Thursday, 23 May 2013

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

The Pirate's Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke is the concluding volume of the story started in The Assassin's Curse, a book I loved when I read it last August. The Pirate's Wish does not disappoint on the pay-off that was set up in the first book.

The Pirate's Wish picks up not long after The Assassin's Curse ended.  Given that these were originally one volume, the second book can't really be read without reading the first beforehand. This review contains some spoilers for the first book. Blurb:
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.

At the end of book one, we learnt what Naji must do to break the curse that binds him to Ananna. Now the two of them, plus Marjani and a new character I don't want to spoil, need to complete Naji's three impossible tasks. The story is full of action and adventure and Ananna kicking arse. Quite frankly, it's a fun read.

My biggest qualm with book one was Ananna's voice — first person pirate speak — which took me a while to get used to. I had a similar issue in The Pirate's Wish but I got used to it much more quickly. I enjoyed the dialogue, however, between all the characters. And the new characters, most notably the one that features somewhere on the cover. Ahem. The other semi-issue I had with it was that one of the impossible tasks Naji must complete had a possible unsavoury resolution and I spent some time worrying about how it was going to come to pass. It didn't go that way, but ultimately I didn't like that it could have. (Although for some reason this didn't occur to me when the tasks were given out at the end of the first book.)

Awesome female characters continue to be a strong point of the story. We learn more about Marjani and see Naji learn more leadership skills which I enjoyed. There is also a bit about the realities of piracy, which I thought was nice, instead of romanticising it too much. Not that it's really gritty or particularly dark, but the reader does confront the fact that piracy involves stealing things and killing people.

Overall, The Pirate's Wish (and The Assassin's Curse) is an enjoyable, quick read. I recommend the series to any fantasy fans that like adventure and great female protagonists. And if you haven't already, read my review of The Assassin's Curse, in which I wax lyrical about navigation. And then go read the book.

4.5 / 5 stars

First published: June 2013, Strange Chemistry (Angry Robot)
Series: The Assassin's Curse, book 2 or 2
Format read: eARC on my Kobo
Source: Courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley

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