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Assassin's Heart FINISHED This was really good and not at all like Throne of Glass The ending threw me off a bit though as it was uite open and left a few of my uestions unanswered but it turns out that it's actually going to be a duology so I'm hoping the seuel will tie up everything better Not sure how I feel about it having a seuel as on one hand I thought Assassin's Heart was a mostly excellent standalone novel but on the other hand it was so good I want MORE Excited but a bit nervous to see where the seuel goes PREVIOUS MUSINGI wonder if Oleander Saldana is a relation of a certain Celaena Sardothien 35Assassin’s Heart is set in the kingdom of Lovero where nine families of assassins kill people in the name of their goddess Safraella “Clippers” as they are called are respected by the commoners because their coins at the time of death are the only way Safrella will grant resurrection into the next life If you die without her coin you will become a ghost and be lost forever Our main character Lea Saldana is a highly skilled member of the Saldana family the number one ranked family of assassins until the day she wakes up to her house in flames and her entire family dead Who is responsible? The Da Via family Rivals to her own family as they are the second family and to whom her secret lover Val belongs to Upon learning of Val’s betrayal Lea vows to kill every last Da Via for this crime and thus sets out on a journey to find vengeance “I’d gotten my Family killed because I’d loved a boy in secret who used that love to destroy me”First let’s talk about the things I liked I really liked the overall plot It did start off very slow and took me about 200 pages to really see the gears moving but once they did I loved it The world building was really great In his world gods and ghosts are real Lea traveled to a lot of placed and I really liked seeing the different kinds of places she went because each place had a different tone and feel I could really picture this world I loved reading about all the political maneuvers between the assassin families as well as the religious aspects It was uite fascinating There were many fight scene’s in this book that were great I usually don’t like when there are too many fight scenes because they can get boring but they were all fun and made sense Lea as a main character was just okay I didn’t love her and I didn’t hate her I just didn’t really find anything about her to connect with Which is strange because since she lost her entire family in a matter of a few minutes you’d think I would have had some emotional pull to her but nope As an assassin she was very up and down for me The first half of the book I thought she was a great assassin There was one particular fight scene in the first half that had me really rooting for her because she was a total badass But then we get to the second half of the book and I felt like there was kind of a disconnect between who she was at the start of the book and who she was in the latter half And it didn’t make sense to me She started making really dumb mistakes that an assassin of her caliber wouldn’t make And it seemed like she was always getting tripped up by something I just had a hard time believing she was as good of an assassin as everyone in the book kept saying she was As for the antagonists I really didn’t like Val Even in the beginning He just screamed fuckboy to me and every time he opened his mouth I was rolling my eyes Then we have Lafevre the really annoying police type character who is literally waiting around every corner to scream “I GOT YOU NOW” Seriously Every time Lea is in a sticky situation and then manages to get out of it BAM there’s Lafevre waiting to be a douche I didn’t like him as a villain or a character He was just annoying and was just there to be a nuisance Even though there were a lot of things I disliked about this book I really had fun while reading it and the rich world building made up for the lack of character development I could really see this being a companion series because this story wrapped up at the end but the world is so big and there seems to be stories to tell So I definitely look forward to that 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 reason than ever to take her Family downRacked 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 Super brilliant novelI loved the Assassin's world and how it is organised I really enjoyed the use of Ghosts in this novel For some reason I got a very 'Return of the king' vibe from the use of Ghosts which FYI is a super good thing I can't wait to see what happens in the next novel This book was VERY fast paced made me cry and scream and on the hole i really enjoyedMinor issue The introduction to the mythology in the novel felt slightly rushed I don't think this is a fault of the author the editor But once you finish the novel is some what makes sense enough to answer all my uestions but some SAYING THAT the fact Sarah has this mythology and 'God' system is very uniue VIBESROMELORD OF THE RINGSTHRONE OF GLASS ASSASSIN BASSASSSSSSSSROMEO JULIETGHOST WHISPER Cant wait for book two Oh the conflict Blur rating alertI am honestly so wrecked about how I feel about this book There were parts I really liked but at the same time there were parts I didn't You see when I read the blurb I automatically thought this