ARC Review: Assassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers

Title: Assassin's Heart
Author: Sarah Ahiers
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date:  February 2nd, 2016
Page Count:  400 pages
Format:  ARC
Source: Won 

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.
*The Reader's Review*
My rating: 3/5 stars
Assassin's Heart is an okay read. Not great, but also not terrible. I would be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy reading this book because for the most part it did keep me entertained, but I did have trouble coming back to it every time I set it down.

I was intrigued by the whole idea of Families of assassins, how they apparently held this immense power over a city protected by a goddess of death. I was excited for the romance á la Romeo and Juliet because I could already picture how impossible and hard it would be for the characters to be together when it came to disobeying two deadly and rival Families. But most importantly, I was so very looking forward to read about a kick-ass character who would do the unthinkable just to protect her Family AND family (blood).

However, I only got a small taste of what I was hoping for. Perhaps it had to do with how things moved so quickly in the beginning that I really didn't have much time to fall in love with certain aspects. I was introduced to a beautiful city, but was ripped away from it in the blink of an eye, not to mention from the "normal" life as an assassin and from the MC's family. I wanted more of that!

Lea Saldana IS a skilled assassin and she's pretty good at almost everything in the art, but I think she needed to set her priorities in order. I liked her, but at times I felt as if she wanted me to dislike her. Why, Lea? I also did not feel her passion towards her loved ones. But I don't exactly blame her, everyone was kind of hard to love.

The romance... it started off great, then dimmed, then it burned back up again. And repeat. I did get a few butterflies, especially with the second love interest, so that's something to look forward to. The Romeo and Juliet aspects can be found in this book, but they are twisted and not in order.

Overall,  I was expecting more from Assassin's Heart. More feels, more world-building, more resolution. It doesn't lack action or fantastical/paranormal elements though, so I'm sure many readers will feel more drawn to that. In the end, I think the enjoyment of this book will depend highly on the likes of the reader.


  1. Interesting review. I found it hard to love the characters too and the second love interest was far more entertaining.

    1. Yes! Val was too... bland. Gorgeous, but bland.

  2. Damn. I preordered the book! OMG I chose to preorder this one instead of other great 2016 releases. I kind of regret it after reading this review. Thanks so much though. I'm going to take in everything when I read it and refer to this review :D

    Alex @ The Book's Buzz

    1. Aww, well it's not that bad! And maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did. Who knows? :)

  3. I"m glad to see that it was at least an okay book. I may still check it out.
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

  4. Seeing some reviews I'm not super excited to read it because they all say it's just an okay read but on the other hand I do want to find out for myself. Great review! :)