**Find this and other reviews @ The Demon Librarian**Pirate & Assassin LoveOne of my favorite fantasy books of last year was The Assassin's Curse. I fell in love with Ananna and Naji and was absolutely beside myself with excitement when I received the sequel, THE PIRATE'S WISH. I was actually in the middle of another book at the time and dropped it like a hot potato, because I couldn't wait another second to read about my favorite pirate and assassin's continuing adventures. The sequel picks up right where book one left off. Ananna and Naji are stranded on a dangerous island, and it's beginning to take its toll. They're snappy, on edge, and it seems that the fragile trust and friendship they built in book one is on the verge of a total collapse. Even if they do escape the island (which of course they do - it wouldn't be much of a story if they didn't), the impossible curse that binds their lives together continues to hang over both their heads. Breaking the curse is the driving force behind the entire book. The first task is completed rather quickly, but the remaining two are not so easily checked off the list. Throw in more assassins, more pirates, a hilarious yet deadly manticore, and the story gets busy, fast. The nice thing is, it doesn't feel busy. Unlike some fantasy novels I have read, the plot doesn't devolve into an epic, complicated mess with too many storylines and characters to keep track of. The world Cassandra Rose Clarke has created is very easy to dive into, and the writing is simply superb, filled with just the right amount of imagery and emotion to capture the hearts of readers. It certainly did mine!Ananna is a bit more angst-ridden and insecure in this book, and at times I found myself missing the spirited heroine I met in Assassin's Curse. Don't get me wrong, she's still there, she just didn't appear as often as I would have liked. Naji was different as well. He had fewer badass assassin moments, and like Ananna, he seemed to have lost some of his fire. To be fair, though, they both had a lot on their plates, and if they handled every situation perfectly, I would find them a lot less interesting as characters.The romance plays out nicely, and I admit I took a perverse sort of pleasure in all the drama and misunderstandings, because it ratcheted up the tension between the characters and sucked me even deeper into the story.While THE PIRATE'S WISH may be the end of Ananna and Naji's literary journey, author Cassandra Rose Clarke recently announced that she will be writing a new duology, entitled The Wizard's Promise, which is set in the same world as The Assassin's Curse. The first book is scheduled for 2014 release, and you'd better believe I'm gonna be there, snapping up my copy as soon as it hits the shelves!4 Stars ★★★★ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.