Another book from NetGalley.com and the publishers at Angry Robot. I had read a review for this book from a friend and fellow blogger right before I started it and I have to say my expectations were high.
The story is set in a world of magic and pirates ARGHH! *Okay I couldn't resist. We follow Ananna of Tanarau, as her parents try to marry her off to an allying pirate clan. This already makes you feel for our main character in my opinion. I've always hated the idea of arranged marriage. I could write a whole post on that barbaric practice, so I won't get started. Back to the book, Ananna doesn't want to marry this guy and sail on his ship under his command. She has higher aspirations in life. So she does the only thing she can, she runs.
Running from an arranged marriage seems pretty easy right. Not when the clan you spurned sends an assassin after you. Something happens when Naji, the assassin, comes after her and she somehow activates a curse which changes everything. Now they are forced to work together, learn to trust one another enough to try and find a way to break this curse while fighting for their lives from enemies on both sides of their duo, which between a runaway pirate bride and an assassin there are many.
First I have to talk about the characters. Ananna is a strong female who doesn't need or want to be taken care of instead handing herself. She is quick on her feet and can think on the fly, her life teaching her how to swindle and stay one step ahead. Now she does have her own set of morals and beliefs and does need help. She's not that good at being open or trusting without reason but I think what I love most about her is that she is, for the most part, rational. She has her moments of letting emotions rule her but for the most part she is able to think things through and have some ration reasoning behind her actions.
Now we have Naji, our dark and brooding assassin who is even more closed off because of his scars. He is a worker of blood magic but is completely out of his depth when hindered by this curse. At first he is just a demanding and mysterious oaf. Then you slowly start to learn more about him and he grows on you. I liked getting to know him as Ananna does, we see how she half wants him to leave her alone and half wants him to stay with her. Naji has his own demons to contend with and you see the vulnerability in him which is highly unlikely given his profession.
Onto the flaws, yes there are almost always flaws, and sadly this one has a tiny bit more than my impatience for the next one. That is seriously #1 though, this whole waiting for the next book is very inconvenient haha. Some of the things did seem a bit rushed, which helped keep the story moving for sure but I would have liked a little more in some areas especially along the trip getting from the boat to the island and all with the colorful characters they we surrounded by. This is nothing to hinder my enjoyment by any means I just felt there was so much more that could have been explored with the same vibrancy and breathtaking detail as the rest. Though to be honest part of me is hoping that some was cut short to leave more for the 2nd book so I find it hard to be against that.
I for one can not wait until the next book to see how these two move forward in their journey. The story is compelling and so much fun. They are both great characters and that alone makes me want to keep reading to learn more. I root for the underdogs and lets face it a pirate girl who ran from an arranged marriage and an assassin who is cursed are pretty big underdogs.
This book came out on October 2nd and I think everyone should check it out. I'm going to give it 5 daggers because I couldn’t put it down and it let me get lost in a different world for hours at a time. Have you read it already? Tell me what you think.