Home / Book Review / Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Book Review: The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Assassin’s Curse is helping me get over a few bad experiences with bad pirate books.

Book Review: The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Goodreads | Amazon | Author Website

the assassin's curse cassandra rose clarke

Title & Author: The Assassin’s Curse (Strange Chemistry) by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Genre: YA – Fantasy, Magic

Release Date: October 2, 2012

Series: #3

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

How I Got the Book: Bought


“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.”

Where Has All the Rum Gone?

I have desperately roved the fantasy and YA genres for pirate books. And, not just your average pirate book. I wanted a pirate book with MAGIC.

Confession time: I freaking love pirates. LOVE. Especially in literature. I know I romanticize that time – which is so wrong because pirates are sort of the bad guys – but I can’t help myself.

When I came across this book, I was all in! The description had me at “pirate clan.” So, I was a little surprised when about halfway through the book, I realized Ananna, our impulsive heroine, does not get a chance to be on a ship in the sea…like a pirate.

I have a feeling that will come up in later books, but I just wanted to warn you first, that although this book is about pirates, it actually doesn’t have a lot of pirate-type action.

Believe me, there’s action but just not the pirate type.

Ultimately, this book is about rebellion and unwanted bonds and curses. It’s about Ananna (which is so awkward-sounding) and her desire to make her own path for her life instead of the one her parents decided for her.

I can always get behind a heroine like that. Sadly for her though, after her completely crazy and impulsive escape from her wedding, Ananna barely survives an assassination attempt and inadvertently gets bonded to her assassinator. Yeah.

Naji, the assassin, isn’t all that bad though. He does mess around with blood magic, which freaks Ananna out, but he has more depth and soul than she ever could have guessed.


What I really enjoyed about the Assassin’s Curse is the slow development of a friendship (and something more) between Ananna and Naji. I hate it when things move too quickly in books. Sometimes, it’s like slow-motion – glances brushing across the room – then fast-forward to being in love.

I personally am a fan of the slow build-up of feelings. And just like in real life, friendship frist is a nice start. 🙂

My only slight (very slight) gripe with The Assassin’s Curse is that 1. I thought it was a standalone. Nope, PYSCH! and 2. Ananna has the potential to get on my nerves. She’s not annoying per say, but her feistiness can be tiring.


I really enjoyed this book! It had PIRATES and MAGIC and ROMANCE. Done and done. The Assassin’s Curse is a solid fantasy and YA debut.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.