Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse
Release date: June 4th 2013
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository
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.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Assassin’s Curse, not even close, I was still very much looking forward to The Pirate’s Wish. If there’s one thing I admire about Clarke, it’s that you never know what to expect with one of her books. She takes risks and, most of the time, they pay off.
Compared to The Assassin’s Curse, The Pirate’s Wish showed significant improvement in narrative structure. While the first book started had a promising start, only to flatline after the first few scenes, The Assassin’s Curse had a solid beginning, a thrilling climax and a satisfying ending. Just like before, Ananna’s world is enthralling, but Clarke makes it even better this time. Her deftly crafted world expands further to include more magnificent creatures, more sea battles and magical objects.
However, somehow, somewhere along the line, the feisty, courageous, unique Ananna was lost. In her place, The Pirate’s Wish brings an almost unrecognizable, surly, petulant girl. The Ananna we all remember would never allow a boy to turn her into a whiny mess, but this Ananna, the new version, did exactly that. The insecurities that made her more charming before weren’t nearly as cute and relatable this time around.
It was odd how the two switched places. I didn’t much care for Naji in the first book, but here he was the more reasonable of the two, even when he was too afraid to admit his feelings. In the end, I didn’t understand where his change of heart came from. By the time he admitted it, there was nothing even remotely likeable left in Ananna. Just like I didn’t understand what she saw in him before, now I couldn’t see why he would want to be with her. I suppose it’s safe to say that Clarke’s romances just don’t work for me, and I can’t pinpoint exactly why. The best I can tell you is that it has something to do with the timing, and the amount of damage each of the characters does to the relationship before it even starts.
Those who were bothered by the language in the first book might be a bit more relaxed this time. I, on the other hand, missed Clarke’s experiments. Ananna’s language was still far from polished, but it wasn’t nearly as pronounced as before.
If you enjoy adventures that are anything but formulaic, I highly recommend this duology. Even if it is far from perfect, it’s undeniably a much needed breath of fresh air in young adult literature.