was going to be some type of The Punisherthe movie remake I was expecting retaliation at its best I mean there is nothing sweeter than revenge served cold right? I don't really care that this plot has been done a million times over It will always captivate me because the driving force of hate and revenge will never lose its shineSo when that wasn't the path this took I couldn't help but be disappointedNow that not to say this wasn't good on its own right It wasbut it could have been awesome I'm going to be real simple and break this down to why I rated it 3 World BuildingYou know this is the lifeblood of storytelling This can make or break a fantasy read and it really does tend to hinder my enjoyment when it makes absolutely no sense But here? It was amazing For a standalone this was so rich and imaginative in its history and way of life The religions the myths the gods and goddesses the ghosts were all brought to life with these character's actions The uniueness of the story at least in the area definitely had me hooked from the start The plot All that mattered was killing the Da Vias The book had a great start but it tended to have this problem where the main character would repeat the same sentence over and over again as if we were going to forget what the book was about It felt like every chapter ended with the same words but it never really felt like they impacted the story anyhow After about 40% or so it started to drag But I guess at the same time it wouldn't be considered dragging since where the story was headed but either way it was hard to stay interested If it sounds like I'm rambling it's cause I am The charactersLea You know how much I love strong female leads so I was bound to fall for her She's independent willful and at times stubborn What really had me was she was an assassin through and through Unlike many books we've read she doesn't blab on countless pages about how great an assassin she is and then when put to the test is hesitant about killing someone cough ThroneOfGlass cough No she kills and feels no regret afterward and you can't possibly imagine how refreshing that is The fact that she's a cold blooded murder and still the author is able to to make us like her and at times relate is commendable for YA So kudos to you Sarah ButLea isn't perfect And I don't mean in the special snowflake sense I mean she's a trained assassin taught to wield a knife since she can talk educated in the art of poisons since she can remember and still she made the dumbest decisions even I wouldn't make I don't care if she's 17 she was brought up a certain way so acting like an idiot teenager is not part of the deal She also fell flat Her characterization in certain situations read as if she were a robot emotionless I never felt the anger or devastation never felt the loneliness or the heartbreak Not once did I feel the impact of what happened to her cause the feelings never left the pages I did love every other character though Every single one I felt they all held their own and really did add to the story in their own way They all felt uniue in their actions and had uirks peculiar to them And the romance? Freaking adorable I think it was the only part of the book that made me feel anything I guess cute guys will always make my heart stutter So in the endIt was a good bookjust not great The ending was immensely underwhelming and I'm not particularly happy with the outcome But it did have its moments that had me enthralled I had such high hopes for this book but I must admit I was pretty disappointed Everything I hoped wouldn't happen happened so you could only imagine how I lost the motivation to muster the energy to finish thisThe relationship in this story was compared to Romeo and Juliet but that concept was just a very tiny speck in the whole plot line meaning it was barely there Close to nonexistent actually because it was only ever explored in the first few chapters of the book Besides that the forbidden romance had no real development If anything the romance between Lea and Val took a step backwards which was a shame because I was actually looking forward to itVal and Lea had so much potential and I was on this ship 100 percent but Sarah Ahiers decided to go with the usual love triangle route and introduced Alessio halfway into the story I really didn't care much for Alessio's character therefore I didn't really care for the blossoming romance between Lea and Alessio either There was zero chemistry between the two and the romance became such a waste as soon as I started to pick up on the love triangle This book shouldn't even have mentioned Romeo and Juliet in the synopsis because I found it to be very misleading It led me to expect a forbidden love story between two rival families specifically between Val and Lea It started off that way but soon we start too see hints of another mediocre love triangleAs for the Godfather inspiration behind the book I actually really enjoyed this concept I loved how organized their killings were and the meaning behind each death and its connection to their chosen GodHowever I do feel like the term assassin is constantly being misused especially in YA novels nowadays When you hear assassin you think dangerous slick cutthroat heartless or something along those lines But goodness gracious these assassins never seem to actually live up to their titles For someone who's born to