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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book
What makes a book special? Is to the writing, the storyline or characters? Or is it something else, a feeling you get when reading it? Whatever it is The Assassin's Curse has it. This book is pure magic and is in the top 5 books of this year for me. I LOVED it.

The storyline is awesome full of adventure and magic. It takes you from the ocean to the desert...
Published on 21 Nov 2012 by Kate Phillips

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Assassin's Curse
Maybe I'm not the right age category but this book is far from the "amazing" read I was expecting based on these reviews. Yes, the story moves along nicely, yes, the author definitely has a very distinctive voice, but do I like that story or that distinctive voice? Not particularly much, and I was expecting more depth to the story. It was a light read, not even 300 pages,...
Published 11 months ago by H Berryhill


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing book, 21 Nov 2012
By 
Kate Phillips "Kate" (Southampton, England) - See all my reviews
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What makes a book special? Is to the writing, the storyline or characters? Or is it something else, a feeling you get when reading it? Whatever it is The Assassin's Curse has it. This book is pure magic and is in the top 5 books of this year for me. I LOVED it.

The storyline is awesome full of adventure and magic. It takes you from the ocean to the desert and through towns and forests. It introduces you to a world full of mystery and a host of amazing characters.

Annana is my kind of girl. She is brave, she knows her own mind and is not afraid to fight for what she loves or what she feels is right. She can be funny and sarcastic but also vulnerable and naïve. Then there is Naji (sigh) whom I am in love with. There are three male characters I have loved this year. Kanin (The Immortal Rules), Orma (Seraphina) and now Naji (what can I say I like oddballs.) He can be surly, moody and at times a little naughty but he is also heroic and sweet.

The friendship between these two is what really made this novel go from good to great. They went dislike to friendship and it was amazing to read. Will it end up in romance? Maybe, maybe not, romance is not really what this book is about. Although there is the undercurrent of it there.

I cannot say a bad word about this book. I loved it and I hope if you read it you will to. I cannot wait for the next book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Assassins and Pirates For The Win, 17 Oct 2012
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I have a bit of a soft spot when it comes to all things piratical. The Crimson Pirate starring Burt Lancaster is one of my all-time favourite films. (Seriously, if you've never seen it you really need to check it out, it's a classic). When I discovered that The Assassin's Curse featured not only assassins but also magic, wizards and boat loads of pirates I was sold.

Ananna is everything a good pirate should be. Courageous, strong willed and fiercely independent. As far as her parents are concerned however, they don't want her to be any of those things. They just want her to play the role of the dutiful daughter. She needs to cement a mutually beneficial deal with another pirate clan through an arranged marriage. Ananna, unsurprisingly, has other ideas and makes a run for it.

Naji, the assassin sent to dispatch Ananna, remains a bit of an enigma throughout. His chosen profession is obviously secretive in nature and this seems to have permeated into his character. Don't get me wrong, I reckon this is exactly the right way to go. It feels right that he should carry an air of mystery, it leaves the reader wanting to learn more. One of the things that we do discover though is that he has some excellent assassiny (is that a word?) type skills. I kept picturing him like one of the characters from Assassin's Creed. I was particularly impressed with his ability to become one with the shadows. I can imagine that being very useful in his line of work. I do hope that in future books we'll get more insight into his history. Perhaps more details of his training? Maybe how he ended up an assassin? That would be cool.

At its heart, The Assassin's Curse is all about the relationship developing between two young people. I rather like that, initially at least, there is a sense of antagonism in the air. Having grown up constantly on the move, travelling the high seas, Ananna is used to depending only on herself. Being forced into a partnership with someone proves at times to be difficult for her. Needless to say, as Ananna begins to learn more about the assassin's way of life, her hard-hearted outlook starts to soften. Naji is not quite as aloof as he appears and there are the definite beginnings of a connection starting to form. Kudos to the author for not rushing this, Ananna's realisation that she feels something for Naji occurs over a period of time, it doesn't feel rushed and makes sense within the confines of the story.

Clarke's writing is pretty evocative stuff, the heat of the desert sands is almost palpable. The sights and sounds of the crowded city bazaars jump off the page and come to life. I was rather swept up by the exotic grandeur of it all. I'm still fighting the urge to run away and become a pirate (or possibly an assassin) myself.

The Assassin's Curse is a solidly written beginning that feels like a modern take on the classic fairytales of old. It offers boundless potential, and for a debut novel it has the perfect blend of action, adventure and just a little bit of romance. I'm looking forward to discovering where Ananna and Naji's journey will take them next.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Assassin's Curse, 10 Jan 2014
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Maybe I'm not the right age category but this book is far from the "amazing" read I was expecting based on these reviews. Yes, the story moves along nicely, yes, the author definitely has a very distinctive voice, but do I like that story or that distinctive voice? Not particularly much, and I was expecting more depth to the story. It was a light read, not even 300 pages, so made a good companion for a long flight but I don't think I'll bother with the follow-up book as I'm just not that interested to find out what happens.

