The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Title: The Pirate’s Wish
Loved it
Graded
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Elements: Assassins, Pirates
Series: Book 2 of The Assassin’s Curse duology

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 and their wits. But Naji has unseen enemies, and Ananna must face the wrath of the Pirate Confederation.

Together, they must travel afar, defeat their foes and break the mother of all curses. With all this going on, falling in love would be such a bad idea… All of this and much, much more await, in the swashbuckling sequel to The Assassin’s Curse.

 

Duology. Yep, I’m as disappointed as you are that this is the end of Ananna and Naji’s story. Just thought I’d let it out there first before we continue on with this review.

The Pirate’s Wish continues straight where we left off from The Assassin’s Curse. That island is perhaps my least favourite part of the duology, purely because the story felt so contained within that setting. There seemed little for the characters to do, and I could feel their boredom pouring off the page.

Luckily, a few mishaps and a meddling manticore later, we get straight into the thick of action, travelling and getting rid of the curse. It was surprising to me, how much happened in TPW as compared to its predecessor. Then, I was still under the (mistaken) impression that this was going to be a trilogy or more, and seeing that we’d discovered the curse and not solved any of the impossible tasks in TAC, we’d get to it at a rate of one per book.

Yeah, I don’t know either. I was pleased at how much traction Ananna and Naji were getting with in regards to their attraction and solving the tasks. Oh man, when their mutual attraction got recognised, we got some pretty steamy, emotionally relevant and plot developing scenes that hit me right in the feels. I find myself still wondering about Naji’s motivations and thoughts during those scenes, for it would have been doubly squee-inducing to have both Ananna and Naji’s thoughts then.

Though of course, Clarke made sure to feed my hunger by giving exactly that later on. Excuse me while I indulge in some fangirl moments.

What I wasn’t pleased about was how cruel Ananna got as she lashed out with absolutely no holds barred when she got rejected. Granted, it was actually right within the characterisation for her to do that, but I still expected better of her.

Then again, it was nice to read about a protagonist who wasn’t so wholly in love, and so selfless, that she would willingly sacrifice herself for the love interest. It was ugly, but it was honest, real and human.

The ending. Well, that’s a hard one. Spoilers ahead.

I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about it. On one hand, it’s great to have a happy ending for everyone. I love when the characters I root for have a happy ending. However, it’s one thing to have a happy ending, and another to have a happy ending that is true to the characterisation. I’m not talking about what I feel is the correct ending for the end of their journey in the story, for I believe it’s up to the reader to interpret it.

My interpretation was that while it was a fitting, even perfect ending for their characters, it was not a fitting time for the characters to reach the ending. The conclusion to the main conflict and romance was entirely rushed through, and the valid concerns about their future were quickly brushed under the rug.

As a reader, I’m just left hanging about the mystery of Naji’s occupation that seems to be the big barrier that both he and Ananna would face. It’s more frustration than actual curiosity–in theory, while I understood that this was what was going to happen to them sometime in the future, Ananna’s vehemence about the issue right then showed that she was not yet ready to face that decision. Reassurances from Naji that Ananna would be happy about the decision later was not enough, for I felt like both Ananna and I were forced into accepting a decision that she didn’t have a say in.

For all I adore Naji, I didn’t appreciate that. And much, much worse, I didn’t appreciate that Ananna convinced herself that she was okay with that then, for it was out of character, and she was clearly not okay the decision.

And let’s talk about the big bad. I was led to believe that this was a threat that not even Naji could face without some serious consequences. Yet, he was destroyed so quickly, so inconsequentially, that I didn’t feel at all justified with his end.

Ah well, that’s it for Ananna and Naji. Seeing how things ended, I hope that we’d get to see more of them in the other duology set in the same universe. This time, I don’t need a cameo; I just love these characters so much that I need some validation that they’re happy in the future. (Which would suck if the story wasn’t held in the future. Make it happen, please?)

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