be an assassin Lea is certainly lacking in some areas She's trained from birth how to be an assassin but she repeatedly makes stupid clumsy mistakes I understand once or twice but not every other chapter Lea is a decent character don't get me wrong But she's just one of those people who does talking than doing I have to get my revenge I have to kill the Da Vias Blah blah blah She literally repeats these phrases over and over again but never really succeeds in doing anything about it Lots of planning going on but no actual execution of those plansAssassin's Heart started off really strong but sort of died off as the story went on It felt super slow in the middle because as stated our main character spends time saying but not actually doing On top of that I couldn't even enjoy the romance because the story focused on Alessio and Lea's side of the love triangle rather than the ROMEO AND JULIET relationship between Val and Lea that was repeatedly emphasized in the synopsis which was actually uite a bummer because it was one of the main reasons why I wanted to pick this book upOverall Asassin's Heart was a decent read Loved the concepts and the world building but I was just disappointed in the direction that this book wentI'm hoping the next one will be better This review appears on Happy Indulgence Check it out for reviews For a book about assassins I would’ve expected assassinating Set in a fervently religious world where killing each other is normal Assassin’s Heart featured telling than showingThe world in Assassin’s Heart made no sense to me whatsoever Built upon a world with nine families worshipping a death god the Saldana family are the most powerful and revered But there is bad blood between them and the Da Via family and they’re constantly at odds with one another So they do what assassins do – plot each other’s death and kill each otherWhat didn’t make sense to me was the reasoning behind this What does it matter if you’re the first family or the second family if there are nine of them constantly trying to off one another to win their God’s favour? How is there anyone still alive? The reasoning behind this other than killing each other for power was severely lacking Killing and assassinating is just another part of life in this world which is disturbingly normalised without conseuence and I wish we were told whyWhile it starts off like Romeo and Juliet with Lea sharing a forbidden romance with the Da Via’s Val it uickly plunges into a story of vengeance and betrayal But instead of finding out who actually killed her family and finding out who’s alive she spends much of her time gallivanting around with Les the young unskilled clipper What results is an irrelevant romance with a lack of chemistry and the mandatory love triangleThe other problem I had was Lea’s characterisation She likes to put up a big fanfare about how family is the most important But then time and time again she makes choices that show just how little she sticks to her word As soon as she’s given the choice – her lover or her family – she chooses her lover which throws her characterisation out the window Apparently symbolism is important than her blood relatives which you would think she would treasure given how little there are left I thought religion was integrated in this world in an interesting way Faith is a big part of this world and it also drives conseuence and people’s motivations Although the messaging is a bit heavy handed on doing right by your God or facing punishmentThe most disappointing thing about Assassin’s Heart is that it has all the elements of a great fantasy novel a uniue premise interesting world badass characters nonstop action and an unpredictable plot But sadly the sum of these parts did not create a convincing story I’m glad everything was wrapped up by the end though cos I couldn’t have coped with a cliffhanger Move over Katniss Everdeen and Arya Stark The Sacred Order of Badass Young Heroines has a new member Oleander Saldana Assassin's Heart is a thrilling hard pounding intriguing adventure full of richly realized characters romance a gripping plot and palpable descriptions of sight sound and smell I inhaled this book and believe me when I tell you that it's way off my beaten reading path I don't read a great deal of YA fantasy but I know masterful worldbuilding when I see it Here Ahiers creates a lush lamplit society—evocative of Renaissance period Florence or Venice—with uniue history customs religious beliefs magic and a warrior class that is utterly credible Some serious research and thought went into this book To say nothing of the research and thought that went into the various and devious killing methods on display This may be marketed as a young adult book but there is nothing childish about it I would not hesitate to recommend it to an adult This would also be an excellent book to recommend to young people who are reluctant readers Then his lips pressed against mine He clasped my hands I strengthened my grip around his and for that moment everything else ceased to matter All that mattered was Les—the way his beard scraped my skin and how his lips tightened in a smile against mine until he laughed and pulled away“This has been an excellent jailbreak” I mean I should have seen this coming No good can come of a book in which the word heart and assassin is used together in the title Still I was curious enough