Thursday, May 30, 2013

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Title: The Pirate's Wish
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Series: The Assassin's Curse, book #2
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Publication Date: June 4, 2013
Source: received from publisher via Netgalley
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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.

So, the end to The Assassin's Curse came rather abruptly, and I was ill-at-ease to let the story go so suddenly.  These characters and their strange circumstances had made their way into my heart, and I was reluctant to see them go.  Lucky for me, I only read/listened to it a couple of months ago and didn't have to wait too long for the end to this duology.  And what a spectacular ending it was!

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I'm always intrigued yet leery of the new characters that are introduced in sequels, but I should have known better than to question such things when it comes to this author.  Especially since one of the new characters is a talking manticore named Ongraygeeomryn.  (Say that three times fast!)  A manticore has the body of a lion with a human face and a barbed tail like a scorpion, complete with poisonous spikes.  It can also have wings, like the one in Clarke's story and the image to the right.  Ananna forges yet another unlikely alliance with this mythical creature, and the trio sets out to break Naji's curse and free both Naji and Ananna from their bond.

I liked the manticore more and more as the story wore on.  She was tricksy but not in a completely evil way.  Under the guise of secretly helping Ananna to aide Naji in breaking one third of the curse -- the impossible task that we already know isn't quite so impossible -- she knowingly forces the duo to face their feelings, something neither would have done without the push.  Even so, it takes an achingly long time for them to get their act together.  Luckily, as with the first book, the focus of this story is not entirely on the romantic aspect but rather on the curse and the quest to break it.  Reunions are aplenty, as are pirates and assassins.  But I wouldn't have expected anything less from this story.

I love that with this story, we get to see so much of Ananna and Naji's world.  From the desolate floating island in the sky, to the torturous voyage across the sea, to the manticore's home on the Island of the Sun, I've been able to envision a lot of the beauty this world holds.  Though, it would still help to have a map to keep track of it.  I do so love maps of fantasy realms.  Even so, the lush imagery employed by the author, as well as her engaging prose, make it nearly impossible not to imagine yourself in this land of desert-dwelling assassins and bad-tempered pirates.

I can't tell you what ultimately happens with Ananna and Naji, but I can tell you that it was fitting in the best possible way.  Ananna is ill-mannered and foul-mouthed most of the time, while Naji continues to maintain control of his emotions and displays a knowledge that Ananna will surely never possess.  She is at home on the sea, and he will always be an assassin.  Their ending in this story is not perfect, but it is perfect for them, and I am supremely happy with the author for the way she finished their story. Even if there was a little less banter and a little more cold-shoulder this time around.  ;0)

I do hope that the author will revisit these characters in The Wizard's Promise series, since it is set in the same world as The Assassin’s Curse/The Pirate’s Wish series.  I'm still not ready to say goodbye to these characters, but at least I know they may pop up elsewhere in this world.  You can't go wrong with pirates, assassins, and magic. Full of unexpected surprises and three impossible tasks...I am unbelievably happy with how this duology turned out.

Rating:   photo 5-1.png

The Assassin's Curse series

The Witch's Betrayal (The Assassin's Curse, 0.5)The Assassin's Curse (The Assassin's Curse, #1)The Pirate's Wish (The Assassin's Curse, #2)The Automaton's Treasure

I just love these covers!!!  :D

About the author:

Cassandra Rose Clarke is a speculative fiction writer living amongst the beige stucco and overgrown pecan trees of Houston, Texas. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a bachelor’s degree in English, and in 2008 she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. Both of these degrees have served her surprisingly well.

During the summer of 2010, she attended the Clarion West Writers Workshop in Seattle. She was also a recipient of the 2010 Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.

Find Cassandra:

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Tumblr


  1. I really need to check out this series

  2. I did like the Assassin's Curse when I read it. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one as well. I might just have to read the sequel :)

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