“Family over family.”
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.
When I’ve heard that Assassin’s Heart is a fantasy novel with a girl assasin as the main character I immediately want to read the book, because I like reading from the perspective of an assassin. Assassins are smart, cunning, and good observer. They think faster than most individuals, they analyze things and make calculated steps. They fascinates me with their intricate thoughts and reading them feels like doing the same thinking process myself. So color me surprise when Lea, the main character of this book is not the one I expected her to be. Sure, she is an assassin but her thread of thoughts is not what I expected it to be. At first, I tried to understand that she is young and in love, so romance is forgiven but I remember that she is trained to kill since birth. Her family and her town take murders for breakfast. It’s so common and even legal to them. So when her family died I expect her to straighten her thoughts, to focus on revenge, and stop pining on the guy who possibly part of the reasons why she lost her whole family. She’s an assassin – a murderer who grew up killing people, so I want to feel her coldness and hatred and not her fear or sympathy.
When she went to another country, far from her boyfriend Val, I expect her to be fearless. But when a Cop tried to question her, she got scared which is so unlike for an assassin. Sure, she lost her family and she is in a new territory but assassins are supposed to be good in blending in or at least know how to not show fear right? How can she feared that Cop? She’s an assassin and that one is just a Cop, since when she feared law or people who enforce them? I’m not sure if I made a mistake of assuming that assassins are cunning and smart people but Lea is definitely not an assassin that thrilled me.
“You don’t get to roll over people. Just because you have permission to end lives doesn’t give you the right to destroy them first.”
Now that I’ve said my piece about Lea being not assassin I expected, let me try to express what I did like about Assassin’s Heart.
First, the unique world that Sarah Ashiers created. Lovero is a place where killing is legal, where families of trained assassins kill each other for rank and power. Where these assassins called Clippers believe in Goddess of death, and resurrection. For them killing is kindness because when the person died they will be reborn and have another chance of new life. It’s a unique and intriguing world that is easily to get lost into. And there’s also the whole Italian vibe that goes with it.
Second, the intriguing concept of “Family over family”. Family always comes first before your own family – it may sounds like the same but trust there is a difference between those two beside the capitalization of the first letter. You just have to read the book to find out yourself.
And lastly, the mythology. Since the book is fantasy, I don’t mind much about religion and faith in the story. If this is contemporary, I might have a few says about their beliefs and all. But since we are in a imaginary world then I guess it doesn’t hurt to have a different beliefs or faith.
Overall, Assassin’s Heart has a good premise and a unique world but unfortunately failed to match it with an equally strong heroine nor maintain the intriguing plot that it started. Maybe having read tons of fantasy or having so much expectations ruin this for me. But I still think that this book worth giving a chance. Afterall, this one work for other readers like my friend Precious. So maybe you’ll enjoy this more than I did.