Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Release Date: October 2, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 1st in a series
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
I got an eGalley of this book to review through NetGalley(dot)com. It ended up being a wonderful fantasy about a girl who flees an arranged marriage only to stumble into an assassin’s curse. The book was full of adventure, magic, and wonderful characters.
Ananna is part of a pirating family and flees her family’s ship to escape an arranged marriage. Shortly after her flight she finds that her intended has hired an assassin to take her out. When Ananna accidentally saves the life of the very assassin, Naji, who was hunting her she activates a curse which ties the assassin’s life to hers and forces him to protect her. Now Ananna and Naji must find a way to break this horrible curse.
I absolutely loved the characters and setting for this story. Ananna is a super plucky and fun heroine who, due to her pirate upbringing, can definitely take care of herself. Naji is also a very capable warrior and very mysterious. Both have rather sarcastic senses of humor. Both characters are very easy to engage with and like.
The setting was a creative one. Most of the book is set in the desert or in desert cities; there aren’t a ton of fantasy books with this type of setting. It gives the story a bit of an Arabian flavor and makes the story exotic.
I love quest based fantasy and these characters go on a magical quest through strange lands to try and break the curse. There is a lot of interesting magic of different types explored too. At points Ananna and Naji struggle to survive, so there is a survival aspect to the adventure as well. There is a little bit of romance, but not much. Mostly adventure, action, magic, and survival.
As much as I thoroughly enjoyed this story, it is just the beginning of a larger story. This book basically sets up the story for future impossible quests that the characters must go on to finally break the curse. So there isn’t a lot of resolution here…mainly a lot of set up. That being said I thoroughly enjoyed the set up and can’t wait to read more.
Overall an absolutely fantastic adventure fantasy read. I loved the exotic desert setting, the adventure and magic, and the wonderful characters that were unique and easy to engage with. There is also a wonderful quest-based plot and lots of excellent action scenes. The book is very well written and was a pleasure to read. Highly recommended to fantasy fans everywhere. Appropriate for middle grade and older.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– 150+ Books Reading Challenge