Published by HarperTeen on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Reading Challenges: 2016 Debut Challenge Source: Edelweiss
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.
With shades of The Godfather and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a story of love, lies, and the ultimate vengeance.
I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I was a teeeeny bit disappointed by this book, because I’ve heard a whole lot of hypes about it, but in the end it seemed too over-rated to me. I guess it did not really live up to my expectations.
Assassin’s Heart had a pretty slow introduction which seemed quite unnecessary to me, and it was mixed in with a rushed kind of explanation for the world-building. That definitely confused me. I do think that the world-building would have been amazing if the author had taken her time to actually spread them out throughout the book, instead of trying to rush it all into the first chapter. I mean, I would have liked to imagine Lea’s world as vividly as I could, and not in just a bunch of super descriptive paragraphs. However, around 40% into the book, Assassin’s Heart suddenly picked up its pace, and for some reason, viola! It was pretty magnificent.
Lea was a challenge to me. I didn’t like her at the start, as I felt that she had this air of arrogance which in the end, led to different unfortunate circumstances in the book. However, Lea was forced to change, after her family died. She had to deal with the fact that she was alone, and even worse, could not trust anyone. She also placed this huuuuge chunk of blame on her shoulders, and it was really heartbreaking to see her grief turning into anger and vengeance.
Led by emotions, she did everything half-assed. It was like the assassin that I once hated, the one who made her who she was, totally disappeared. In her haste for revenge, I felt that the author made her more clumsier and every action she took was horribly decided. I expected to not like her still, but instead, this part of her made her seemed more real, and less like a child only being born to be an assassin.
There was romance in this book, but I have to admit that I was dubious at the start about that particular romance, because the way the main character was described, I honestly thought he was younger than the girl. But it worked out eventually, because after awhile, I began seeing the guy as who he really was, and the romance was altogether cute. It wasn’t the main focus of the book, but it definitely did help the story to be better along the way.