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Review: Assassin's Heart - Sarah Ahiers


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Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
My Rating : {★★★☆☆}

Young Adult Fantasy Romance
Published February 2nd 2016 by HarperTeen
Published August 22nd 2016 by Harlequin Mira

Source: Harlequin Australia via NetGalley

In the kingdom of Lovero, nine rival Families of assassins lawfully kill people for a price. As a highly skilled member of one of these powerful clans, seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana has always trusted in the strength of her Family. Until she awakens to find them murdered and her home in flames. The Da Vias, the Saldanas’ biggest enemy, must be responsible—and Lea should have seen it coming. But her secret relationship with the Da Vias’ son, Val, has clouded her otherwise killer instinct—and given the Da Vias more reason than ever to take her Family down.

Racked with guilt and shattered over Val’s probable betrayal, Lea sets out to even the score, with her heart set on retaliation and only one thought clear in her mind: make the Da Vias pay.

I actually struggled with this one a lot until about 150 or 200 pages in, so that's why it's getting the three star rating. I did enjoy this and the world that Ahiers has created is a very interesting concept.

It is a fantasy Kingdom and our main character is a clipper: a member of one of the 9 Families that kill people in the name of the Goddess Safrella who then grants Resurrection into the next life. If this does not happen the person becomes a ghost and is left wandering the earth desperate to try find a body to inhabit (even though this won't work).

So there's legal assassinations, and that alone can spark a huge philosophical debate. If you don't mind this, or can get around this in your head then this book could be for you.

Then there's the concept of multiple gods and he followers and priests of these gods have actual power in this world. That's pretty cool.

The biggest problem that I had is that the beginning of this book was a huge info dump and the writing contained very little emotion that could connect me to the story. There were a lot of moments throughout that I actually stopped reading and thought to myself 'I really should have been more effected by that.' The world building itself isn't bad, but it just wasn't done in a way that allows it to unfold slowly and steadily to the reader. It's more of a - here you go! And yet sometimes I was still confused until things were better explained towards the third quarter of the book. So while I enjoyed the concept I feel it could have been executed differently.

I'm sorry this review isn't as coherent as I'd like but it's reflecting my feelings over this book. I'm a little unsatisfied, a little torn, a little disappointed.

It's a debut novel, and I feel as though this is a little too evident in the finished product. Will I carry on with the series? Yes, because it is unique and this book was promising. It had it's moments, good and bad.

Would I recommend it? It really depends on you and what you like. I'm not going to be shoving this one down your throat but I won't steer you away from it either.