Reading Level: Young Adult
Size: 320 pages
Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Date: June 4, 2013
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Assassin’s Curse Duology
Source: eGalley from NetGalley.com
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Assassin’s Curse duology. I absolutely adored The Assassin’s Curse and also really loved Clarke’s adult novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. This book was just as wonderful as the first book in this series. It’s full of magic and adventure with some romance. You definitely need to read Assassin’s Curse first (originally this was going to be one book, but was then broken into two books because of length). Clarke is planning on writing two more books that take place in this world but feature different characters.
Ananna and Naji are trapped in a mysterious island of the North. When the resident wizard dies, they meet a strange an unlikely ally. Eventually Marjani comes to their rescue and they are able to continue their quest to break the curse on Naji. Along the way they will have to fight pirates and even journey below the ocean waves.
This was a spectacular read. The world-building is wonderfully done, it’s such a magical world and well detailed. It’s the type of world I would love to go and visit. The plot is well done too. It’s got this whole questing feel to it because of the three things Ananna and Naji have to do to break his curse; it ends up being more complicated than just that. Still I loved the classic fantasy questing feel the story had to it.
Ananna is an incredibly prickly and highly strung heroine; she’s like a firework always on the edge of exploding. She is a ferocious fighter but is incredibly sensitive about pretty much everything. I kept wanting to shake her and tell her to just calm down and let Naji talk. She is still highly entertaining just a bit flawed as well.
Naji isn’t the most expressive male lead, but I still thought his patience with Ananna was admirable considering how touchy she is. He is a strong male lead and a very interesting and mysterious character. We get to learn a lot more about him and his past in this story.
Marjani also plays a huge role in this story; we learn a ton about her past and the reason she has taken up pirating. She was probably the most mature character of the novel and I enjoyed how her level-headedness balanced out Naji and Ananna.
There are wonderful and spectacular things that happen in this story. There are pirate battles, magical creatures, evil wizards, beautiful kingdoms, and underwater worlds that are explored. It is a breathtaking and wondrous adventure. There is some humor throughout as well, which keeps things fun.
The pacing is very good and keeps the reader engaged from the beginning to the end. The story wraps things up in a way that is realistic and very well done.
Overall an absolutely fantastic read. I enjoyed the world, the plot, and the characters a lot. The story is very engaging and the world is absolutely magical. This is an excellent fantasy read. Highly recommended to fans of The Assassin’s Curse and fans of quest based fantasy. I love this book and can’t wait to read Clarke’s future novels.