The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

This review should’ve been written and published some time ago, but I occasionally lapse into “useless blogger mode” and for that I apologise.

You know the overused saying “it’s a rollercoaster ride”? Well, that saying is actually pretty accurate for The Assassin’s Curse. It begins with a steady but radical opening with Ananna, daughter from a pirate clan, escaping a wedding proposal on the back of a camel. Against intelligent thought, Ananna turns her back on a future husband despite the threat of her assassination. She would have been wise to heed those words as it’s not long before Naji, a hired killer, is sent to knock her off the mortal coil. So that was the ride up the steep slope and now we’re teetering on the edge of a guaranteed plummet.

Sadly that plummet is a little anticlimactic and shudders along as a twist in the story deems that Naji must become Anannas protector rather than her killer. The plot device used for this switcheroo is akin to grasping at straws, but it is passable. And now the ride takes off over varying bumps, twists and turns to shoot with speed through an adrenaline packed adventure.

The characterisation of the lead characters is charming, though Naji is very restrained due to his role. As a strict assassin, he isn’t to be looked to for humour or small talk, so much of the dialogue is left to Ananna. Thankfully, she is utterly endearing and has the feel of a young girl in the Wild West (or a Victorian Maid) with her awkward speech and uneducated manner. The writing on the whole is sufficient though can leave the reader wanting. So now of course, there are plenty of moments where the car tips on its side and you feel as if you can’t keep up with the rails.

Then comes the end. When you get to the end of a thrilling ride it feels very somber and you walk away deflated as the adrenaline passes out of your bloodstream. The finale of the book feels a lot like that. It’s obvious that we’re being set up for part two, but the final pages become rather dull with the characters not really doing anything. I wanted something explosive to leave me gasping and waiting for more adventure but I put it down with that same sense of deflation. Sure, I’ll still read the next part as the Arabian Night’s setting was captivating and the idea of Pirates and Ninja style assassin’s is a geeks dream. However, the anticipation to ride again has waned a little.

Thanks go to Strange Chemistry for kindly supplying an eARC to review.

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