Series: The Assassin's Curse #0.6
Published: 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Genres: Young Adult
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I absolutely adored The Assassin’s Curse and The Pirate’s Wish, so when I saw that Cassandra Rose Clarke had written a couple short stories set in the same world, I couldn’t resist.
The Automaton’s Treasure is a glimpse into the backstory of Marjani, one of the minor characters in the series. Marjani was a noblewoman who was exiled after her forbidden (lesbian) relationship with a princess. In the later books, she becomes a pirate captain and is a total badass.
The Automaton’s Treasure is set right after Marjani is exiled. She’s traveling on a passenger ship that gets taken over by pirates. While she is locked in her cabin, she is visited by a magical automaton who tells her of great treasure. Marjani decides to help the automaton, convincing the pirates that rather than dismantling the automaton and selling him for scrap, they should follow his directions and seek out the treasure.
This story was so interesting because it’s set before Marjani became the self-confident and capable captain that we see in The Assassin’s Curse. She’s a teenager who is trying to find herself, and that’s further confused by the fact that she just lost the love of her life and is being sent far from home. She doesn’t envision a bright future for herself, but in this story, we begin to see the roots of empowerment as she begins to seize her own destiny.