Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers | Book ReviewAssassin's Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Series: Assassin's Heart #1
Published by HarperCollins on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult Fiction, Romance, Social Themes, Violence, Family
Pages: 432
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
ISBN: 9780062363800

With shades of Game of Thrones and Romeo and Juliet, this richly imagined fantasy from debut author Sarah Ahiers is a tale of love, lies, and vengeance. Fans of Kristin Cashore and Rae Carson will devour the flawlessly crafted action and inventive world building.
Seventeen-year-old Lea Saldana is a trained assassin. She was born into one of the nine clipper Families in the kingdom of Lovero who lawfully take lives for a price. As a member of the highest-ranking clan, loyalty to Family is valued above all, but that doesn't stop Lea from getting into a secret relationship with Val Da Via, a boy from a rival clan. Despite her better judgment, Lea has fallen in love with him; but she's confident she can anticipate any threat a mile away.
Then she awakens one night to a house full of smoke. Although she narrowly escapes, she isn't able to save her Family as their home is consumed by flames. With horror, she realizes that Val and his Family are the only ones who could be responsible. Devastated over his betrayal and the loss of her clan, there's just one thing on her mind: making the Da Vias pay. The heart of this assassin craves revenge.

Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers looks to be an intriguing sort of book about killer families, with a Romeo and Juliet sort of twist. Thankfully, I read Ahiers debut about a year after the release date, so I feel like I was not filled with preconceived notions or expectations. I do remember that not very many of my friends were keen on this book. Personally, I feel like Assassin’s Heart was a decent sort of read but I am not likely to continue on with the series. I do not feel all that invested or really the need to go on.

Assassin’s Heart opens up with main character Lea Saldana on a mission to kill this guy. Basically he hires her and she basically helps him commit suicide by proxy. Then she goes out to eat dinner with Val Da Via, who is a member of the rival family and essentially should be an enemy.

Eventually Lea goes home, things happen, and then all of a sudden her entire family is killed. Lea comes to believe that it was the doing of the Da Via family. So, she leaves Lovero and ventures to a whole new town to find an estranged uncle and to get her revenge on the Da Vias. She does not anticipate finding romance, but she totally does.

Lea is an interesting sort of character. She’s tough as nails and goes through hell and back, it seems. I liked that she was an assassin who is ACTUALLY an assassin and not someone who calls herself an assassin for the whole book but never actually does any killing. She’s also very stubborn. This at times is a character flaw, but makes her all the more real. I definitely did not take very much issue with her as a main character.

Assassin’s Heart is really only a Romeo and Juliet romance at the beginning with the star crossed lovers trope. I mean, Lea is hurt by Val’s actions but she’s also dead set on getting revenge. She knows that what his family did was absolutely wrong and rather than pine away, she prepares for vengeance. Plus, Lea moves on. I liked that this shows you may think you really love someone, but if they do you dirty, it’s okay to move on.

I think my largest point of contention with Assassin’s Heart was that it takes forever to get moving. The pace feels really uneven with this book. There are moments where it’s incredibly exciting and the pages are just turning quickly. Then four pages later, it is a total drag to read. I’ll admit the world building is really cool, it seems to be inspired by Italy. And well, Italy is awesome. Of course, I was into the world building and also the different gods involved. However, the pacing really drags this book down.

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About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.

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