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on 7 December 2013
The second half of the story begun in The Assassin's Curse as this is basically one long book split into two. It's a light, fast read which comes to a satisfying cionclusion despite a couple of places where the sexual tension gets stretched out purely because the main characters seem to wilfully misunderstand each other's intentions.

I was a little disappointed to find that this was not going to be a longer series because I enjoyed the first one so much, however this tied up all the loose ends, so I'm happy to leave it there.

Ananna has a strong voice and Naji, the scar-faced assassin, is suitably moody. The worldbuilding was mostly completed in the first book, but is maintained very well.

This book picks up where the last one left off, with Ananna and Naji marooned on a magical island. I wish I hadn't left so long between reading the first and second volume because it took me a while to read myself back into it, but once I picked up the threads I was fine.

Ananna has unwittingly saved the life on Naji, her would-be assassin, set on her by a pirate family she mortally offended while trying to escape marriage to their son (in book one). In doing so she has triggered a curse and now Naji is forced to protect her or suffer dreadful consequences. Of course they fancy each other rotten, but neither will admit it, hence the wilful misunderstandings that almost-but-not-quite stretch reader credibility.

I'm probably not giving much away if I tell you that happy endings follow several plot twists. Thoroughly enjoyable.
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on 10 August 2013
The Assassin's Curse was one of the surprise hits of last year. I loved it, it was imaginative, full of characters I loved and delightfully original. I couldn't wait to get my hands of the follow up, The Pirate's Wish. I needed to know if Ananna and Naji managed to break the curse and was desperate to find out if romance finally bloomed between the two. Anticipation was high and I was nervous that this would disappoint. Thankfully it didn't and I got all the answers I wanted.

The Pirate's Wish picks up where The Assassin's Curse left off. Ananna and Naji are trapped on an island with three impossible tasks ahead of them. The tasks will break the curse that was placed upon Naji when Ananna saved his life when he was sent to kill her.

Within pages of opening this book I was absorbed and back in the amazing world Cassandra Rose Clarke has created. I love her writing and world building and it is easy to get lost in this magical world. It is vibrant and full of character and charm. There is a ton of action and some lovely mellow moments as well. This is a well-paced book that knows when to speed up of slow down.

The Pirate's Wish takes a more adult feeling through this and I was surprised how much the romance was central to the whole story. In the previous book the romance was just a faint whisper in the background, in this it is central. I knew it was going to be bigger in this book given the nature of one of the impossible tasks but I wasn't expecting it to start so quickly.

The relationship between Ananna and Naji is a strained one and it has always been bizarre. They are tied reluctantly together in the beginning and things get more awkward when Ananna develops feelings that are not returned. There is pain here and misunderstanding and it shapes the story as a whole. I think that will disappoint some readers who enjoyed the lack of romance in the first book but I think it was inevitable. Ananna and Naji are together in so many aspects and in order for them to achieve anything they need each other and they always have. It was fate that bought them together and they will only achieve the impossible together.

Characters are key in this book. Ananna was just as awesome as she was in The Assassin's Curse but I also think she grew up a lot in this one. What I love about Ananna is her refusal to be anything she wasn't. She had her own ideas, her own views and she stuck to them. She loves Naji but will not let him control her and she does not let her gender stand in her way at all. I loved her strength and wish there were more characters like her in YA fiction.

Naji (who is one of my 5 book boyfriends) was just as perfect. There was a vulnerability to him in this that was not present in the first book. He was more human and his feelings were a lot more pronounced. He is a pretty special guy and I loved the respect he had for Ananna. He was adorable in the romance when it finally got going but despite his feelings and his own wishes he didn't even try and hold Ananna back, he wanted her to be herself and be happy even if that meant she wasn't with him. He was the lead in the romance which was a pleasant surprise and it was easy to see how much he cared for Ananna, even the more sexual scenes (swoon) were full of tenderness from him.

