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4 Stars: The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

I have been seeing great reviews for The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke since it came out! This made it impossible to resist the shiny new copy sitting on the library shelf, even though I had informed my boyfriend that I could not get any more books from the library…. I fail at those sorts of decisions, books are just impossible to resist, hehe! I did, however, resist reading The Assassin’s Curse until I finished books for various deadlines, so I showed some self-restraint ;-). I have to admit that I was expecting something a little different from what I got, however The Assassin’s Curse was still a fun ride!

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke Goodreads | Amazon | LibraryThing

Title: The Assassin’s Curse
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Length: 320 pages
Genre-ish: Fantasy YA
Rating★★★ fun premise and characters, weird plot

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 spunky and authentic. It took me a couple chapters to get used to her accent (since it’s in first person), but I thought she was a much more realistic female pirate that many I’ve seen.
  • The Assassin’s Curse has not only a desert setting but also pirates :D. And assassins! How many awesome things do you need before you have to read this book??
  • If there is going to be a full-fledged romance, it certainly wasn’t insta-love and there was a very slow build up to Ananna even realizing she liked someone else >.>.
  • There are a few different types of magic in The Assassin’s Curse, but they mixed well and the otherworld people/creatures are cool :D.


  • There is no resolution, like at all. The Goodreads description builds you up for less of a disappointment, but the back of the book talks about Ananna going on three impossible quests. Yeah, that doesn’t happen in The Assassin’s Curse. Maybe it’ll happen in The Pirate’s Wish, we’ll find out. 
  • We find out that there is a curse on an assassin pretty quick, but it takes most of the book for us to find out any real details about what is going on. Mostly Ananna just goes along with things because it’s better than going back to her family. I want details!
  • Ananna’s voice takes a bit to get used to. She uses non-standard English grammar, which makes sense, but it was a bit hard for this reader at first.


While The Assassin’s Curse didn’t match up to exactly what I expected both from the back of the book and from various reviews, it was still a very good book. If you are aware that the plot isn’t quite the traditional one presented in some descriptions of the book, you should be good. Also, don’t stop just because of Ananna’s voice, give it at least a couple chapters, because she grows on you ;-). In the end, I really enjoyed the world and characters of The Assassin’s Curse, I just hope that the sequel finally progresses on the plot I thought The Assassin’s Curse would have….

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Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings – A


 The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

© 2013, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Jenn @ A Glo-Worm Reads says:

    Assassins? Pirates? Deserts? Alright, I need to read this now ;) This I think I’ll have to read :) I hadn’t even heard of it before, but now it’s added to my list!

  2. Hannah @ Once Upon A Time says:

    Have been dying to read this one for a while, even got a NetGalley copy.. (*ahem* see my comment on your NetGalley post)

    • Hehe, hopefully you like it when you get to it! Though they might not approve you for the sequel until you finish Assassin’s Curse ;-)

  3. Eek I’m not sure how I feel about a book with no resolution I usually end up super irritated by this. It sounds like a really fun read though I like these kinds of fantasy/magical books. Great review, Anya!

    • Mostly it just didn’t get as far in the plot as I expected ya know? The back-of-the-book description talks about three impossible tasks and yeah… they haven’t really gotten to those yet. I’m thinking as long as you have Pirate’s Wish ready to go, it should be all right ;-)

  4. This sounds like a really fun read! Adding to the TBR list. I hope Ananna’s voice isn’t too jarring though – the last book I read that used the MC’s “accent”/dialect in the narration was “Orleans”, and that one was way too much for my brain to handle, lol.

    • Good reason to preview it in some way if you can ;-) I can say that it worked well in the end!

  5. I enjoyed this book as well but I agree the ending stinks..and is annoyingly abrupt!

  6. Oh I am glad you enjoyed this one overall – I really want to read this one too! It’s hard to resist pirates, assassins AND desert settings!! ♥ ANd I don’t think I’ve ever read a book featuring a female pirate MC! I think the lack of resolution might frustrate me a bit too but at least now I’m prepared for it :) Thanks for the insight!!

    • As long as you have Pirate’s Wish ready to go, you should be able to combat the awkward ending :D. I am so excited for the sequel!!

  7. Glad you liked it overall. Like you, I haven’t heard very great reviews for it, but it’s been on my TBR list or a while. Guess I’ll be prepared for its oddities when I finally pick it up. Thanks Anya! :D

  8. I think I’m one of the few people who actually liked the way that Ananna’s narrative voice contained a lot of non-standard grammar and slang. To me, that made it seem all the more like the story was actually being told from her perspective, instead of the incredibly eloquent first-person narration in a lot of YA novels. It added a layer of depth to the story that, for me, made it all the more enjoyable.

    I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel!

    • That is an excellent point, I think my brain just had trouble adjusting ya know? While I had trouble, I appreciate the effort Clarke went to to portray a realistic character for us.


  1. […] Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke is the first in a new duology set in the same world as The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish. The Wizard’s Promise tells the story of a young witch named […]

  2. […] Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke is the first in a new duology set in the same world as The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish. The Wizard’s Promise tells the story of a young witch named […]

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