Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Publication date: February 2nd 2016
My rating: 4.5 stars
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 was expecting this book to be Meh because it is described as having shades of Romeo and Juliet and I tend to dislike books whit that kind of storyline but I did not dislike this story, in fact, I thought it was great. I can admit that it may not be the greatest story and the writing may not be fantastic but it sucked me in and I could not put it down.
Let me start of by saying that I did not feel like I was reading a Romeo and Juliet story. Sure, the book starts out by our protagonist Oleander (Lea) Saldana having a secret relationship whit Val Da Vias whose family happens to be her family’s competition. That is where the Romeo and Juliet stuff ends though.
The book takes place in the kingdom of Loverne where everyone worships the goddess Safraella who in reward protects the kingdom from ghosts. Lea is a Clipper, which essentially means she is a disciple of Safraella and delivers people to her so that they can be reborn. There are nine clipper families and they each have their own territories. Leas family the Saldanas who is the first family share a territory whit the Da Vias and after losing most of their Family to the plague, they know they have to be extra careful because the Da Vias who is the second family would murder them to become nr 1. Despite the animosity between their families, Lea is in love whit Val Da Vias and believes he would never hurt her, until her entire family is killed in a fire by his Family that he more than likely knew about. After the fire Lea only has one goal, to make the Da Vias pay no matter what. She sets out on a journey to find the only person who knows where the entrance to the Da Vias’s home is, her exiled uncle Marcello who lives in Yvain a city that does not worship Safraella.
What I liked
• I thought Lea was a great character. She was strong and badass but not afraid to cry and be vulnerable, which I loved. After the fire she knows Val had something to do whit it but she still has a hard time believing he could do that to her because of their relationship, which I feel is a natural reaction. After all, who wants to believe their boyfriend was a part of killing their entire family? No one that’s who.
• The assassin system in this book. I especially liked how each clipper family had their own colour, every clipper had a mask where half the side was white, and the other was their family’s colour whit an etched in design unique to the individual clipper. I also enjoyed the fact that the clippers was outside of the kings law because the serve Safraella and that there was hardly any crime in the kingdom because people know that if they do something wrong, someone will hire a clipper to dispose of them.
• The goddess Safraella. I found the concept of a kingdom worshiping the goddess of death and rebirth fascinating. People who were sick or poor in this kingdom would hire clippers to kill them so that they could be reborn to a better life. Safraella also protects the kingdom from ghosts, which are souls of people who don’t worship her, which brings me to my next point.
• The ghosts. These ghosts were angry and violent. They attack people who venture outside the borders of the kingdom and drag their soul from their bodies leaving the bodies to wander around aimlessly. Scary.
What I did not like
• I really did not like Mateo Da Vias. I won’t say why because spoiler but he was just horrible and it made me angry that Lea who is so smart and strong actually fell for him. I guess he did love her in his own twisted way but wow he was an ass.
• I felt like Lea is described as this badass assassin and yet there were times in this book where it almost seems like she can’t fight at all, which really annoyed me. One example is how she lets this sheriff in Yvain capture her without even trying to fight. It did not feel true to her character to give up.
• Her uncle. He was mean and refused to help her revenge the Family or even just to tell her where the entrance to the Da Vias’s home was. Sure, he says he just doesn’t want to be responsible for her death but still. Annoying uncle.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to people who love assassin stories.
Have any of you read this book? What did you think? 🙂