Series: Yes, #1
UK Publisher: Strange Chemistry
UK Release date: 4th October 2012
Kindly given by the publisher for an honest review
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 fiance. 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. (Goodreads)
Ananna is gruff, tough and most certainly rough around the edges. But as a pirate's daughter that has grown up aboard a pirate ship, who can blame her. She's not the sort of girl that I would want to meet in a dark alley, and to start I didn't take an instant liking to her. But she very quickly grew on me, as she wouldn't take stick from anyone. I loved the way she could stand up for herself, fight her way out of a situation and give as good as she got. And despite her stubborn and coarse nature, she seemed to develop a little soft spot for the assassin sent to kill her.
I loved that Naji and Ananna were bound together by an Impossible Curse. There’s something very fairytale and romantic about the idea, and the fact that they had to remain within a certain proximity of each other meant they were forced to spend time together and get on to some degree. Although Naji was completely blind to Ananna and her feelings and also very reticent about sharing anything, I could see why Ananna might start to fall for him. Because Naji is an assassin that wears black clothes to cover his entire body and face, he has this dark, mysterious appeal. His scarred face gives him a vulnerable and self-depreciating quality.
The story is set in some magical, exotic and rugged places, from deserts, the ocean and a magical jungle on an unusual floating island. These different places add to the action and the plot and give the story a really mystical air. I'm really intrigued to see where Ananna and Naji might visit next and I really hope it's some where new, different and special.
Plot-wise, the story starts with Ananna running away and very soon after sees her and Naji set off on a journey fraught with danger and adventure. There is dark magic mixed in and strange women from other worlds. Like Ananna I didn't know who could be trusted, and coupled with being on the run this made Anannna's situation seem very scary. She seemed to relish a lot of this danger though, getting involved in the action whenever she could.
A slight pet peeve for me was Anannna’s use of incorrect grammar, to make her speech more colloquial and pirate-esque. She regularly used double negatives even when she intended for the end result to be negative. I'm not know sure why this bothered me so much, it just did. Despite this, I still really enjoyed this book.
The Assassin’s Curse is a pirate fantasy bursting with romance, action and adventure.