by Sarah Ahiers
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.
Thank you to HarperTeen for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review.
Since I adore high fantasy novels, I was so excited to read this one. I had high hopes for ASSASSIN’S HEART, and I’m happy to say I was not disappointed.
ASSASSIN’S HEART follows the story of Lea Saldana, the remaining member of the Saldana Family in the city of Lovero where the nine Families (they’re best described as clans) compete for the top spot in society. The story starts off when Saldana Family is slaughtered by the Da Vias, the Saldana’s enemy, and Lea swears vengeance on her Family.
Lea is a trained clipper, or assassin for the Saldana Family, and she is so tough. I really admired the strength and tenacity in her character. Although she sometimes makes rash decisions and I was mentally screaming at her to stop being a fool, she was goal-driven and determined, and I really loved that characteristic of hers.
This novel’s theme is also quite god-driven, as in, the underlying motif is of that of a god and the religion that goes with it. Because of this, many of the information that I read about was a lot of information overload; the author was explaining more about the religion instead of showing me the religion through the characters’ actions. Nonetheless, I understand where it’s coming from—the plot is mainly focused on Lea’s journey to find vengeance for her Family.
ASSASSIN’S HEART does fall some typical YA tropes; it contains a bad-ass MC who finds heartbreak in an ex-boyfriend but finds new love in a guy she’s met three weeks prior; there’s a sort-of-picture-perfect ending. Despite those stereotypical tropes, it was incredibly exciting and enthralling; I finished reading it within two days!
Overall, ASSASSIN’S HEART is a thrilling and exhilarating ride, and I really enjoyed this one. I’m definitely going to be picking up this book’s companion novel.
Rating: ★★★★½ of 5