REVIEW Black Heart by Holly Black

Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.

But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

I am so sad that this series has come to an end.  I knew it was coming, but I didn't want to accept it.  I've been head over heels for Cassel and the incredibly intricate world he calls home since I first picked up White Cat years ago.  I remember my boyfriend seeing my copy of Red Glove and reading the back, seeing the blurb about "magic and mobsters" and turning to me going, "what on earth are you reading?!?"  Only one of my favourite YA series ever.  Yes, I said it.  He was confused, but you, dear readers, will understand if you've read White Cat and Red Glove.

Black Heart picks up after the events in Red Glove.  Lila has joined her father's family business--the mob--and Cassel is now working for a government agency that secretly employs curse workers.  He's been using this mostly to spy on Lila, since he's still head over heels in love with her.  Cassel's family continues to be a constant strain on his life--he loves them, but man, they are NOT nice people.

So after finding out Lila has just ordered a hit on someone, and learning that his mother is currently being held hostage (albeit, rather glamorously) by Lila's father, and finding out that there's more to the government agency than there seems to be, Cassel is getting pretty stressed out.

This book was just layer upon layer of problems that Cassel had to deal with, and it just made me love Cassel all the more.  He's strong even when he thinks he's falling apart.  Stuck between the mob and the government, his friends and his family, Cassel struggles through.  He's quick, he's clever, he's got a bit of a chip on his shoulder, but he's extremely loveable.

What I love about Holly Black's writing is that she makes you wonder constantly just who the good guys are.  You're rooting for Cassel all the way through, but even he has no idea what he should be doing, what side he should be on. 

Throughout the entire series, I have loved the complexity of the relationships Cassel has.  They're all so complicated.  Especially with his family and with Lila.  That doesn't change.  Just like in life, your first impressions aren't always correct, and as time goes on you get to see the complexities of the characters emerge, and it changes the way you see them.  Even Cassel isn't always a nice guy.

I'm not ready to leave the Curse Worker's world, but alas, all good things must come to an end, and this?  This was damn good.

If you haven't picked up the Curse Workers series, I really recommend you do.  The worldbuilding and characters are phenominal, and the story has twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This series is definitely GeekGirl-approved.

Happy Reading!