Be sure to check out the interview I did with Cassandra
Publication Date: October 2nd, 2012
Short Synopsis (Goodreads): 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.
Going into this I had pretty high expectations (did you read the synopsis? you would too with that). It starts off with a bit of writing in a dialect, and that threw me for about a paragraph, but then I was too busy laughing at Ananna's inner dialogue to care about how she said it. This girl is hilarious! And so believably authentic. Honestly, she's one of the easiest narrators to follow and I really, really enjoyed hearing the story from her point of view. There were details, but nothing too major, and her reactions are real. She's tough, but has a lot thrown at her and so I can understand her spazzing out sometimes. Not gonna lie, but I was picturing Korra from The Legend of Korra and it fits really really well.
Continuing on with the Avatar theme (and in a very good way, big fan of the show, even though this is set with a Middle Eastern flare to it) Naji totally glows blue! While he has the potential to be extremely swoon worthy, I didn't feel like I got to know him as well as I would have liked. He was certainly a brooding assassin, which is to be expected, but I'm looking forward to him thawing a bit more (and explaining things more!).
I was immediately immersed into the storyline and the world. There are some aspects that I wish could have been explained in a bit more detail (the Mists, etc) but what we get in this first installment is pretty darn awesome. There is character growth, frustration, terror, heartache....tons of really awesome stuff.
My only disappointment was that this isn't all it! I was hoping for this to be a single amazingly long stand alone but alas that was not the case. The next one, The Pirates Wish, is due out sometime next year. You can believe I will be getting my hands on that as soon as possible. I want both of these books on my shelves. I think it's an awesome story, but those titles just go so well together too (The Assassin's Curse & The Pirate's Wish...love it!).
Ms. Clarke is a stand-out debut author (anything else from her goes straight to my TBR) and I highly recommend reading this.....or no riding camels for you!