Title: Assassin’s Heart
Author: Sarah Ahiers
Series: Assassin’s Heart, #1
Release Date: February 2nd 2016
Sarah Ahier’s debut novel, Assassin’s Heart, had such a promising premise but fell short in execution. Lea Saldana has been raised in a family devoted to the goddess of death and resurrection, Safraella. As part of a Family of “clippers” Lea has been trained as an assassin since birth. For Lea, her Family means everything, so when she loses them, her entire world crumbles. As much as I wanted to feel the devastation of such a loss to the protagonist, the story moves far too quickly, never allowing readers a chance to feel anything but a passing sense of sadness. Assassin’s Heart really needed to take its time at the beginning of the novel, not just as a way to introduce Lea’s family, but as a way to introduce the world of clippers. I would have liked to have seen this world play out more because even though we are told how the system of assassins and clientele works, I would have liked to have seen it in action.
I enjoy reading about flawed characters and Lea, being only seventeen, is more rash decisions than careful preparation. The problem with this is she has been raised as an assassin, schooled in various skills, and one of these ought to have been strategy. Lea is an example of someone who has little to no understanding of how important a well-thought out plan is. While I will say that Lea does learn a valuable lesson about family by the time the novel finishes, I do wish the book would have spent more time devoted to how she was dealing with her loss internally rather than focusing so much on her overwhelming desire for revenge. The novel could also have used more development in terms of minor characters. Val, Lea’s secret suitor, is given only two scenes with the protagonist before tragedy strikes and I felt very little for him and Lea’s relationship as a result. The most interesting secondary character was Lea’s exiled uncle Marcello, who I really wished we could have spent more time with.
Assassin’s Heart had a really interesting religious system that I wanted to know more about, but failed to grip me emotionally and could have been more enjoyable if the characters and world were given more time to develop.