Goodreads 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 and their wits. But Naji has unseen enemies, and Ananna must face the wrath of the Pirate Confederation.Goodreads / Barnes and Noble
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.
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
First Line: "Do you feel that?" Naji asked.
Favorite Quote: "I'm sorry . . . sorry about what happened, and I want you to know that it isn't how it seemed" - "Yeah," I snapped, "That was the whole problem."
*Note: Quote makes a lot more sense if you've read the book.
I really enjoyed the first in this two-book series last year, so I was more than willing to dive into the second one. Orange is not generally a color I like on a cover, but I think it really works here. I honestly had no idea what kind of creature was being featured there, but after finishing it I can safely say that it's a manticore. I may have heard of them before, but I still needed the author's description to remember what they looked like (and, of course, the picture helped). They're definitely kind of creepy to look at, but I became surprisingly attached to the one Ananna met. Her name is far too long to pronounce properly - honestly, I didn't even try - so more often that not she's simply referred to as "the manticore", which was fine by me. She was matter-of-fact and easy to love, despite the fact that she ate people. I was sad to see her go about halfway through The Pirate's Wish - I was hoping she would make a reappearance, but no.
I loved Ananna's character the first time around, and I'm happy to say that didn't change. She was fierce and stubborn, but not to the point of being annoying. She was very strong, but I could still relate to her most of the time. All aspects were balanced out nicely. I found it kind of funny that, after having complained about the lack of romance in The Assassin's Curse, it began here with Ananna kissing Naji in his sleep. I wanted them to kiss, but . . . I kind of wanted both of them awake for it. I was also pretty fond of Naji's character most of the time. Sometimes, though, I didn't understand his actions. Pretty far into the book, he rejects Ananna's romantic feelings for him more than once. Obviously, she was upset by this and tried to avoid him a lot (since after the first kiss it was apparent that she loved him). But finally, Naji starts kissing Ananna and wanting to be with her. I was thrilled by this - they make a cute couple - but I was also confused. I really wanted Naji to have some kind of explanation for why he had changed his mind so suddenly, but nothing like that happened, which I found very strange. You'd think Ananna would have been curious about his change of heart.
I think I got to know the world a bit better, which was awesome. There's the Confederacy and the Empire for sure, and a bunch of other people running around. There's elements of magic, good and bad, and the characters never stay in one place for very long. I was extremely curious about how they were going to go about completing the three impossible tasks - experience true love's first kiss, find a princess' starstones and hold them skin against stone, and create life out of an act of violence. They definitely did sound impossible, but Clark was very creative in how everything played out, which kept me entertained most of the time. This series isn't an all-time favorite of mine, but I can say that they are exciting and inventive, two things that can really add awesomeness to a book. The ending was pretty satisfying - though Naji and Ananna won't exactly be together all the time, I'm sure that they will find time to meet up and be happy.
Books in this series:
1. The Assassin's Curse
2. The Pirate's Wish
The Nocturnal Library
Picture Me Reading
Love Is Not A Triangle