Black Heart

(Book #3 of The Curse Workers)
For Ages: 14 and up
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Love is dangerous and trust is priceless in the satisfying conclusion to Holly Black’s “powerful, edgy dark” fantasy series (Publishers Weekly).

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 the one he should stay the farthest away from. 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.
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  • Margaret K. McElderry Books | 
  • 320 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781442403475 | 
  • April 2013 | 
  • Grades 9 and up
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The Curse Workers Series

To Love is a Curse. At least it is for Castle when he accidentally kills the girl he loves, or did her. As Cassel begins to suspect he’s part of one huge con game, he must unravel his past and his memories. To find out the truth, Cassel will have ...

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Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER ONE

MY BROTHER BARRON sits next to me, sucking the last dregs of milk tea slush noisily through a wide yellow straw. He’s got the seat of my Benz pushed all the way back and his feet up on the dash, the heels of his pointy black shoes scratching the plastic. With his hair slicked back and his mirrored sunglasses covering his eyes, he looks like a study in villainy.

He’s actually a junior federal agent, still in training, sure, but with a key card and an ID badge and everything.

To be fair, he’s also a villain.

I tap my gloved fingers impatiently against the curve of the wheel and bring a... see more

Reading Group Guide

A Reading Group Guide to Black Heart of the Curse Workers series By Holly Black About the Book In a world where magic is illegal, Cassel Sharpe has the deadliest ability of all. With one touch, he can transform any object—including a person—into something else entirely. And that makes him a wanted man. The Feds are willing to forgive all his past crimes if he’ll only leave his con artist family behind and go straight. But why does going straight feel so crooked? For one thing, it means being on the opposite side of the law from Lila, the girl he loves. She’s the daughter of a mob boss and getting ready to join the family business herself. Though Cassel is pretty sure she can never love him back, he can’t stop obsessing over her. That would be bad enough, even if her father wasn’t keeping Cassel's mother prisoner in a posh apartment and threatening not to let her leave until she returns the priceless diamond she scammed off him years ago. Too bad she can’t remember where she put it. The Feds say they need Cassel to get rid of a powerful man who is spinning dangerously out of control. But if they want Cassel to use his unique talent to hurt people, what separates the good guys from the bad ones? Or is everyone just out to con him? Time is running out, and all Cassel’s magic and cleverness might not be enough to save him. With no easy answers and no one he can t see more

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