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Monday, April 28, 2014

Review: The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke

Publisher: Strange Chemistry
Published: May 6, 2014
Pages: 336
Source: For Review from Strange Chemistry/NetGalley
Rating: 3 Stars

All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.
As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.

In short: The Wizard's Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke was not as engaging as its previous companion novels, but was still a good read nonetheless.
I knew I needed to read The Wizard's Promise, the companion book to Cassandra Rose Clarke's Assassin's Curse duology, the moment I heard about it. I simply adored The Assassin's Curse. I found it to be highly entertaining with a compelling plot and completely engaging, vibrant characters. Plus, I love the world building and magic system that Cassandra Rose Clarke has created and was eager to return to it. Unfortunately, I can't say I was as invested in the new protagonist, Hanna, and her story as I was with Ananna and Naji of The Assassin's Curse.

I can't exactly put my finger on it, but The Wizard's Promise seemed to be missing that special something that The Assassin's Curse had, leaving me largely disconnected from the characters and plot. I did like Hanna - she reminded me of Ananna in her determination and bravery - and I pitied her for the truly crappy situation she finds herself in. But I can't say I was much taken with any of the other characters. Romance-fans may be disappointed - and non-romance-fans may be refreshed - to hear that romance is notably lacking in this instalment - though I imagine this situation will change in the sequel.

But I think it was the plot - or should I say lack thereof - in which I was truly disappointed with in The Wizard's Promise. The pacing was very slow and events are repetitive and lacking in much excitement. I really needed to see more momentous developments and less concentration on day-to-day activities to be truly engaged. The lack of engagement in the plot was definitely the biggest letdown for me in The Wizard's Promise because I remember flying through The Assassin's Curse, I was so engrossed. I can only hope that Cassandra Rose Clarke will pick up the action in the sequel.

Overall, The Wizard's Promise was far from a bad read. Like I mentioned earlier, Cassandra Rose Clarke has created a magic system and world that is so intriguing to me; it is deceptively simple, and yet wonderfully enchanting. I enjoyed spending more time in this world and was interested in the unfolding of certain enigmatic elements that were explored. I just wish I could have been as engaged and invested in the story as I was with The Assassin's Curse. Hopefully the sequel, The Nobleman's Revenge, is faster paced and more enthralling!

Previously, my reviews of The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish.

Other Reviews:
Read. Sleep. Repeat.

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  1. I thought The Assassin's Curse was only okay and so didn't bother reading the sequel. I also have no problem passing on this one since you only gave it 3 stars. If you were disengaged while reading the book, Aylee, I'm pretty sure I'll be too and so would rather spend my time reading a book that I'll enjoy.

  2. I'm sorry this one wasn't as engaging as its companion novel. Hopefully the sequel WILL pick up the pace and up the ante concerning the plot as well.


  3. First Ananna then Hanna - that sounds like it could be a tad confusing for someone like me >.< All kidding aside, I vividly remember your review for The Assassin's Curse as making me add the books to my TBR! I'm sorry the companion novel didn't pull you in like the other books. My quip on the un-original names seems to echo your feelings that the plot felt largely repetitive though so I can see how just that would dampen your enjoyment for this one. That plus not connecting with the characters as much - that lack of connection can really ruin an otherwise good read for me :( Despite those issues, I'm glad you still managed to enjoy the creative world & magical system!! I still want to read these soon but at least now I'll know what to expect with this one...and maybe save it for later heh Lovely review Aylee ^^ (as per usual) xx

  4. I need to read The Assassin's Curse pronto! I'll add that to my already huge TBR pile haha. As for this one, we shall see. I mean, the cover is epic but if it's slow-going, it might not be for me. There's nothing worse than not feeling truly invested in the story. Great review, Aylee! :D

  5. Im sorry this book was a bit of a dud, it sounds like the plot wasn't really there and I hate when that happens, The cover is creepy but original. :D

  6. I didn't realize that this took place in the same world as The Assassin's Curse! I'm vaguely intrigued. I did like the setup of The Assassin's Curse, but never felt compelled to read its sequel...yet. Maybe someday. But for now it sounds like I'll be sticking with The Pirate's Wish when I next read something of Clarke's.
    I hope the sequel ups the action - and your enjoyment - in this series, Aylee!

  7. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed revisiting this world, but it's a shame it wasn't as strong a read as The Assassin's Curse. I hope the next book is better for you. Great review!

  8. I have the same thoughts about this book. It wasn't bad, but I missed something and I also think it's because of that slow plot. I hope it will be more thrilling in the sequel :)

  9. I just finished this one up. I totally agree with you on all points. This one just didn't jump up and get moving. It took like forever for something to happen. Too much day-to-day descriptions, not enough going on to totally engulf me. Isolfr bugged me, too. He was so secretive. Sometimes I just wanted to shake the secrets right out of him.