Book Review: Assassin’s Heart 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.

Book Review:

“He is too kind to you. He thinks if he is kind, then people will like him. And if they like him, they won’t leave. But that is not the way of things. You are a flame and he is a moth, drawn to you, unaware if he gets too close you will burn him up.”

It is one of the best decisions I had ever make to grab the book Assassin’s Heart by Sarah Ahiers and read the book into my heart’s content. Fascinating. Interesting. Compelling. Thrilling. Exhausting. I thought this book is a retelling of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet or so that’s what I thought since it was the vibe that I was receiving when I read the few pages of this book.

But I was mistaken.

It was not a retelling of Romeo and Juliet. It was not about the love of two couples belong in two different forsaken families. It was not about the sacrifice, the trust and the loyalty of Shakespeare’s masterpiece. It is anything but not. It’s more like the other way around.

Two people who seemed love each other’s set in different families – families that have long been as historical enemies. Where Val is the Romeo and Lea is the Juliet. Upon the mysteries and how they hide their courtship. Secrets are meant to be revealed and no secrets are kept forever. Secrets of love, betrayal, faith, and loyalty where Families first before family.

A tradition of assassins who believed and worshipped Safraella, the God of Resurreccion, the mighty who protect them from the dead plains where wild ghost who captures and lure human bodies and mentally break down in inside and outside kept them safe, betrays even the God – The Da Vias, the second family in line with Saldanas.

Saldanas are the first Family of an assassin who has honored and gained the king’s favor of the kingdom Lovero. Quality over quantity above all envelops their personality. Assassins in here are covered with a mask as the distinction. I remember the anime Arcana Familia and Tokyo Ghoul with this book, though this book is much different and precise on the action. There’s magic but there’s few.

I love how the author told the agony of Oleander, Lea as short, that how it feels like to lose a loved one much more losing all the family you have in blood. Your favorite and idolizing brother is dead in front of you. You blame yourself for doing so, for doing everything because you were caught off guard in a simple mistake of placing your trust into a wrong people that you thought you loved.

Assasin’s Heart is a novel that you won’t put down. It will drive you crazy through and through. It will make you hook with its powerful content, amazing plot lines and unexpected twist of events. This book represents that there’s so much hope when you believe in yourself. It will make you ask questions why such things happened, that in a simple placement of heart could destroy you in a lot of ways.

The novel that Sarah Ahiers wrote is a seedling of life, there’s so much to learn and there’s so much to discover. It will grow into a tree that who knows, one day, will bring us back how Saldanas was the First Family of the Assassins and the best among everyone.

Valentino is a Da Via, Alessio is a Saldana. Marcello is a Saldana, Estella is a Da Via. And everything takes place being as the middle barrier. Oleander Saldana whom you don’t want to go against with.

“Les,” I whispered.

“Hmm?” he answered, barely awake.

“What does kalla mean?”

He gave a little smile. “Beautiful.”


Book Depository


Sarah Ahiers has an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Hamline University and lives in Minnesota with her dogs and a house full of critters. She has a collection of steampunk hats and when she’s not writing she fills her time with good games, good food, good friends and good family.

Sarah writes Young Adult and Middle Grade novels and occasionally dabbles in Picture Books. Fantasy is her favorite genre, though she sometimes can be found playing around with Horror and other things that go bump in the night.

Sarah’s debut novel, ASSASSIN’S HEART (HarperTeen, February 2nd, 2016) is a Young Adult Fantasy. In the Kingdom of Lovero, where families of assassins lawfully kill people for the right price, seventeen-year-old Oleander “Lea” Saldana sets out on a path of vengeance against the most powerful assassin family of all.



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