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The Assassin's Curse (Strange Chemistry) (edition 2012)

by Cassandra Rose Clarke

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2894338,912 (3.9)4
Member:poetrytoprose
Title:The Assassin's Curse (Strange Chemistry)
Authors:Cassandra Rose Clarke
Info:Strange Chemistry (2012), Paperback, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:fantasy

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The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

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Ananna is a pirate princess, and her parents have arranged for her to marry the son of an allied, influential pirate captain. On the day of their marriage, Ananna gives her betrothed the slip and runs off, hiding for several days, until she is told by a mysterious shopkeeper that Tarrin's family have hired an assassin to deal with her. When they finally come face to face in the desert, Ananna manages to save Naji's life after a brief fight, triggering a curse; now Naji has no choice but to protect her. Together they travel to find a way to break the enchantment.

I read some glowing reviews about this book, the first part in a duology, but I have to admit that I did not get on with it at all. While the descriptions of the town and the desert were quite evocative, the problem to me was that we see everything through Ananna's eyes, and I found her incredibly irritating. Her range of vocabulary and way of speaking and thinking reminded me of an uneducated, foul-mouthed 10-year-old, and though she constantly reminds the reader of a growing attraction between her and Naji, I found very little evidence of chemistry between the two in the text. Naji is by far the more interesting character, but we learn next to nothing about him, and something just didn't ring true about the whole set-up. About two-thirds of the way through I actually gave up because I didn't really care about what happened next, but I'm sure that everything will be resolved in the end to bring Ananna and Naji together, sans curse. To me it all felt terribly teenage-girl - no offence - but I won't be picking up the story in the second part. ( )
  passion4reading | Mar 12, 2015 |
What magnificent imagery. While reading my imagination came alive. I honestly felt like I was there. The story is one we have heard before; someone saves another person's life, and now they are bound to them. But, it is not the plot you fall in love with. It is the imaginative world, and how the characters interact in it.
I do hope the next book explains more of the magic, the different types, and how it all works.

( )
  Ahnya | Feb 12, 2015 |
Pretty decent beginning, and fairly well written. There wasn't much slight that makes the main character to run off. I don't really get this cast/class system. That and the modern language used in the supposed pre-modern settings. Is it done purposely?


I do like the assassin character; his pessimistic attitude strikes a chord of camaraderie with me. ( )
  wickedshizuku | May 12, 2014 |
Damn, I love the books Angry Robot/Strange Chemistry pick. And I just saw a review complaining that these books are a-okay with homosexuality, pre-marital sex and masturbation. Okay, I'm in.

So, okay, I don't love this in the way I loved The Mad Scientist's Daughter. It's different, lighter. I really did enjoy it, though. I enjoyed how capable the main female character is, and how it's really her that keeps pulling the powerful assassin's bacon out of the fire. I liked how they interact, how prickly they both are, and how the romantic subplot doesn't seem inevitable from the start even when we have a story that apparently involves love's first kiss.

I enjoyed the world building, too, the types of magic, the not-typically-Western setting (it kicks off with Annana stealing a camel!). At times things seem a little too easy, the pace a little uneven, but it really wasn't enough to get in the way of the fact that it's a fun adventure, and I want the next book now. ( )
  shanaqui | Feb 12, 2014 |
This is resoundingly a 3 star book. It's a short book but even taking that into consideration it feels like it's barely begun when it ends. Nothing is especially good or bad about it. It just feels like I've finished the first act and this is probably why I tend to shy away from shorter books. I also sympathised heavily with the heroine because I think the author was treating me much like she is. I'm in a constant state of frustration at the lack of explanation of anything that happens in the book so I guess that's a positive in a way. ( )
  NovaStalker | Feb 11, 2014 |
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Haiku summary
Pirate princess saves
The life of an assassin
And triggers a curse.
(passion4reading)

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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. -- publisher.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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