The Pirate's Wish
In The Assassin's Curse, Cassandra Rose Clark introduced us to Ananna, a rebellious pirate princess, and Naji, a brooding and sensitive assassin. When Ananna escapes from an arranged marriage, her groom-to-be's family sends Naji to kill her, but when Ananna saves Naji's life, they become bound together by a magic curse, sending them on a mysterious, swashbuckling quest to break the curse. The book ends on something of a cliffhanger, and this sequel picks right up and brings the story to an exciting conclusion.
The Pirate's Wish is filled with the same rollicking action, strange magic, smart dialogue, mystery, wonder, and romance as the first book. The main characters develop more fully in this sequel, and we meet new characters, my favorites being a manticore named Ongraygeeomryn and the enigmatic King of Salt and Foam.
The conclusion is very satisfying, respectful to all of the characters as people and definitively ending the story that started in The Assassin's Curse. At the same time, Clarke leaves things open enough for a sequel, and the characters and setting are so deliciously wondrous and entertaining, I'm hoping for more stories set in this world, even if they don't involve Ananna and Naji (although I adore both characters). All in all, The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish make one terrific story with lots of appeal to readers who like romance, magic, adventure, and fantasy based on something other than Medieval/Renaissance Western Europe.