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.
Unfortunately, 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 attraction.
Somehow, although I was really looking forward to it, I missed the release for The Pirate's Wish. Weirder still, I didn't realize I had missed this release until the NetGalley for The Wizard's Promise went live. As if I don't sound confused enough, now I have to admit that I thought this was a trilogy and The Wizard's Promise was part three. Picture how lost and slightly disappointed I ended up being. Now picture me on a beach with a boozy umbrella drink and a pile of great books...no? I just thought, while you were envisioning things...
The Pirate's Wish didn't live up to my expectations for other reasons though. Although not a bad book, by any stretch of the imagination, it just didn't live up to the verve and adventure of the The Assassin's Curse. Early on Naji and Ananna's relationship hits a speed bump and too me that's where this story faltered.
*Spoiler alert! The following, is a sort-of spoiler, I'm going to talk about something readers know is going to happen and reveal when it does. Skip the below paragraph if you'd rather not know.*
So- the fabled Kiss. I was very sure Clarke was going to drag out the kiss until the end of this book, but she threw a curve ball and placed it early on in the story. As you would expect with it's placement, it doesn't go well. My problem was two fold, the degree of angst that followed (from Ananna of course) was exhausting. Seriously. I really wanted her to get over it already, and if not get over it, then at least pretend she was. Which brings me to my other issue about the kiss, it turned Ananna into a mopey, difficult, whiner. Not at all the character I had grown to love in The Assassin's Curse! Since Ananna's spirit was one of the biggest wins of book the first for me, this was disappointing and coloured the rest of the tale in a way I would have preferred it didn't.
*spoiler alert ended*
Other than that issue, which granted took up an inordinately large portion of the story, Clarke once again embarked on an adventure which was whimsical and fun to take part in. The host of characters and destinations was intriguing, and when I finally realized that The Wizard's Promise was going to be another duo-logy set in the same world I was elated. Clarke has developed a fantasy world I greatly enjoy swashbuckling about in.
In the end, although there were elements I enjoyed, and new characters I thought were great, I was disappointed by the change in Ananna's character enough that the book was definitely a let down. Hopefully her next series will be as much fun, but with a consistently spirited heroine. And you know, no love story moping.
The Pirate's Wish, by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Published by Strange Chemistry, June 18th, 2013 (um, yah, that's why I missed it, I went into labor on it's release day! Mystery solved)