My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Warning: Many teasers in the review.
I have some very conflicting feelings about this book. The rational side of my mind says,”That is so expended” but the reader in me snarls back in contempt,”That’s what makes it so awesomesauce. Using so many cliches and still managing to produce a very, very fine book is the mark of some fairly clever author skills.”
And my final verdict is to kick out the annoying rational side. I did have problems with this book but nothing that thirteen hours deep sleep and a rather tamed nightmare can’t wash out.
Let’s catch up, shall we?
Ananna of The Tanarau was to marry some bastard from the Hariri clan. She runs away but they send an assassin after her. However, she accidentally saves his life(which, ladies, you should never do even if he’s cursed like our dear Naji). But the assassin once pissed of a sadistic witch and she dropped a curse on him, which stops him from hurting Ananna or getting her hurt. They try to seek out a cure and in the process get stuck on an island that is as magical as can be, so of course, it’s also very dangerous and very, very alive. Plus, there is also the powerful yet useless wizard whom they manage to piss off after he tells them that the cure of the curse is the fulfillment of three impossible tasks.
~touching a starstone to his skin
~creating life out of violence
~kissing his true love
But… the impossible tasks are even more impossible because these two are marooned on the island. And Ananna realizes that one of these three tasks isn’t impossible, after all.
The Pirate’s Wish picks up from there.
Ananna is volatile as ever. Her actions in this book leave a lot to be desired. But if she weren’t so, she wouldn’t be Ananna. She is one of the few teenagers who will brandish a sword if their beloved doesn’t reciprocate her feelings. Her behavior is very piss-off-able and could be the cause of much vexation, unless, like me, you love her all the same.
I appreciate that Cassandra Rose Clarke is not one for swooning. There’s a lot of swooning and mooning from Ananna but there are other characters to set her straight and tell her in no uncertain terms that mooning is just one letter short of moroning.
He was thinking about me,” I said, dazed.
“Shut up, girl.”
“The big deal?”
“You know.” I didn’t know how to put it into words. “How it’s supposed to feel really good, and you just… fall away…”
“Oh, that.” Marjani laughed again. “You know you don’t need Naji for that. Or anyone.”
“…I don’t want to see a single misty-eyed glance his way, do you understand?… and I have neither the patience nor the inclination to put up with a heartsick child.”
So many practical and no-bullshit people make me giddy.
The book is so disney-fairy-tale-ish, minus the excessive sexism and prince-charming-ism and distressed-damsel-ism. It’s even whimsical at times, with armored sharks and an alchemical/soothsayer octopus. There are boons granted*, a few pirate fights, manticore royalty, lesbian queens and the like. The story is also very simplistic and straightforward. Even the curse which is supposed to be riddling solves itself out due to the whole action-reaction law of Einstein. It just jumps from one point to the other, and doesn’t require a lot of brain-racking.
The world is delectable as ever with a barrage of difficult and weird names. Many new characters and some old ones. Yay for Jokjana(people of Jokja) and yay for snakehearts!
Such a fun and easy ride.
The romantic aspect of the book is meh, IMO. Ananna’s feelings seemed genuine but on the other hand, his were just too abrupt. And I’d have loved for him to clear things up a bit more.
And let’s put it out there: While I could see the book taking off in another direction and giving us an even less traditional ending, I still love this a-tad-bit-less-traditional happily-ever-after. I wish more high-fanatsy books would join the rank.
Ananna is now right up there with Alanna in my list of favorite heroines from the fantasy realm.
However, I still like The Assassin’s Curse better even though by my complex and scientific(and accurate) calculations, this book should be better. Have a look at it for yourself.
Assassin= Sa-chan= Not cool.
Pirate= Monkey D. Luffy= Very cool.
The science is so obvious.
*Note: You should never accept a boon from a manticore, or rather, don’t let them grant you one of their own accord. Make the wish yourself or you’ll be very sorry.
Much love to the publishers for providing a copy.