I will really miss these two characters. Cassandra Rose Clarke is a brilliant writer who has created an amazing world but Ananna and Naji are the heart of it all. The ending was perfect, a bitter sweet finish to a series that has never played by the rules of an at times repetitive YA genre. It was a real treat to read these books and they will be favourites of mine for the rest of my life.
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on 12 August 2014
I liked this book better than the Assassins Curse. Overall, I felt there was better plot development & more interesting characters. However the solution to the 3 impossible tasks seemed a bit over-simplified - considering task 1 & 3 required very little effort on Najis part, and solution 2 was conveniently handed to them. That being said, the first 70% of the book kept me really engaged, it was only the last 30% that felt a bit rushed, and where things conveniently fell into place for Ananna & Naji. I would have also liked to see the both of them grow as characters, instead of their constant love-hate relationship & bickering. Read this book if you enjoyed the Assassins Curse.
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on 26 June 2013
I really enjoyed this second instalment in the The Assassin's Curse duology. I'd really liked Ananna and Naji in the first book, and I was hoping things were going to turn out a certain way.

Adding a manticore into the mix here surprised me somewhat but worked quite well, and I really liked her. She added something to this book for me and I was slightly disappointed when they dropped her off. I enjoyed the relationship that was built between her and Ananna.

Part of me felt though, and this could just have been my bad memory, but that Naji and Ananna's characters had changed somewhat from the first book. While in The Assasin's Curse I enjoyed the dangerous, mysterious and broody guy that was Naji, I felt he acted more 'little boy lost' in this book and seemed to sulk or something. When he doesn't return Ananna's feelings towards him, she's just really mean to him all the time, so he just tries to stay out of her way. I found this annoying on both of their parts. And I never would have guessed his feelings for her, he gave absolutely nothing away.

That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the antagonistic relationship between the two of them, I did. But I'd been hoping that they would get together, knowing Ananna had feelings for Naji and just hoping they would be reciprocated. But when they did eventually get together, there was nothing. No sparks, no swooning. It just didn't fulfil my expectations at all which was slightly disappointing.

And something that only came to mind sometime after finishing this book, was that, for three apparently, impossible tasks, they weren't that hard to accomplish.

So, to reiterate, as this seems quite negative lol. I did really enjoy The Pirate's Wish and I would recommend this series. The plot is decent and I enjoyed the characters.
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on 9 September 2013
The pirates wish is the second cool to the assasins curse.
In this cool Annana and Naji have to break the curse by doing the tired not so impossible tasks.

Likewise with assasins curse this is a quick paced read full of emotion and humor. I found it very hard to put down and finished it in a less than a day.

The creature on the front cover is known as a Manticure and the character is a great addition to the majority of the story.

There is a review piece that demands for more books like this and i fully agree!
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on 16 June 2013
My secret confession is I adore fantasy books with odd couple romances, especially when the man involved in dark and dangerous. The sad reality is 99% of books in this genre are badly written tosh with unbearable protagonists.
This book is not one of those, it gleams like a rare gem. The female protagonist is smart, brave and straight talking yet is also fearful and vulnerable when out of her depth. The prose is written in the first person in which Annana's accent and character shine through. The world created in this book is so imaginative and painted so vividly that I really felt sad to leave. Each location our characters visit is full of atmosphere and the people (and non-people) they meet are memorable, well written individuals.

I read this book in 'two bites' so to speak, in my first sitting I blazed through 78%! I just couldn't put it down and I really wish it was longer simply because I didn't want to leave. I hope the author reads her amazon reviews because she should be extremely proud of such a great first book and I'll be certain to read anything else she publishes!
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on 16 June 2013
Caroline for
Copy via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review

The Pirates Wish is book two in the Assassins Curse duology and as such this review may contain unintentional spoilers for book one.

It's no secret that I loved The Assassins Curse (Strange Chemistry) ( read my review here==>, and I began agonizing over the wait for The Pirates Wish from the moment I turned the final page of the first book. As one of my most anticipated releases for 2013, you can imagine my delight at getting my hands on an advanced readers copy, and shortening that wait by a few weeks.

I was immediately transported back to the creepy and disorientating Isles of Sky. Weeks after the events of Assassins Curse, barely tolerating the cold, rain and monotony, Naji and Anna are no nearer to finding the cure to the curse and their misery was palpable.

Into this environment of listlessness Cassandra introduces a new character, a manticore (with an unpronounceable name), who's uniqueness and humorous partnership with Ananna is a sparkling light in the gloom.

The introduction of new friends doesn't detract from our reunion with our beloved characters. We learn more about Marjani and the circumstances which led to her life on the high seas. While I appreciated the friendship and support she provided to Ananna in the first book, in The Pirates Wish her mentorship of Ananna is more than just instructive. Naji is still very much strong, silent and brooding. But like Ananna, through better acquaintance, we learn to read Naji's non-verbal cues more clearly.

