Title: The Assassin's Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Goodreads summary: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 had heard a lot of good things about this book, so I picked it up eager for some swashbuckling pirate princess action. How many books have you read that involve pirate princesses and magical assassins? It just sounded like so much fun, and after reading some dense books that was exactly what I was looking for. In the end, I just thought it was pretty boring.
When Ananna of Tanarau is forced into an arranged marriage, she steals a a camel and runs away. The groom's family retaliates by sending out an assassin who will follow her to the ends of the earth in order to kill her. But once Ananna accidentally saves his life, the assassin is bound by a curse to protect her at all costs. The pair must now break the curse, dodging sinister magical creatures and the enraged pirates along the way.
Well...they do a lot of dodging, but this book doesn't see much in the way of breaking the curse. In fact, by the end of the book, they have just found out how to break the curse. I was a bit disappointed, since it felt like the book was over right when it finally got started. The book felt like it was only half of a larger one - the author explained in the acknowledgements that it was originally one book, but her editor convinced her to split it in two. I would have preferred one large book, since this one flew by really quickly.
I was also disappointed in the characters. I was promised a badass pirate princess, and while Ananna is foul-mouthed and feisty, she also seemed childish a lot of the time. Naji was also not quite as mysterious and frightening as I expected him to be. Their push-and-pull relationship was also tiresome at times - we get it, neither of you wants to be dependent on the other. Fine. Move on.
This wasn't a bad book, just not as good as I was expecting. It's a really fast and light read, so not too much time wasted.