to try this book out and you know what they say curiosity killed the cat etc etcI'm pretty sure you guys know where my review is going We have an assassin A murderer The blurb promises us death revenge All that good stuff YEAH So I open the book and flip to page 2 Val leaned closer to me his thigh pressed against mine A moment later his hand followed fingers resting on the leather clad skin of my leg And though I couldn’t feel the circles his fingers traced I still shivered beneath his touchI pulled away every bit of me protesting“I’m working” I whispered but it sounded weak even to me “And someone could see us” That sounded even weaker Our relationship was a secret and the thrill of keeping ourselves hidden was half the fun Right off the bat we got us a motherfucking romance y'allSo assassin Lea short for Oleander Is in a Romeo and Juliet type of forbidden lurve with a boy from a rival family They were not meant to be sigh But the thrill of it is undeniable and the object of her affection Val is such a charmer such a catch I used to think Val was vain and spoiled and self indulgent Nownow I felt the same way but there was something to be said for capturing a vain man’s gaze You know usually when you fall for someone you discover the good ualities in them instead of falling for all their bad ualities Girl you stupidBut then one night soon after their tryst she wakes up to find a full blown attack on her family that leaves them all dead by the hands of lover boy's family NOOOOOOOOOOO There is only one solution in this kind of situation What would I do? The only thing I could doKill everyone responsible Bravo BRAVO And that's exactly what she does she uses her competency and skills and so on and so forth to kill and avenge her familybursts out laughing Of course not are you kidding? She proves herself incompetent time after time and is constantly having her ass bailed out by someone else while making mooney eyes at a guyI do not expect perfection in my heroines I do however expect them to not be bumbling fucking idiots Let me list you some of the occasions in which our assassin fucks up royally “Poison” I gasped at the pain blazing across my skin and through my flesh “I’ve been poisoned” Seventeen years in Lovero and never once had anyone seen my face unless I’d wanted them to And now after only a short time in Yvain some faker had seen me My parents would’ve been ashamed The tip of a knife pricked against my throat and I froze I turned my head but the pressure increased and I stopped“Come out slowly” a voice said from the other side of the doorwayI’d lost my advantage He glared and hooked my ankle with his foot a move I knew only too well A wolfish grin spread across his face“Wait” I shoutedHe yanked and I fell plunging into the dark waves of the canal I dropped my hand to my swordGoneI closed my eyes I’d left it on the roof when we were knife throwingLes tensed beside me He realized the same thing All I had was a single stiletto in my bootSloppy So sloppyUh yeah how about no? Girl you ain't no assassin you're an incompetent moron Reviewed by Rabid ReadsIn a county that worships a death goddess nine families of assassins are her chosen disciples Each family executes HA their religious duty legal assassination from their individual territory all except the Saldana and Da Via families whose territory is sharedUnsurprisingly these two families are also the top ranked each of their blades kept sharp by the others' and also unsurprisingly while none of the families would ever consider one of the others an ally the Saldanas and Da Vias share a particular rivalryThat rivalry comes to a head when the Da Vias attack the Saldana home setting it on fire and killing its residents in their beds But one Saldana got away one girl the youngest of her generation's active members and Lea Saldana will not rest until the Da Vias pay for their treachery in bloodFrom there it gets complicatedIn a good intricate plot way not a convoluted wayLea can be a bit much occasionally like surgeons arrogance is a reuired trait of assassins but she grows on you as she herself grows into her characterI also had some trouble in the middle of the book There's a lot of angst Or maybe it's a little bit of angst compounded by the redundancy of the three pillars of The World According to Lea1 It's all my fault2 Trust can only end in betrayal3 Keep your eye on the prize the prize being DEATH for ALL Da ViasBUT Eventually she calms down and things get interesting again And it really is interesting Lea's world's pantheon is full of gods who are REAL Not just effigies waved around to make the peasants keep toiling away in hopes of a better afterlife The gods' priests have real power and the gods themselves reach out directly to their favored followers It's really coolAnd as long as you don't let yourself get too philosophical about the realities of having legal assassination jealous lovers greedy business men etc having a green light to take a hit out on the competition that's a pretty cool concept tooBONUS no cliffhanger In fact the ending was so the exact opposite of a cliffhanger that I have no idea where we're headed next But I will find out ASSASSIN'S HEART by Sarah Ahiers is the most promising first installment of a YA fantasy series I've read recently and I highly recommend it to any fan of the genre especially those of you who like me love assassins