Author: Holly Black
Publication Date: 4/3/12
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Book
Blurb (GR): 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.
If you haven't read White Cat and Red Glove yet and are still contemplating if you should start another series that might take a nosedive half-way through, let me assure you, Curse Workers remains fairly consistent. Just don't read book synopses and spoilers or the rest of this review and enjoy the ride.
As a trilogy conclusion, Black Heart is satisfying, albeit a little weaker in terms of plotting than its predecessors. Hence, 3.5 stars instead of 4.
Cassel's journey to find his place in a world, where his value as a transformation worker is unprecedented, continues, and it seems he just can't catch a break. Everyone (Feds, mafia, his family) wants to use him one way or another, through threats, blackmail or shiny promises. But what is the right thing for him to do? Who to join? And what to take a stand against?
I keep repeating myself talking about these books, how much I like the cons and how entertaining it is to watch Cassel outsmart his much more powerful enemies. And although there is a certain slackness about a couple of story lines in this finale (for instance, the subplot about Cassel's classmate needing help in a blackmail scheme required a little more development) Black Heart is still sufficiently mysterious and twisty. And the conclusion to Cassel's and Lila's story is both tied up and open-ended, just the way I like my endings to be.
Basically, what I'm trying to say is that I stand by this series from the beginning to the end. Holly Black created a unique world with unique magic and the characters I'd love to meet again.