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The Assassin's Curse (Strange Chemistry) Paperback – October 2, 2012


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Product Details

  • Series: Strange Chemistry
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Strange Chemistry (October 2, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781908844019
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908844019
  • ASIN: 1908844019
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (96 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,053 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

”Clarke’s debut harkens back to the best in fantasy/adventure, offering rock-solid worldbuilding, satisfyingly perilous obstacles and a protagonist whose charismatic ’tude goes way beyond spunk. Ananna’s voice grabs readers from the beginning […] and doesn’t let go.”
--Kirkus Starred Review

"Unique, heart-wrenching, full of mysteries and twists!"
-Tamora Pierce

“An inventive debut with a strong narrative voice, a glimpse of an intriguing new world.” – Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of the Shadows of the Apt series

“Ananna of Tanarau is a delightfully irascible heroine, inhabiting a fascinating and fresh new world that I would love to spend more time in. Pirate ships? Camels? Shadow dwelling assassins? Yes please! Can I have some more?”
– Celine Kiernan, author of the Moorhawke trilogy

“A story that will draw you in with its rich setting filled with assassins, pirates, magic, and two lead characters that you can't help but root for. A highly recommended read! (35/35)” – Fantasy’s Ink

“The Assassin’s Curse […] gave me a fantastical story of epic levels, with grand fantasy that seems bigger than the story itself and characters that I’m ever-rooting for, and I’m ridiculously impressed! A definite favorite of the year!” – Paranormal Indulgence

“It’s an exhilarating tale filled with sword fights, magic, suspense, and subtle romance. I devoured it in one sitting!” - http://amysbookden.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/early-review-assassins-curse-by.html

“It was just as fun as a book about a Pirate Princess reluctantly attached to a Magical Assassin could possibly be.” - http://brandy-painter.livejournal.com/90652.html

“With an instantly compelling plot, loveable characters, and a completely engaging romance, The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke is one of the most engrossing books I've read this year.” - http://recoveringpotteraddict.blogspot.co.uk/2012/09/review-assassins-curse-assassins-curse.html

"An exciting and original YA novel with magic, pirates, myth and adventure, The Assassin's Curse will hook you in and keep you tugging on the line for the next book in Clarke's series."
- Serena Chase, USA Today

"Think Aladdin mixed with say, Tamora Pierce's Alanna series, plus a little Pirates of the Caribbean for good measure, and you'll have an idea of the flavour of this story.  I know you're already thinking it, Fun with a capitol F, and you're right, it is."
-Rhiannon, The Diary of a Bookworm

About the Author

Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.

During the summer of 2010, she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle, where she enjoyed sixty-degree summer days. Having been born and raised in Texas, this was something of a big deal. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.

Unlike many authors, Cassandra does not have a resume of peculiar careers. In her spare time she enjoys drawing, painting, crocheting, cooking, and quilting, because she is secretly an old lady. She will see literally any movie as long as it’s in a theater. She watches television. She doesn’t play many video games, though.


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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
5 star
39
4 star
42
3 star
12
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3
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0
See all 96 customer reviews
Great story, lots of action, and very unique characters.
JennRenee
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book but I think that it ended prematurely and there are still things needed to be uncovered before the author had ended it.
Book Whales
I loved the characters and when you love the characters, for me, you love the story.
Heather

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Gerard on October 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
The Assassin's Curse is a romantic fantasy staring a hot-headed teenage run-away bride who is pursued by supernatural villains as she falls for a dark and dangerous stranger. A more detailed synopsis of the plot would make the story sound promising, and would likely have sounded great as pitch to a publisher. Unfortunately the execution by debut novelist Cassandra Rose Clarke is sloppy and unconvincing. Her characters lack character, her details lack detail, and the story lacks an ending. It isn't so much a novel as it is a prologue for more books. So, if you are tempted to stick with the story just to see how it ends, as I did, you'll likely be disappointed.

Spoilers

Character and details are where Clarke really falls down. She has a decent sense of pacing, but her ability to make her characters and world seem believable is lacking, and sometimes inexcusably so. Just a few pages into the story we find our erstwhile bride, Ananna of the Tanarau, escaping an arranged marriage by running off on a stolen camel. She leaps onto the saddle between the two humps and races off, with "me clinging to his neck in my silk dress". Really? Clinging to the neck of a running camel while also seated between the two humps? It is clear that Clarke didn't even bother to so much glance a picture of a camel before writing her story prominently featuring **camels**. Sigh. That is the level of attention to detail that Clarke exhibits throughout the book. And she has a **masters degree** in creative writing, so presumably she knows how to use a library and Google but just couldn't be bothered.

Perhaps Clarke thought that since she was writing a fantasy book she didn't need to do any research or have to know how anything looks or works in the real world. If she thought so she was dead wrong.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Gretchen @ My Life is a Notebook on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
Thanks to NetGalley and Strange Chemistry for this eARC!

They say that the first few pages of a book will alter your perception of every page thereafter.

This is exactly what happened to me with this book.

In the first few pages, a lot of things happen. A LOT. Usually, this would be a good marker for me. However, the problem was that each and every event snapped my suspension of disbelief and threw me out of the world of the book. If you've never heard the term "suspension of disbelief" before, it just means the reader's ability to believe in something fantastical in the plot or in a character or so forth. In fantasy novels, often if the suspension of disbelief is snapped the reader will cease to believe any plot twist that happens after that point.

And that's exactly what happened to me.

I absolutely adored this premise, don't get me wrong. I had such high hopes that maybe I couldn't help but be let down. But the unfortunate thing about Ananna is that she never thinks about what she does. There is no preamble or thoughts about abandoning her fiance-which, by the way, means abandoning her entire way of life, her family, the sea, etc. She just gets annoyed with her fiance-to-never-be talking, sees a camel and is like "SO LONG, SUCKER!"

It gets worse from there.

Perhaps part of the problem was that the world building was never particularly solid. I got the main points about the world in which Ananna lives-which seems like a darn cool one-but several things I wanted explained never were. In fact, I got so annoyed with Ananna's calm accepting of things being left unexplained (big things. All the small things Naji didn't explain, she shouted "Bullshit!" and got up in his face about it.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ashleigh VINE VOICE on October 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
See more of my reviews sooner on The YA Kitten! I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley.

And the hype catches me yet again, making me the mouse to its dangerous, cheese-holding mousetrap. With the promise of pirates, assassins, and magic, it lured me in and made me think it was going to be good. Instead, I barely enjoyed reading The Assassin's Curse.

Though Ananna's voice sounded younger than her seventeen years and some of the deliberate errors that give her voice a distinctive quality bug me at times, I like the writing style. It has its snafus every now and then (how does one smile with the skin around their eyes?), but I generally had fun when I concentrated only on the writing. When I paid attention to the subject matter, I enjoyed the novel far less.

There's a fine line between a rebellious character and a bratty character, and Ananna crossed that line soundly. She fusses about everything both worth fussing about and everything not worth fussing about. It gets grating after a while, you know? Naji isn't much better, what with how he never tells Ananna anything. Yet by the end of the novel, Ananna is somehow in love with Naji. How? She details why it seems strange for her to love him by listing his flaws, but she doesn't say a word about his redeeming qualities or does anything to make the reader think she knows him deeply. It's not insta-love, but it sure is baseless love.

One thing that really got my goat was the presentation and characterization of Leila, a river witch and implied former lover of Naji's. Like the rest of the cast, she is two-dimensional, but she is especially bad. She drapes herself all over Naji and plays with him while barely tolerating Ananna and putting her down.
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