front cover.
The Assassin’s Curse is a brilliantly imagined fantasy story. The main characters are memorable and really pop off the page. I’m looking forward to more of Ananna and Naji’s adventures in the sequel. I really loved Ananna – she is such a strong-willed kick-ass heroine.
- Ananna – I loved Ananna from the moment she appeared in the book. Running away from an arranged marriage is a great way to start things off with a bang. Ananna is smart, savvy, and bold. She trusts her gut, knows her way around a weapon or two, and isn’t ok with someone else giving all the orders. She is fierce in a quiet, dangerous way and I love her.
- Naji – Naji is dark, mysterious, and brooding – something that Ananna calls him out on sometimes. Naji is like the ultimate bad boy with a heart of gold – a top-tier assassin with his own moral code. He obviously has an interesting past, and I’m so curious to know how he got his scar. Naji’s secrecy is infuriating to Ananna, and things probably would’ve gone smoother if he had been open about his plans.
- world building – The world Ananna and Naji live in is full of magic, assassins, and pirates. Everything is unfurled at exactly the right pace and I never felt like I didn’t know something. The world this story takes place in is so interesting. It has everything from murderous pirate lords to sinister floating islands.
- the curse – Naji’s curse is something that, while it obviously sucks for he and Ananna, is just awesome to read about. It forces them into an uneasy partnership and their interactions are the backbone of the book. I don’t have much to say about it, other than I love reading about it.
- accent/grammar – When I turned to the 1st page, my brain kind of went ‘oh no’ when I saw the opening line. Ananna’s narration is how she thinks and speaks – not grammatically correct, and I was worried. These things are hit and miss with me, but mostly fall on the miss side. Luckily, it was easy to get used to and nothing was spelled differently. You know, like Hagrid – I just find things like that hard to read. Ananna’s way of speaking was subtle enough to make sense and it really fit her character’s background.
- Leila – I was struck by how manipulative and uncaring Leila is, particularly toward Naji. She toys with him, she insults him, and she just doesn’t care. I don’t understand why she’s mean for no reason. I guess Leila’s purpose is to hurt Naji, so that Ananna realizes she feels defensive of him, but whoa did Leila overdo it.
It was probably stupid of me, going to help cure a man who had been paid pressed gold to see me dead, but every time I thought about giving him the slip I heard that scream of his from when I tried to leave the inn and felt sick to my stomach. And so it seemed the matter was decided for me. Bloody magic. You’d think they could come up with a curse that didn’t have to drag innocent bystanders into it. – Loc. 1010/3145
I kicked at the fallen leaves, splintering them into shards, digging a ditch in the soil with the heel of my boot. The forest noises had come back, the chittering and shaking and rustling of the rain, the crystalline chiming of the surrounding trees, but the silence between the two of us swallowed all that noise whole. – Loc. 2883
Acquired: bought (ebook)