Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers
Published: February 2nd 2016
Publisher: Harper Teen
Genre: YA Fantasy
Goodreads Rating: 3.62/5
My Rating: 4/5
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.
This novel was featured in my Most Anticipated Books of 2016 post back in January, so I was way too excited to pick it up! I am totally on this assassin-trope-train and it’s working out perfectly. I definitely thought this would be kind of similar to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas but it wasn’t.
I loved the beginning of the book. Ahiers writing style was easy to follow and enjoyable, which puts some major points in my mind. I’m not huge on authors who use really convoluted phrasing to make a book seem more impressive than it is. And, as I avoid reading the synopsis before I pick up my next book, the death of Lea’s family SHOCKED me. It was such an interesting twist in the story and it drew me in completely.
The storyline had a really unique aspect – the ghosts and Gods are real. I’m not huge on religious shows in novels but Ahiers pulls it off incredibly well. Ghosts can kill people and the Gods are actual beings who expect worship and sacrifice. It’s the job of the assassin to put a coin, which symbolizes a sacrifice to Safraella, in the mouth of a person before they die so they don’t become a ghost. This makes the assassin families acting disciples of the God Safraella, as they stop ghosts from being created. Citizens will pay for an assassin to kill a family or friend so that it doesn’t happen to them.
The romance in this book was actually digestible and believable. The relationship between Val and Lea kind of reminded me of the forbidden romance in Romeo and Juliet with a twist of The Sopranos. After the Da Via’s murdered Lea’s family, there’s a lot of angst and “what if’s”, but a new suitor comes into play and the development of their relationship was an automatic ship for me. Alessio is a derp but a total sweetheart, and I think he helps Lea develop for the better.
I wouldn’t say I was in love with this book, but it was an incredibly enjoyable read and I couldn’t put it down. There was also NO CLIFFHANGER *angels are singing*. I will absolutely be continuing on with the series.