With shades of Game of Thrones and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a tale of love, lies, and vengeance. Fans of Kristin Cashore and Rae Carson will devour the flawlessly crafted action and inventive world building.
Seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana is a trained assassin. She was born into one of the nine clipper Families in the kingdom of Lovero who lawfully take lives for a price. As a member of the highest-ranking clan, loyalty to Family is valued above all, but that doesn't stop Lea from getting into a secret relationship with Val Da Via, a boy from a rival clan. Despite her better judgment, Lea has fallen in love with him; but she's confident she can anticipate any threat a mile away.
Then she awakens one night to a house full of smoke. Although she narrowly escapes, she isn't able to save her Family as their home is consumed by flames. With horror, she realizes that Val and his Family are the only ones who could be responsible. Devastated over his betrayal and the loss of her clan, there's just one thing on her mind: making the Da Vias pay. The heart of this assassin craves revenge.
©2016 Sarah Ahiers (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
I didn't expect to love this book, but I did.
Such an interesting story, I really loved the paranormal type aspect to it. The last 1/3 was so good I couldn't take a break!
I am an avid reader, mother of two, fangirl, nerdfighter, Chicago Cubs enthusiast and NASA supporter.
Assassin’s Heart takes place in a fantasy world that has definite Italian overtones. Families live in secret compounds and perform assassinations, something that’s legal in this world, as a service to those who wish to hire them. There is a star-crossed lover element to this story that I thought might be interesting, but the story veered away from that and turned into a tale of revenge. I didn’t feel very invested in any of the characters, which made it difficult to really become invested in the book. If you are going to write a book about a teen assassin in this market, there really needs to be something that makes it stand out. Unfortunately, I just didn’t find that with Assassin’s Heart. It wasn’t a bad story, it just wasn’t unique. There were a few spots that took a little too long to get to the point and, overall, the climax seemed rushed after a very long and drawn out lead-up to the ultimate confrontation. There were a few things I enjoyed. I liked the world in which the assassin’s in this story were performing the killings as a deeply held religious belief, not as a sacrifice, but as a way to ease suffering. I also liked the presence of ghosts, which added an interesting element to the story. In the end, though, it just didn’t grab my attention as I was hoping it would. I think a lot of people will like this story, though, so it doesn’t surprise me to see much higher rating from other readers. It just didn’t work for me.
The narration was fantastic. I actually decided to listen to this book rather than read it because of Khristine Hvam. She is one of my favorite narrators (she narrated the Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy) and had I been reading instead of listening, I probably would have DNF’d this book. So, while the story didn’t blow me away, I certainly have nothing bad to say about the narration.
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