Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publisher: Harper Teen
Publication Date: February 2nd, 2016
Page Count: 400 pages
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.