Title: The Assassin’s Curse (Book 1 in The Assassin’s Curse)
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: October 2, 2012
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.
I wasn’t sure about this book when I started it, but I’m glad I picked it up. The narrator was a unique and funny character, somehow combining unexpected traits like superstition and heroism to create a not-so-charming, but appealing personality. Ananna is quite a character, and I loved reading about her (mis)adventures.
One thing that I thought was really interesting about the book was one of the “praise quotes,” which was from one of my favorite authors, Tamora Pierce. In reading the book, I saw similarities between it and her writing, too (so naturally, I loved the book). The setting was similar, as was the writing style, but Clarke does an amazing job of maintaining her originality and keeping the plot interesting. I can’t wait to see how the story turns out, so I’m going to go read the second book and add it to the post!
Title: The Pirate’s Wish (Book 2 in The Assassin’s Curse)
Release Date: June 18, 2013
After setting out to break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Unfortunately, Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic attraction.
This was excellent! It was a great continuation of the story, and a perfect ending for the characters. I particularly liked how Ananna and Naji managed to grow into themselves and their relationship with each other and the rest of the characters. The fact that the story pretty much picked up right where it left off was great, too, although I recommend getting both books at once so that when you finish the first you can jump right into the second one. Not only does it make the story more fluid, but it keeps everything fresh in your mind, especially since there is not a lot of recap involved in this second installment.
I loved the ending. It was a little unexpected, but sweet and perfect for the characters. Even though it was a little bittersweet, and I wish it had been a little different, the way it was written and the interpretation of the characters that the author gives made it okay. And I liked how it continued the originality of the plot and the writing style. You could tell that it was all connected, and all the pieces came together. I think the best part about the book is that I would definitely read more, if the author so chose to write more (whether about these characters or others), but there doesn’t need to be more to this story.
Overall, this is a great series and I’m very glad that my library had it. I highly recommend it for anyone looking for an adventure story (but beware for some romance too!).
*Note: I do not recommend this book to readers under the age of 14 due to profanity and sexual content.