I had so much fun reading The Assassin's Curse by Cassandra Rose Clark when it came out last year. (My thoughts.) The story continues in the sequel, The Pirate's Wish, and to add to the fun of pirates and assassins there is also a Manticore. I mean come on, how can you not want to read a book with an assassin, a pirate, and a Manticore? I know I sure wanted to and was excited when I was able to read it early after being approved on NetGalley.
Warning: Spoilers for The Assassin's Curse ahead. Read it before read this.
After setting out to
break the curse that binds them together, the pirate Ananna and the
assassin Naji find themselves stranded on an enchanted island in the
north with nothing but a sword, their wits, and the secret to breaking
the curse: complete three impossible tasks. With the help of their
friend Marjani and a rather unusual ally, Ananna and Naji make their way
south again, seeking what seems to be beyond their reach.
Naji has enemies from the shadowy world known as the Mists, and Ananna
must still face the repercussions of going up against the Pirate
Confederation. Together, Naji and Ananna must break the curse, escape
their enemies — and come to terms with their growing romantic
The Pirate's Wish is so much fun to read. It is a roller coaster ride full of adventure and action. It opens shortly after the previous book left off with Ananna and Naji stranded and looking for a way to break the curse. They have to complete three seemingly impossible tasks in order to do this, which seem even more impossible as they are stuck on an island. The unresolved and undiscussed attraction between them is not helping matters, particularly as Ananna is convinced this is one-sided and that Naji cares nothing for her. The story has a little bit of everything. There is pirate ships, sea battles, islands of magical creatures, and royal courts. The reader's interest is grabbed and kept from start to finish. I was concerned, and had been since it was mentioned in the first book, about how the portion of the curse where Naji had to create life from violence was going to happen. I LOVED what Clark did there.
I was reminded of how much I appreciate Ananna's character. So many books of this ilk try to make the main character more educated and better spoken through some unlikely twist than they otherwise would be. I love that Ananna is unashamedly who she is, a girl who grew up on a pirate ship and acts and talks like it. Naji continued to be difficult to connect with, again because the story is all from Ananna's perspective. I knew she was reading him wrong and at times I was frustrated and wanted them to just discuss it already and stop running from it. Still. I like the way their story and relationship resolved in the end.
It was nice to get more of Marjani's story in this volume and I loved the addition of Jeric's character. I would like to know more about him now.
For any who enjoyed the first novel, this book is a must read. There were times when I felt it didn't all fit together perfectly, like when my son is doing a puzzle and he puts the right pieces together correctly but they aren't pushed in properly. It's a little uneven, yet so much fun and a great time.
Warning for Concerned Parents: This might not be the best pick for readers on the younger side of the YA spectrum who may not have the emotional maturity for this. There are instances of sex and swearing. (They are on a pirate ship.)
I read a galley of this title made available via the publisher, Angry Robot. The Pirate's Wish is available to purchase June 4 and to pre-order now.