After all of her experiences, I was not at all surprised to find that Annana is not quite the bolshie, over confident, firecracker we met in book one. While she retains her distinctive voice, quick witted snark, and fierce loyalty, she is at times winey and self serving, and I found her naive attempts to catch Naji's attention and make him jealous, squirming uncomfortable. Ananna's flaws, however, make her more believable as character, marked her growing up, and actually endeared her to me even more.

At one point, as Cassandra's imagination conjured up an unexpected twist in the quest to break Naji's curse, I found it difficult to suspend my disbelief. Although the twist was firmly grounded in Cassandra's excellent world building, It was just a tad too "Disney" for me.

While the ending may not have been the traditional HEA ( I have an increasing respect for Clarkes unique perspective of love and romance. Read my review of The Mad Scientist's Daughter here==> ) that romance fans like myself crave, it was absolutely perfect for the characters and so beautifully written that I have already re-read the final chapter twice.

After bemoaning the trilogy formula, and the agony of committing to a series for two years or more, the current spate of duologys (that's a sequel to you and I) have come as a welcome relief. However, I am one who is never satisfied and I can't help wishing that we could spend more time in Ananna and Naji's lives (yes I want to have my cake and eat it!).

However, I am happy to be consoled with the news that although The Assassin/Pirates story is complete, Cassandra will be revisiting the world in The Wizards Promise, another duology for Strange Chemistry (expected publication 2014).

Verdict: For me Cassandra Rose Clarke is an author who's work is synonymous with one click preorder.
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on 6 June 2013
Following in the footsteps of The Assassin's Curse (the first part of this two-book series), The Pirate's Wish delivers an original and adventurous tale that is (wonderfully) quite difficult to predict. Our pirate and assassin duo provide as much entertainment this time around as they did in the first book, now finally setting off to break the curse binding them together.

From this point forward, and as so many of us have been anticipating, the romance develops into something more substantial and definite than the subtle shades of attraction first seen towards the end of The Assassin's Curse. While the pacing is untidy in places, and the change in Ananna's personality as a result a little disappointing, the progression between the characters is a fairly satisfying one. The journey to the end result is a very bumpy, however, and, for me, not quite as rewarding as I would have liked. Despite that, the characters constantly engage and never fail to demand attention.

The storyline is where Clarke unleashes her true creativity and imagination. We have talking sharks from the Court of the Wave, ghostly threats from the world of the Mists, boisterous manticores from the Island of the Sun - there is so much going on in this book, and while large parts feel a little disjointed from the rest, The Pirate's Wish never strays too close to overwhelming. If anything, it's an effortless read, and the very sort of book that escapists will undoubtedly appreciate, even if only momentarily. This duology has served me well mostly for those reasons, and I'm sure that I'll be itching to get my hands on The Wizard's Promise (the first book in Clarke's new series) when it releases next year.

Actual rating: 3.5 stars
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on 17 June 2013
Thank you Cassandra Rose Clarke, for your book The Pirate's Wish I was enthralled by the first book The Assassin's Curse. Which was spellbinding, to find that this book as fun as the first. If you do read this book there are two others, The witch's betrayal which is set before the first book and tells a tale of Naji The Assassin, then there is The automaton's treasure, both of which are short stories...
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on 26 July 2015
I really didn’t like the romance in this book, probably because Ananna became irritatingly stubborn, and just plain annoying. Her entire character went from enjoyably snarky in one book, to a stubborn pain in the ass who refuses to listen to other people’s opinions. This made all developments between her and Naji less enjoyable. I also didn’t like the way the romance was portrayed either. It was almost like a switch was flicked and they went from ignoring each to snogging.

Another aspect I wasn’t entirely fond of was how weird it got. The first first had mystical beings, and strange magic, but that was all written pretty well. This one had manticores and talking sharks in vests. It was all so ridiculous that it made it seem more like a children’s book than anything else.

And then there was the subplots, the many, many subplots. Honestly there was just way too many aspects in this book which made the story go from enjoyable to downright unbelievable. By ‘unbelievable’ I mean the sort where you sit there not understandig how the book goes from being stuck on an island to being attacked by the ghost of a wizard who was eaten by a manticore he was intending to kill. It’s just all ridiculous.

Unfortunately this sequel was nowhere near as good as the first, which disappointed me a lot.
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