Review posted on Dark Faerie Tales.There are many fantasy books out there, each claiming to be an adventure worth the read. Folks, The Assassin’s Curse by Cassandra Rose Clarke is one of those books. Clarke is a debut author for 2012 and she has done a fantastic job. The Assassin’s Curse is a spectacular story about pirates and assassins. When I started to read this, I was in the middle of a reading funk, and boy did Clarke bring me out of that instantaneously. Within the first few pages, I was hooked.Ananna of the Tanarau belongs to a famous family, daughter of a pirate lord rich beyond his years. For Ananna, her dreams extend to the future adventures of becoming a captain of her own ship, feeling the wind and sailing the seven seas. Her father, on the other hand, has different plans. Ananna is arranged to be married to Tarrin, a boy of another famous pirate family, the Hariri. Definitely not one to be swayed by her dreams and goals, Ananna escapes and runs away from her impending (doom of a) marriage.Ananna is on the run, from the Hariri family, and now from Naji, an assassin hired by the Hariri. Shame will not tarnish the Hariri name, and they have pulled dark favors for the assassin society to come after Ananna. Fortunately for Ananna, a strange predicament has put Naji in a partnership with Ananna, honoring something older them both. They must learn to trust each other, as well as protect each other, before a curse catches up to them both.Ananna is the star of this show, no question. Her voice, her morals, and her personality is what drew me in. Ananna is a feisty heroine, showing strength and bravado at every page. She is courageous and tenacious, and has smarts and wit to match. Ananna is young and a bit reckless, but makes up for it with her loud personality. I mean, she stands up to an assassin! Who does that?Naji is amazing. He is the balance to Ananna’s loud personality. Where she is feisty and reckless, he is filled with calm and tranquility. His upbringing has taught him well, even for an assassin. He is filled with mystery and can be described as enigmatic, but that doesn’t stop Ananna from seeing into his soul. Naji’s impossible curse is what brings out his character. Enduring such a thing and still following what he believes in. He is much more than just an assassin.Clarke’s world is fantastic. I cannot fangirl enough over the amount of detail that she put in The Assassin’s Curse. She has gone above and beyond creating a story with a strong heroine and a male protagonist. She has allowed the reader to fully immerse themselves into the world of magical curses, enigmatic assassins, and vivacious pirates. The dialogue flows like the water Clarke talks about, and the writing, perfect.There is a kinship and a friendship that develops, whether out of survival means or something else, but it’s subtle. There isn’t much that I didn’t like about this story, and Clarke has made me into an instant fan. There are funny moments that had me laughing out loud and moments where I couldn’t stop crying. I was fully invested into the lives of Ananna and Naji, and I think it says a lot about Clarke’s amazing skill.