Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke.
Published: October 2nd 2012
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Sort: Part one of ‘The assassin’s curse’
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 fiancé. 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.
Ananna of the Tanarau is married off to another pirate clan, but instead of listening to the treats of her fiancé, she escapes on a stolen camel. Not long after that, Ananna is followed by an assassin. When she accidently saves his life, a curse is activated. The assassin, called Naji, is now bound to protect Ananna. Together, they embark on a journey to break the curse, but this is much harder than it seems. Naji is followed by people from the Mists and Ananna is now part of his trouble.
Every girl who manages to escape a marriage by stealing a camel is a girl who deserves my respect. I adored Ananna. Fierce, daring and intelligent. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself and growing up on a pirate ship has made her strong and loyal. She can be a bit reckless, but she is a very likable character. I like her growing feelings for Naji and how she is capable of seeing his beauty behind the scars. Naji is mysterious and interesting. I didn’t connected with him as I much as I did with Ananna, but I liked him. He is the perfect match for Ananna and I’m happy that he wasn’t perfect. He has a soft side and it’s obvious that he likes Ananna way more than he wants to admit.
The world-building is good and filled with magic. There is blood magic, like Naji, or magic with elements, like Ananna’s mother. It is very subtle, because the real story is all about the curse. When they finally have the answer, things seem impossible: and I can’t wait to see what they are going to do in part two! I’m also intrigued by the Mists and I want to find out more about this. Don’t expect a dazzling ending though. The story never builds up and there isn’t a real climax. I find it more a prologue – a step towards the real story, but I wasn’t disappointed. It fits with this story.