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.
Release Date: June 18, 2012
Published By: Strange Chemistry
Review Copy: ARC, mobi.
The first novel The Assassin's Curse completely pulled me in last year and ended up being one of my favorite reads. Basically what I am telling you is that I could not wait for the release of this book! When I was approved for it I was beside myself with excitement and started reading it the next day and I was not disappointed. The Pirate's Curse is every bit the original, gripping read that The Assassin's Curse was and possibly even better.
Creative worlds are not always easy to come by but with these novels they just keep on adding up. Most books balance themselves out with two and possibly three different worlds, where Clarke has created an entire smorgasbord of unique worlds and places and maintained order. This was above and beyond what I had expected as she had already wow'd me in the previous novel. There is also an introduction to a new character that I fell in love with but we will talk about her later on.
Ananna is such a wonderful character and I only grew to love her more in this book, as the focus was more on her than in the last book. By no means is she a perfect character but that is probably what makes her so appealing, the author has made her human and therefore relatable. There are so many ways to describe Ananna but the top three are: strong, stubborn and determined. This girl knows how to handle herself but in doing so she often finds herself in trouble. The only little thing that got to me in this one was that she cared a little too much about how things between her and Naji were going romantically. It was easily overlooked though because as I said in her faults the author made her more human. Every character has their weakness and this one was more than believable.
It only takes one character to really make a book and although I love Ananna and Naji, I think this book belonged equally to the Manticore. For those of you that don't know what a Manticore is, it's a legendary creature with the body of a lion and a human head, that also has a tail that produces poisonous spikes that kill and lastly wings! I will admit to having a hard time picturing her to start because I wanted to picture a hideous beast but as I read I found myself picturing something that may not be beautiful but not hideous. The Manticore's relationships with everyone but Ananna were somewhat rocky but the way she behaved and the things she said frequently had me laughing.
Action, adventure and new problems frequently pop up in this one but I think what stood out was the romance. Admittedly it is far from a traditional romance the moments that were shared between Ananna and Naji were perfect. That doesn't mean that they were together or that every time they touched there was sparks, no it just means the tension and the attraction was right for the book. What made it even better was that there wasn't your traditional Happily Ever After at the end. Though some may not appreciate that I did because nothing about the books was conventional so why should the end be?
I would never deny that I will miss these characters, the worlds and the adventures of this duology but I was happy with how it all came to an end. Will I wonder what transpires after the end? Absolutely. But isn't that how we know we have connected and enjoyed a read, when we can be happy yet picture a possible future? For a person that is picky when it comes to high fantasy books, this one has made me more open minded and brought the chance for others that they may not have gotten otherwise. Seriously if you haven't picked up these books get on it!!! You will not regret it.
My hands kept crawling over his chest and shoulders, trying to memorize the lines of his body, and I was dizzy, but in a good way, the way you get when you swing through the ropes on a clear sunny day. That was what kissing Naji was like: the best day at sea, warm sunlight and cool breeze. Happiness.
We sat in silence for a long time, the wind whistling around us.
I could hardly stand it. Everything up here in the rigging was bright-the white sails, the sunlight. And then Kaji had to show up, a dark imperfection.
He just laughed, which pissed me off. I wanted to shout something back to him, but he was talking to the serving girl again, leaning in close to her, and I figured he wasn't going to pay me no mind.
"It didn't strike you as weird they wouldn't tell you what's going on?" Naji glanced at me. "It's a little strange," he said. "But not nearly as strange as a talking shark." I sighed.