I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Assassin's Heart #1
Published by Harper Teen on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, YA Romance, Young Adult
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.Amazon •
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.
Mature-Content Rating: Violence, Blood/Gore, Mild sexual content, Language
“I closed my eyes. What hurt more? The death of my Family, or the cold betrayal?”
I love books about assassins, and I love a bit of romance. Throw the two together and BAM! It should make quite an interesting tale, right? Right.
The basis of Assassin’s Heart is a twisted Romeo and Juliet. Lea is our Juliet from the Saldana family, and Val is our Romeo from the Da Vias family. Both are the biggest and strongest families of assassins in Lovero, but while some of the families have some kind of truce, the Saldana and Da Vias are rivals. That doesn’t stop Lea and Val from having a little secret behind their families backs, until Lea’s entire family is taken out by the Da Vias.
I have to start of with the world building. If you love world building, you could get lost in this. There’s a deep rooted history and tons of religious elements built into the world, not to mention a ghost filled plane that borders nations. The people of Lovero know about the nine assassin families and actually treat them as royalty, because in some twisted way the assassinations are part of their religion.
Lea can be annoying as a character, and fall flat at times, but I can still see how she makes some of her decisions based on the situation she’s in. She can come out as a bit whiny, but then again her entire family died and her boyfriend may have had something to do with their mass murder, so I think assassin or not, she’s a teenage girl and has permission to be a bit mopey.
Val is a charming guy, for a full grown pit bull that acts liked kicked puppy that doesn’t know it did anything wrong. Poor thing. Seriously, I don’t know if the guy had mental issues, a psychopath, or is very desperately in love.
Lafevre is a minor character I couldn’t help but mention. He’s a police man sent to tail Lea after she makes it out of Lovero and starts working with an assassin-wanna-be, Les. Lafeyre reminds me of Javert from Les Miserables in the sense that he pops up everywhere at the most inopportune moments to arrest her. I nearly wanted to start breaking out in song.
Les is the character that provides balance for Lea. He makes her question her ideals as he starts questioning his own.
The storyline was great. I loved the inner turmoil as Lea struggled with herself and the outer turmoil as she fought her way through assassins and ghosts, but the story could have also but cut much shorter in some areas. At times it was just Lea repeating the same notions over and over and that really bugs me in books.
Overall, Assassin’s Heart is an enjoyable read with plenty to look forward to, you just might end up skimming a few pages.