Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Not Your Typical Assassin Story: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Just the facts:

Overall:  3 Stars

Addiction Level: I read it every waking moment. (It only took an afternoon.)

Believe-ability: It was believable.

Dystopia Factor: Eh. It’s “normal” life.


            The Assassin’s Curse takes place in a fantasy setting where a young pirate girl named Ananna is preparing to marry a man she’s never met from another pirate family. Ananna decides that she wants to make life plans for herself, including captaining her own pirate ship and decides to run away before she is married off and loses control over her own decisions. Unfortunately, this is taken as an insult (wouldn’t you be upset, too?) and her fiancée’s family sends an assassin after her to make amends for the snub. 

            After hiding out for a bit, it becomes clear to Ananna that she and the assassin, Naji, will eventually have a showdown and decides to take a stand. While in the midst of their face-off Ananna saves Naji’s life on a knee jerk reaction (which was pretty under-whelming, by the way) and activates a curse that binds the two together. When realization of this sets in, Ananna and Naji set off on a quest to break the curse and allow the two of them to resume their lives as best they can.

             Seeing as I’ve rated this book at 3 stars there are obviously some things that I didn’t like, though overall, I did enjoy the story. My biggest complaint is that there are aspects of the story that are not fully developed; and were they developed the story would be much more fulfilling. The biggest of these revolves around Naji himself. I like Naji as a character but I didn’t feel like there was a very clear picture of who he is. There was almost no back-story, only small hints that made me want to know more. Who is he really? Why did he become an assassin? Will we find out the answers to these questions in book two? The story also relies heavily on the use of magic, but I still feel like magic wasn’t really connected to the story. There was something missing. And what role do assassins really play in this story world? I could understand the story world but still felt a little lost.

            However, the book did have many redeeming qualities too. I really enjoyed a story where there was no insta-love. Eventually Ananna realizes she has feelings for Naji, but I’m not really sure that she knows what or why she likes him, and that’s okay. I like that Ananna is not overly dependent on Naji but also is not overly feminist in her attitudes and beliefs. It seems that authors often feel that in order to make a strong female character that the character must be anti-male in their beliefs. This is not true. A female character can still be strong and need or want the help of a man. Usually a feminist character just comes across as bitchy and unpleasant, to me at least. I think Ananna strikes a nice balance.

            The story ends at a bit of an odd point but I am actually looking forward to finishing the story in the sequel. I have lots of questions that I would like answered and the only way to find out is to read on! I will say that even though the story could be more developed it is an easy read and some of my hang-ups kind of melted away if I just took the story at face value and didn’t over think my stumbling blocks. 

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