The Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke

the pirate's wishThe Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke (The Assassin’s Curse #2)
Published June 18, 2013 by Strange Chemistry, 327 pp.
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

How goes it?

The worst the Mists do here is pop up intermittently, barely touching either Ananna and Naji, the Hariris don’t exactly put up an epic fight, and they do come to terms. They do all right. *grumbles* This is still a good, light read, with just enough details to hold your attention, but definitely read the first book.

Also: where can I get a manticore? This particular kind of manticore anyway.

I am actually feeling kind of lost, thanks to the ending of this duology, because up until those last twenty or so pages, I was going to give this book a solid 4, because swashbuckling pirates! Assassins wielding magic! Sea battles! And then The Pirate’s Wish threw me that ending and all my thought processes came to a screeching halt because (spoiler alert) that was the first time I saw a happy ending that wasn’t exactly one – because they aren’t together-together.
This book amplifies the romance aspect of it a bit more, because if you’ve read The Assassin’s Curse, by the end of the book Ananna realizes that maybe, just maybe, she could be the one to fulfill one of the three impossible tasks. Namely, the one with true love’s kiss. And she does get it done pretty fast, thanks to one of my favorite characters: the manticore. Really, Naji and Ananna needed the nudge for them to actually move forward in their relationship, otherwise they would’ve just danced around each other and not get anything done.
There’s still swashbuckling adventure of course, but this is one of the rare instances that I find that the romance detracted from my enjoyment. I enjoyed the first book so much because Ananna was kick-ass, and here she’s toned down a bit, maybe because most of the time she isn’t on the sea, or maybe because she’s nursing her broken heart over her presumed unrequited feelings. Either way, this lacked some of the action I loved so much in the first book, and you can definitely feel that this is a second book. You know what I mean?
I still enjoyed this, because most of the foundation for this was laid in the Assassin’s Curse, and everyone got their happy ending. Sort of. At least Marjani was reunited with her love. I suppose I’ll just be happy that Naji and Ananna resolved their feelings for each other.

TL;DR

4
A neat ending for a duology with an awesome world, and quite satisfying. If you’re willing to accept “absence makes the heart grow fonder” as an appropriate description for long distance relationships.
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