Title: Assassins Heart
Author: Sarah Ahiers
Rating: 3/5 stars
Synopsis: 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 judgement, Lea has fallen in love with him; but she’s confident she can anticipate any threat a mile away.
So I really do have a thing for assassin books. It’s exactly the thing that drew me into first picking up ‘Throne of Glass’, ‘Grave Mercy’, ‘The Assassins Curse’ and now ‘Assassins Heart.’ This story starts off with a sort of Romeo and Juliet, mafia families vibe (think Baz Luhrmann’s version but with knives, not guns). The beginning of the book really had me gripped, there was murder, poison, family drama and a little romance. Sarah Ahiers really does not shy away from making her characters suffer!
The world building is intriguing, with nine different ‘clipper’ families and crumbling cities protected from wayward ghosts by a literal Goddess of Death. The different families traditions and masks intrigued me and I would have loved to have discovered more about them.
Lea is likeable enough as our troubled hero, though her assassin skills were a bit varied at different points in the book. I sometimes found myself wanting her to be a little bit more badass.
This was a really enjoyable read and the only reason I did not rate it higher is because I feel it could have been longer. Or at least that some lesser parts of the story could have been sacrificed for a little bit more back story. I wanted to spend more time in Lea’s family home, perhaps at the breakfast table or in a training session to better understand the family dynamic. I wanted to learn more about the nine families, about their forerunners and their traditions. And I definitely wanted to see better development of the relationshp between Lea and Les – I didn’t fully believe them as a couple, even though I really, really wanted to!
I have read that this may be a duology so I will live in hope that I get all the extra details I’m craving from the next book!
If you are a fan of assassins (you know in books, not real life) as much as I am, you should definitely check out Assassins Heart at Harlequin Teen.