[Ren] The Assassin’s Curse (Ananna Duology #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose ClarkePick For Me badgeTitle: The Assassin’s Curse (Ananna Duology #1)
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Published: October 2nd, 2012
Rating: 3 out of 5 teacups
Find it at: amazonbarnesandnoblebookdepositorybooklikesgoodreads

Ananna of the Tanarau is suffering from a common ailment for female YA protagonists: her parents want to marry her off to a complete stranger. But Ananna, being the daughter of a pirate family and fairly more proactive than the average heroine, decides to steal a camel and ride off into the sunset to search for her fortune. She knows the dangers, and she’s not surprised when the family of the jilted bridegroom sends an assassin, Naji, after her. But the real problem is when Ananna accidentally triggers a curse that binds her and Naji together, forcing him to protect her. Since neither is particularly thrilled at the idea of spending the rest of their lives stuck to each other, they start looking for a way to break the curse, all the while trying to avoid the otherworldly beings that are targeting Naji.

Let’s start with the good bits. I liked this book. The setting was some kind of fantasy Middle East, most of the characters were POC, the magic system was original. I liked Ananna, she has a no-nonsense attitude and like I said she’s very proactive: she’s always on the move, trying to solve her own problems, she’s very much not a damsel in distress. The problem is that this book does have a damsel in distress: Naji, the (alleged) master assassin, is one of the most helpless characters ever. I don’t think it’s too much of an exaggeration to say that he spends half of the book being wounded or incapacitated or knocking himself out because he uses too much of his magic. I’m supposed to think he’s some kind of awesome ninja assassin, but it’s hard to take him seriously when Ananna keeps havin to carry his sorry ass around. I have no idea how Naji managed to survive on his own for so long.

Even worse, Naji is beautiful, but he has a burn scar on his cheek. This scar gives him. So. Much. Angst. He is the annoying protagonist with flawless hair/skin/teeth who is absolutely convinced that they’re ugly because of one single blemish. There’s a scene in which Naji loses his assassin mask and has a huge freakout. I thought that maybe the mask was a symbolic assassin thing, or maybe it contained some important talisman, but nope. Naji was freaking out because he didn’t want his ex-girlfriend to see his oh-so-ugly face.

But obviously Ananna falls in love with him. Or, well, she says that she hates him but also loves him. I think it would be less annoying (and more accurate) if she admitted that she hates him but also wants to get in his pants. I liked Ananna, but it was kind of terrible to have her saddled with Naji for the whole book. Also, another pet peeve of mine: this is the first book of two, so there isn’t really a climax or a resolution. The story just stops abruptly, just as Ananna and Naji are finally about to start their quest to break the curse. I will read the second book, of course, because like I said it is a good book, but I just couldn’t bring myself to love it as much as other people did.
Ren

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5 thoughts on “[Ren] The Assassin’s Curse (Ananna Duology #1) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

  1. I was iffy on reading this before, and your review has convinced me it’s probably not for me. It sounds like the romance was only so/so and I don’t like it when books end abruptly to continue on to the next book. I hope you will enjoy the second book more though!

    • Yeah, I’ve been told that the second book is better but right now I wouldn’t really recommend it… We’ll see how the second book goes!

  2. I’m glad Isa picked this for you, and I do hope the second one is better for you. :)

    It was originally one book that got split on publication because the publisher/editor/agent/whoever said it was too long as one book. I don’t like sets of two for some reason. It kind of irritates me. But I did love this set – the first one dragged a bit, but I loved the second one. Specifically this one scene at the end, but that is probably just me. I did enjoy the second one much more as a whole though. It would have been fine as one book in my opinion. The romance naffed me off too – way too predictable. Ananna is refreshing though – it’s nice to see a non-whiny heroine who gets off her own ass and fixes her own issues. Particularly when they come from a world where parents or men “own” the women. (That in itself makes me want to smash things, but I know it’s still happening in the real world.)

    There’s a lot more actual pirating in the second one btw. That may have had something to do with me liking it more. :)

    • I’m not surprised to hear it was split because the “ending” feels like the middle of the book really. I think I will like the second more because there will be an ending, even a badly-written ending is better than a non-ending like this in my opinion.

      I’ll be looking forward to the pirating in the next book then! I did like Ananna a lot and I hope she gets her own ship and sails off into the sunset to have adventures. :D

  3. Pingback: Pick-For-Me • May | Words in a Teacup

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