The Assassin’s Curse had been on my to-read list for a while. I’ve had bad experiences with fantasy books in the past so I tend to shy away from the genre, but I love YA so I thought I’d give this one a shot. After having to jump through hoops to get it from the library and waiting weeks, I ended up reading the book in a day and a half. I loved the Arabian fantasy setting and the world-building was spot on.

As her parents are pirate captains, Ananna (the main character) wants nothing more than to captain her own ship. When her parents decide to arrange a marriage between Ananna and another pirate family, she hightails it out of there. From the very beginning, Ananna proves herself to be a capable heroine and even when she joins forces with the deadly Naji (the assassin that was hired to kill her for breaking the marriage agreement), she doesn’t fall into the damsel-in-distress cliché. She never cuts him any slack and it’s fun to read them together. As soon as I read the last page, I knew I needed the next one. Fast forward a month later to when I finally got my hands on the sequel (thanks to the NY Public Library) and I tore through it within two days! The sequel did not disappoint.

The story blasts off right out of the gate, picking up right where the previous book left off. The Pirate’s Wish surprised me in places, which is hard to do. The unusually frank topics that come up are handled well. I 100% recommend this duology and if you want to read more of this universe, there’s a spin-off/sequel series called The Hanna Duology (though in the interest of full disclosure, I haven’t read it…yet). Unfortunately, the imprint publishing the series shut down last year and only the first book, The Wizard’s Promise has been released. Hopefully, Clarke can work some magic of her own and satisfy the fans of this series soon.