2 stars. When I first looked upon the cover for The Assassin's Curse and its synopsis, I was immediately ecstatic and held great expectations for this book. And then the reviews slowly trickled in, ones, twos, and threes, but still I didn't let that dampen my excitement.
And I guess it comes to back to bite me in the butt.
Because, as I was a third of the way in, it was already a disappointment.
◦ Firstly: This book was disappointing.
I think I've established how disappointed I am.
◦ Secondly: The summary is misleading.
On the paperback version, it says this: To break the curse, Ananna and the assassin must complete three impossible tasks all while grappling with evil wizards, floating islands, haughty manticores, runaway nobility, strange magic, and the growing romantic tension between them.
And this is a total lie. I thought we'd get some actually tasking done, not be stranded on an island for nearly half the book with no romantic, character, or plot development. It says three impossible tasks? It just spoiled it for you—that is what they discover AT THE VERY LAST 20 PAGES OF THE BOOK as to what will break this "impossible curse."
See, I'd thought we'd have tasking in this.
Not telling me "oh, just wait until book two for the tasking."
And the other lie: There was no romantic tension. NONE. ZIP. NADA. Ananna slowly discovered her feelings for Naji, the assassin, but for me, there was nothing coming from him, not signs. If any at all, it was towards this other witch that liked to make fun of his half-scarred face.
◦ And thirdly: Not so great word-building or characterization.
Something about pirate ships and assassins and this other world and ... The Order? Where assassins train? I don't know. Ananna was all right, I suppose, nothing really memorable, though. And Naji was just—brooding and stupid and you know what else. Also! For an assassin who's trained to be an assassin all his life (he was like, twenty-four or something, I believe; definitely in the 20's) he was constantly sick, or hurting, or ill. No help at all to Ananna—which, maybe I supose the author was trying to show feminism and the girl taking charge? Great, but don't make my hero practically disabled throughout the whole book.
But all in all, The Assassin's Curse wasn't so bad that I didn't want to hurl it at the wall; and maybe my expectations influenced my opinion a bit, but this was a disappointment. I didn't not like it, but I wouldn't go far as to say I liked it. So I shall settle on "it was okay."