A minor moan to the publishing company: the backcover is the biggest spoiler in the history of publishing! (well, nearly.) The blurb spells out that the duo will have to complete three impossible tasks so reading the story I was expecting these three tasks to be revealed. I certainly did not expect the "revelation" that the unbreakable curse is breakable by completing three impossible tasks to be the denouement of the story...so that was a bit of a downer.

This read like YA fantasy so perhaps more appropriate and enjoyable to teenagers.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful awful teenage tripe, 29 Mar 2014
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This review is from: The Assassin's Curse (Kindle Edition)
I really wanted to like this, and probably would have if I was still 13. Unfortunately the main character was an idiot and the assassin set-up seemed to revolve around how cool and nifty assassins are. I stuck with it, but the plot didn't seem to emerge and the main character remained stupid so in the end I couldn't finish.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Assassin's Curse, 11 Oct 2012
This is the first book I've read from Strange Chemistry and wow, it's a amazing one! I'd heard a lot about it prior to picking it up myself and all the reviews were incredibly good so I was extremely excited to get the opportunity to read it prior to its publication date.

Cassandra Rose Clarke has written a book which takes fantasy to a whole new level. Combining magic, adventure and romance, the story blew me away and left me wanting more. Plus it has pirates! I mean who doesn't love books which feature all the excitement of a journey on the high seas where literally anything can and does happen.

Ananna of the Tanarau is set to be married off by her parents to Tarrin of the Hariri, part of another pirate clan. What she really dreams of however is having her own ship which she can sail on the high seas, free to go wherever she pleases. Deciding to run away rather than submit to a marriage not of her choosing, she finds herself unwittingly bound to the assassin sent after her, leading to the beginning of an epic fantasy adventure.

The relationship between Ananna and the assassin Naji develops over the course of the novel. All the while a romantic undercurrent bubbles away in the background and sparks definitely fly when these two are together. I love the way that Clarke isn't afraid to keep the romance on hold while the two of them are getting to know each other. It makes the whole thing much more realistic and also means that when it does (hopefully!) eventually happen, then it will have been worth waiting for. I don't want to give too much away about the plot but I thought the whole reason they were linked together was brilliant and sets things up nicely for the rest of the series.

There is incredible world building in this book with a fantasy realm where magic really does happen and where dangerous obstacles lie in wait for Ananna around every corner. She however is the perfect heroine to deal with them as she's feisty, brave, courageous and tough. She is the kind of person that will never give up until she gets a satisfactory outcome.

This was a book which grew on me more and more. I'm not always a huge fan of the fantasy genre but this is among the best I've ever read. I'm eager to read the sequel now which will be called `The Pirate's Wish' and is out in 2013.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, 19 Oct 2013
By 
Ms. V. Ewbank (Isle of Skye) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Assassin's Curse (Kindle Edition)
It was an enjoyable light read, the characters are interesting but the novel feels like a first work from a young writer. There needs to be more character development to fully satisfy, and there is little depth to the story. I did read the second novel to find out what happened, I won't be reading more for a while.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Assassin's Curse, 29 May 2013
Ananna runs away from an arranged marriage with an ally pirate clan as all she wants to be is a pirate captain and not a wife. However, her would be in-laws have sent an assassin after her for shaming them and running away but when the assassin reaches her, she accidently triggers a curse meaning that the assassin Naji has to protect her. Now they have to work together and find a way to break the curse but that will be harder than either of them could have known.

The Assassin's Curse is an ok fantasy book which I should have liked as it had an interesting concept of both pirates and assassin's but I know most will not agree but I just could not care about the characters or what happens to them.

Ananna is meant to be a strong, independent character but she just came across as whiny and was trying too hard to seem resourceful and feisty. However, Ananna was much better than Naji, who for a main romantic (kinda) male lead as he acted like a 13 year old who was always brooding and got upset at any little thing.

While the story was ok, the main problem with it is there is a massive plot hole at the beginning, as her parents raised her to be strong and independent and yet still expected her to be ok with being married off, it just did not add up.

I would recommend The Assassin's Curse to people who like Greta and the Goblin King or Sora's Quest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab!, 5 Mar 2013
By 
N. Lovett - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Assassin's Curse (Kindle Edition)
This book is so good...
I am looking forward to the next book, and have just got the which's betrayal...
I know I have not said anything about the books story, because I think it is something to fined it out on your way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Splendid, magical and brilliant., 8 Oct 2012
By 
Leo Elijah Cristea (UK) - See all my reviews
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The Assassin's Curse, by Cassandra Rose Clarke is not my first YA title--though it is the first one that I would have purchased from the teen section at my local bookstore. The Seven Realms series by Chima is, as I've discussed before, YA that was purchased in the regular section. A foray into the wilds yesterday revealed Strange Chemistry titles in the WHSmith Teen section, so I know where to look in bricks-and-mortar shops for upcoming titles.

