I was absolutely convinced The Pirate's Wish (Goodreads | Amazon) was a middle book. Completely 100% believed it. But apparently, this story was a duology not a trilogy. Here's the thing; The Pirate's Wish is good. As a reader my needs were completely met by the end of this book. But if you're expecting something as great as The Assassin's Curse (reviewish thing here), you need to pull in the reins of your expectation.
Personally I like raging Ananna. I can see the problems that other readers would have with her. She spends half this book stomping around being pissed at Naji and not listening to anything he tries to say. Yes it creates more conflict than necessary. But really, she has every reason to be pissed and angry at the world. And why do I like it? It feels completely authentic and true to the rash, brash pirate girl we met in the first book. The reader sees Ananna's vulnerability through her anger, despite the raging and trying to hide her feelings, you see that she's hurt. She's not one to talk about her feelings, she's the type to act out rather than cope. On top of that, I can see myself raging and stomping around like Ananna. It feels true to the character and true to life.
"You killed the son of Captain Hariri," Marjani said, "one of the richest pirates in the Confederation, before he could kill you. You helped win a sea battle against the Hariri clan. You struck a deal with a manticore and lived. Why do you care what Naji thinks of you?"
I didn't have an answer to that.When I read the author's note at the end and I learned that Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish had once been one megabook a lightbulb went off and I thought "Oh that makes sense." The plot in the second book doesn't feel as urgent or as necessary, breaking the curse becomes almost a foregone conclusion. However what I loved about The Assassin's Curse, fiery Annanna and sullen protective Naji, was still there. We get the added bonus of exploring the rich world Clarke has built and meeting a hilariously sassy talking manticore. I was satisfied with this book, even if the journey at times felt like an unnecessary obstacle course, ultimately I'm glad I got there.
In conclusion I just wanted to find a way of to include this Ananna quote. What I wanted to show was that she's still the smart, bold character that we loved that everyone always underestimates. Only after I typed the review did I realize it kind of describes the book at times. But some things are worth dawdling for.
"What?" I stepped forward, whole body tense. "What do you mean dawdled?"
The Assassin looked at me. "Ah, the joys of dealing with the uneducated-"
"I know what the fuck the word means..."