Ananna is the daughter of a prominent pirate clan, which makes her a valuable matrimonial prize. Yet when her parents arrange an advantageous marriage with a man from another pirate clan, she rebels. Fearing that her parents will force her into the marriage, she runs away — but not before her scorned fiancé threatens to send an assassin after her. Ananna has heard the horror stories about assassins: they lurk in the shadows and use blood magic to curse their doomed victims. But when her assassin catches up with her, Ananna inadvertently saves his life, thus binding them together. Now she needs to find a way to break the curse that ties her to the assassin without getting into even more trouble.
First of all, isn’t that a wonderful, striking cover? It’s definitely appropriate for the novel, which is set in a quasi-Middle Eastern fantasy world — a refreshing change from the faux-medieval backdrop of many fantasy novels. Also, there are pirates, and they’re the fun kind of pirates, roguish yet charming. I also grew to enjoy both Ananna and Naji (the assassin) as characters, although Ananna’s extremely informal dialect did get on my nerves at first. My biggest gripe with the book is that, after the major characters and conflict are established, nothing happens. And in the end, absolutely nothing is resolved; you have to read the sequel (not yet published) to find out what happens! The book doesn’t technically end on a cliffhanger, but basically it’s only the first part of the story. What’s worse, there is no indication before the ending that this book is part of a series. So if you do decide to read it, be forewarned that you won’t be able to find out what happens until #2 is released! That said, I liked the book and will probably read the next one; I’m just sorry the (non)ending left such a bad taste in my mouth.