I received an eARC from Angry Robot via Netgalley. Thank you.
Let’s start with the cover, shall we? It’s one of the catchiest cover I’ve ever seen. It immediately grabbed my attention when I was leisurely browsing titles on netgalley. The cover alone is already telling you a story. It gives me this Arabian Nights sort of feel. I really love the elements incorporated in the cover (the script and the silhouettes of structures on the background). So pretty. But what caught my eye was the font used in the title. I really loved it! The font style was really beautiful.
Honestly, I wasn’t planning to read it but I’m really grateful that I stumbled upon it and got the chance to read it. Under normal circumstances I would not have picked this book up. I’m not really into high-fantasy, alternate universe setting. But this book has pirates. Yes, pirates! And assassins! The very detailed summary convinced me to try it out. Plus, how the curse reversed their circumstances, instead of killing her, he must now protect her. Interesting twist of events. And that folks sealed the deal for me.
Ananna of the Tanarau is a daughter of a well-known family. But her family is not just an ordinary wealthy family, they’re pirates. Ananna was about to marry Tarrin of the Hariri. He was a captain’s son and just like her he came from a renowned pirate clan. The marriage will thwart her dreams and she will not be able to do what she wanted to do: have her own adventure. So she run away but running away from something like that entails a fatal consequence. Her father told her stories about assassins how dangerous they are and how impossible to escape from them. They’re not just skilled fighters but also magicians that use blood magic. When she was younger she thought her dad was using them to scare her off; so she will not disobey him. But after what she did, she still thought that her father would not send an assassin after her just because she jilted Tarrin. But she thought wrong.
There was an assassin tailing her but when they met, Ananna saved him from an asp (a venomous kind of snake) this activated his curse. Naji (the assassin) must now protect her at all time or it’ll cost him his very own life. Naji and Ananna traveled to find the cure. It turns out the cure wasn’t easy to attain. His curse was an impossible case but the good news is it is still curable. But in order to lift the curse he needs to complete the three impossible tasks.
True to the title what really got me worked up was Naji’s curse. And sad to say it was nearly at the end when I got all the facts straight. From the moment his curse was activated due to Ananna saving him (which I must say was a total let down because I thought of a more dangerous scene) I was waiting eagerly for the romance. But I didn’t get that much (or I didn’t get any at all). The bantering between them didn’t look romantic to me. More of an actual argument, clashing of opinion. But that’s ok with me since I’m more interested with the curse and how to cure it. When they finally got the answer, it was…interesting. At least two of tasks are really interesting. The second one boggles my mind; I have the same reaction as Naji. I wonder what it really means. But the third one had me laughing because I didn’t see it coming. It sounds like it came straight out of a fairytale. Thought admittedly it was sweet.
Naji reminds me of Zuko (from ATLA, with scar and all) and while I wasn’t really swooning, I find him really nice (for an assassin that’s a very strange choice of word.) With Ananna, I wasn’t as fascinated to her as I’d expected. But she was ok. I just found her hidden feelings for Naji completely out of the blue because there’s nothing really shows that she loves likes him. But if that has a connection for him being cured then so be it. I’m glad that there’s a sequel because I’m really disappointed if really ended like that.
Far from what I expected, and despite the flaws I can honestly say that I really enjoyed it. Hopefully there’s more romance in the next book (me needs some lovin’) or just a proper development for the two. Hope that’s not too much to ask. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel—The Pirate’s Wish.