I don’t think it’s possible (or wise *raises fist*) to argue with me when I say that this series has the most INCREDIBLE cover designs. They really are impressive, with all these fantastic graphic designs intermingled with equally awesome artwork! The cover for THE PIRATE’S WISH does not disappoint, with a vivid background color, matching design, and a center that alludes to what we can expect this installment to be about. Strange Chemistry has done a highly commendable job giving covers to this series that encapsulates what both books are all about and presents it in a way that intrigues.
SUMMARY: 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.
WHAT HAD HAPPENED WAS:
Ananna is a pirate from a high-ranking family in the Pirate Confederation. But as notorious as her family is, they don’t have the resources to plunder this particularly attractive and tempting loot hotspot. And there’s only one thing for it: Ananna’s parents must ally themselves with a family who can, and to do it they must marry their daughter off to the son of that family. Alas, things don’t go according to plan because the last thing Ananna wants to be is second-in-command to a too-beautiful wannabe when she’s good and passionate enough to sail her own ship. Leaving the arrangement behind, however, leads to a whirlwind of consequences. Top of the list? Having a highly trained, legendary assassin on her tail at every turn ready to annihilate her. What neither she nor the assassin count on, though, is her good-hearted nature stepping in and saving him from an absolute death, triggering, you guessed it, the assassin’s curse.
Now an epic adventure quest is in full swing, as both desperately try to cure him of his impossible curse, only to learn that the answer, or should I say answers, they seek will not come to them easily. In fact, the solutions are said to be just as impossible as the assassin’s curse. Still, there’s nothing for it but to try, and with the opening of THE PIRATE’S WISH, Ananna and Naji are bringing themselves closer to end of their journey.
WHERE WE GO:
My excitement for THE PIRATE’S WISH is pretty much unparalleled compared to most sequels I’m anticipating. Because, though THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE wasn’t an absolute perfect read for me, it’s still one of my favorites, an extraordinary tale presented in a very unique fashion. The series doesn’t fall in with YA fantasy tropes and trends that I think most people allow themselves to expect when it comes to books like these and use them as an excuse not to pick them up. THE ASSASSIN’S CURSE series just proves that there are books that aren’t about this all-powerful “chosen one,” a prophecy, or a large-scale battle of good versus evil set in medieval-esque universe. This duology takes place in a kind of middle Eastern-inspired backdrop, navigating the seas and maneuvering in the desert, with two characters tied by a forced and unexpected irrevocable bond they seek to break, bringing with it the promise of adventure.
WHO WE ARE WITH:
I would totally share a single slice of my cheesecake with Ananna, which WHOA. But she’s just that awesome, that if she ever asked me for a piece, I’d gladly take the whole pie out of my fridge and allow her to even have the BIGGEST piece. Again: whoa. She’s not the most beautiful or sweetest of heroines, and I do adore that. But more than that I like that she has a gruff, blunt manner that hides the oversized heart she’s got, the one that, these days, seems to be beating only for Naji. She’s quick and clever, devious and sly, bad-tempered and easily frustrated, and the sea, more than your average pirate, belongs to her, is where she’s home.
I loved seeing her come into her own capabilities as a pirate, helping keep her friend’s ship afloat, managing the crew, and navigating through the seas by a natural talent. And of course I kept glaring at Naji throughout the first half of the book because Ananna’s heart was sore. But the manticore they meet perked things up considerably! My goodness, that beast is hilarious and interesting and definitely uncommon when it comes to magical beasts you expect to greet you during an adventure fantasy. I loved the surprising female solidarity both the beast and Ananna shared.
But mostly, I couldn’t stop gushing and squealing and making happy giggles over the direction of the romance. I know some people aren’t fully satisfied in that respect, but I certainly am. Because it wasn’t overdone to make me gag and I don’t think it took away from who Naji and Ananna are as people. Their lives will never completely fit into each other’s and yet they will always love and know that they are loved back and will forever be entwined, blood-bond or no. There’s a special kind of trust in that sort of unique relationship that they’ve chosen to have which best suits their needs as individuals. I LOVED THAT so so much!!
THE LITTLE THINGS:
- The Manticore Eats Men A Lot
- Ananna Gets Her Heart's Wish (As Do I)
- Every Damn Kiss %&$@@^I& ('Cause Hades knows we've been waiting!)
As much as I’m going to miss these characters, this particular story, I’m really happy that this is a duology. That Clarke and her team were able to definitively cut the story in half and that was all. No need to elongate it for the sake of a label, for the sake of making just another trilogy. It’s perfect the way it is and never once did I feel like it was being dragged out as it stands now. I can't imagine anyone not appreciating that, just as I can't imagine anyone not enjoying the heck out of these books! Give them a try and see for yourself.
Paperback / 336 pgs / June 18th 2013 / Strange Chemistry / Goodreads / $9.99
I received an e-galley of this installment from Strange Chemistry via Netgalley.