It is time for another review! Assassin’s Heart is the start of a series, being the only release in the series so far; stay tuned for my spoiler free thoughts on Sarah Ahiers’ Young Adult Fantasy.
Later, I wouldn’t be sure what had wakened me: the smell of smoke or the sounds of violence outside my room.
In the end, it didn’t matter.
All of this was my fault.
This is the story of Lea, a ‘clipper’ from the Lovero country; a clipper is an assassin, legal in Lovero but illegal everywhere else. Clipper’s must belong to a family, in the service of Safraella; the Goddess of Death and resurrection. In this country, your Clipper Family came before your blood family; with everyone in each house following the word of the head. However, one night while they slept the house began to burn and the attack begins. Lea escapes, or frankly this would be a really short book, only to be chased out of the city by the people killing her entire family.
But clippers are not the only deadly force in this land, the clipper’s work within the cities act as a protection from the hoards of angry ghosts that fill the plains between the cities. These ghosts are more than flickers of light and can rip a man’s soul from him body; but the ghosts is the only chance of escape.
It feels like I am giving away plot points, but honestly the book doesn’t begin until much further in; where Lea’s battles of the heart, the mind, and the belief is to be questioned. She is thrust into foreign land and foreign laws; her fight for survival and revenge does not stop when she lands.
Okay, I enjoyed this. It wasn’t the best YA fantasy I have ever read; I didn’t connect with the characters a much as I thought I would. It seemed to drag, with the angst of love interests making it seem even longer; it took me five days to get through the 420 pages. But I did enjoy it. There were bits that made me laugh and bits that made me sad, I didn’t cry; there were definitely scenes that could have made me cry but those scenes left me wanting more.
But I think this may be because I have been reading a lot of really epic YA fantasy recently and compared to that standard, Assassin’s Heart couldn’t hold it’s own. But I do think that someone new to YA fantasy could enjoy this more. The writing is simple, with elements of the religion, social system, and even relations to other nations explained very simply.
In it’s inner sleeves, the book is described as a mix between Romeo and Juliet and The Godfather; but honestly, other than one small elements of the love triangle I couldn’t see a R&J connection. Yes the families are warring with each other, but I feel the story was more about revenge that a forbidden love. And as for The Godfather, I guess the families could be seen as mob families; but honestly you didn’t see much of any family. Other than one or two broken scenes in the first few chapters, the families aren’t really present.
One of the things I did enjoy read was the inclusion of LGBT characters, with one being a main secondary character. This did play a role in the main plot, however during this explanation there were character reactions that were homophobic but it was not done disrespectfully rather done more of a cultural difference and was handled well.
Okay, there are a lot of negatives expressed in this review, however there have been a lot of great reviews for this book. I think this is definitely a less popular opinion of the book as the current average star rating on Goodreads is 3.62. So if you still want to pick up this book, you can do so here!