The Pirate’s Wish is the sequel to The Assassin’s Curse and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book.

Stranded on the Isles of the Sky, Ananna and Naji fill their days catching and eating fish and bickering over whether or not Ananna should be allowed to wander off. Naji’s curse can only be broken by three impossible tasks; true love’s kiss, to hold a princess’s starstones against skin and to create life from violence. They’re not going to happen sat around on an enchanted island waiting for a boat to rescue them…

The Pirate’s Wish is a fun, pirating adventure. They spend much more time sailing the seas than in The Assassin’s Curse and I loved all the swashbuckling. The core is their quest to break the curse, freeing Naji from the debilitating headaches he gets whenever Ananna is in danger. And she’s in danger a lot.

The real treat is the manticore. I dare you to read this without smiling at her actions. I kind of want my own manticore to cuddle up to (it’s OK they don’t eat girl-humans, only boy-humans). I kept laughing at her eagerness to eat people. I mean, in theory she should have been a scary creature but she’s just so lovable, even if no one can pronounce her name; Ongraygeeomryn.

“Sharks?” I squinted out at the horizon, light flashing up into my eyes. “Don’t let anybody fall into the water, it’ll be fine.”

The impossible tasks didn’t seem all that impossible though. By the end of the first book, I think we all know that true love’s kiss was the easy one. I absolutely loved their reluctant romance although I started to get a tiny bit annoyed with Ananna’s resistance after a certain event which wasn’t Naji’s fault but she blamed it on him. There’s a wonderfully touching scene where Ananna and Marjani have a sex chat. One of the tasks presented an impossible scenario at least but the other was rushed over. Even in the context of magic, it just didn’t seem enough time for it all to be established.

One thing I loved about The Assassin’s Curse was the evocative writing conjuring up this wonderful world in the desert. This time, it’s more about the action but there are still smatterings of beautiful, descriptive writing. Especially when it comes to Anann’s feelings towards Naji. His magic also becomes more alive and you can really tell how powerful he is. The story was full of awww moments for me, which shows how much I connected to the characters. Even when they were annoying.

The Pirate’s Wish is published by Strange Chemistry and is available now in paperback and ebook formats. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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Also reviewed @ Birth of a New Witch

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement. My reviews are my honest opinion and are not biased for the purpose of personal gain.