by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: Assassin's Curse #2
Published on June 18, 2013 by Strange Chemistry
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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.
There is just something about this series that makes me wonder why I read it but immediately remember how much I loved it while reading it. The first book, The Assassin’s Curse, quickly became my favorite book when I first read and reviewed it. Then I went back and reread it in anticipation for The Pirate’s Wish and when I finished the second time, I wondered, “Now why did I think that was the most amazing thing in the world the first time?” Don’t get me wrong, The Assassin’s Curse is a great book, but there are parts of it that are like Pirates of the Caribbean for kids. The Pirate’s Wish had the same effect. I thought it was an exciting adventure that ended too soon, and even better than The Assassin’s Curse.
I’m happy to report that Ananna and Naji didn’t fail me in this sequel. Sometimes characters seem to fall flat in a series, where they stop growing and developing, becoming dull and two dimensional. Clarke brings these characters through and sends them on the adventure of a lifetime. We even get to meet a few new cast members, including a manticore (which, hey, how many books have you read about a manticore let alone a whole pride of them) who I wasn’t quite sure about at first but loved by the end. I came to like the manticore more than Ananna and Naji, in all honesty. Naji had some weird personality changes that seemed a tad extreme for the place in the plot, and Ananna sadly began acting like many female protagonists in YA–totally dependent on the male lead and dealing with an (unrequited) love/romance subplot. That being said, I still liked both of these characters and wish there were more books in the series so I could keep reading about their adventures.
Now the story itself was cheesy at times, action-packed, awkwardly preteen-romance-esque, an adventure of a lifetime, and all-around exciting. There was a lot of diversity that made the plot somewhat predictable but not at the same time. Clarke did play with a number of cliches while tying in topics not usually broached in a YA fantasy novel, creating an interesting contrast between the two. In comparison to The Assassin’s Curse, this book improved greatly. I enjoyed the storyline much more than the first book, and felt the necessary closure needed at the end of a series when I finished The Pirate’s Wish. Plus, this book has pirates. And assassins, who could be compared to ninjas. Pirates and ninjas–I think the choice is obvious. Despite the plot being all over the place in organized chaos, I really enjoyed how Clarke unfolded Naji’s curse and the way to break it.
If you haven’t read The Assassin’s Curse, you should already have it in your hands. For those of you who did, definitely keep reading this series and get a copy of The Pirate’s Wish. Clarke has given us a wonderful pair of books here that are great for all ages. Check it out if you’re a fan of YA fantasy with a stubborn, determined pirate and a quiet, deadly assassin. A great continuation and end to an all-too-short series.