As it happens, I received this as an ARC from Strange Chemistry, and I gladly devoured it--I'd been looking forwards to this possibly as much as I'm looking forwards to Laura Lam's Pantomime, which I am aching to read.

But, onto the Assassin's Curse.

I loved this book. I've seen a handful of reviews, one of which awarded this book a one-star review, and I'm slightly perplexed by some of the comments, so much that I want to address them briefly as part of my own review.

But first...

The Assassin's Curse tells the story of Ananna, a pirate from a pirate family, who is forced to marry into a richer clan with more prospects, in order to secure an alliance for her family. Distrustful of her husband-to-be, she flees on camel-back, a wild, spur-of-the-moment decision that will change her whole life. When the clan she fled from sends an assassin after Ananna--a dark, magical sort of assassin, the kind that nobody ever escapes from--her world is turned upside in a whirlwind of blood, magic, trust and betrayal.

Before I go on, I want to implore you not to read the synopsis of the book. There are spoilers that reveal (the way I see it) the very last "twist" of the book. I've seen this on the backs of other books before, but none so much as this: in the last fifteen pages or so, the spoiler on the back of the book is revealed, and not before. Luckily, when I am swept away by a story I tend to forget the information of the back of a book--but not everybody does.

The Assassin's Curse is an adventure filled with a whole heap of Eastern Promise; camels and desert and masked assassins, and even the blossoming of a first love. It's fun, meaningful and knows when to take itself seriously, and when to just let go and tell the story. I expected to enjoy this book, and I did. It's everything I love about YA, in that really, is not YA at all: it's just a damn good story that happens to be about a teenage girl.

In this vein, I've seen comments about how "stupid" Ananna is, and how childish and that she doesn't read as a seventeen-year-old. Well, I disagree. Ananna is strong and brave and utterly out of her depth. She has been raised at sea, by a pirate mother and father, surrounded by a pirate clan. She knows nothing of magic and assassins and the mysterious Mists. But, she does her best and she tries to stay sharp. She gets frustrated, annoyed and irritated by her situation, but she never mopes and never does anything stupid or without thinking, without accepting that it was foolish afterwards. In other words, she learns.

Her counterpart Naji is every bit the mysterious assassin. His use of blood-magic frightens Ananna after the stories she grew up hearing--both from other pirates and from her water-witch mother--but she tries to understand, tries to accept Naji for who and what he is once they are bound together. Their relationship is very real and very addictive to read: yes, it's a romance that's slowly blossoming between them; yes, they're very clumsy in their emotions and not-even-close advances--and that's what makes it wonderful. I enjoyed seeing Naji through Ananna's eyes; I enjoyed the mystery and intensity of his character, but moreover, I liked that he wasn't overdone as the archetype of The Mysterious Assassin. Naji is complex--I expect we'll find how out just how complex in later books--and multi-layered and enjoyable to have around. His magic is intriguing, dangerous and exciting and it adds just the right amount of drama.

The story is compelling and the prose quick, witty and moreish.

The cover is stunningly pretty and it acts perfectly to set up the wonder of the desert and the magic that lies within. With excellent pacing and adventure in spades, The Assassin's Curse is an utterly captivating read that has the right kind of heart mixed with the best and most exciting kind of adventure: at the end of the day, The Assassin's Curse is a quest novel. But a quest for what? A cure to the curse? To return home? Freedom? Or is there something else that Ananna wants that even she is only beginning to realise?

Splendid, magical and brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The assassin's curse, 5 Oct 2012
By 
Kirsty at the Overflowing Library (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I enjoyed the assassin's curse for several reasons.

Firstly the book follows the story of Ananna directly after she escapes the clutches of an arranged marriage and triggers a curse on the assassin sent to kill her for running away from the betrothal. I loved Ananna mostly because she is a pirate girl. Quite honestly as a child that was the dream being a pirate girl (yes I was a strange child) and it meant I really wanted to rally behind her and champion her cause. I loved that she was able to hold her own in her adventure.

The story itself was magical and fast paced and as a reader I was completely drawn into the exotic world of the story to the point where I could also feel the sand of the desert whipping around me and the heat of the jungle.

I must say I actually loved the relationship between Ananna and her would be assassin turned champion. I loved her they came closer as they shared several harrowing experiences along their journey.

A book I definitely recommend for fantasy fans who want to be whisked away into another world.
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The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke
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