Promising Start in ‘The Wizard’s Promise’

17790234The Wizard’s Promise by Cassandra Rose Clarke
Strange Chemistry, May 6, 2014 (Young Adult; Fantasy)*

My Rating: Vacation by the Beach (3/5)

The Wizard’s Promise is the first in a dulology set in the same world as Clarke’s The Assassin’s Curse, a book that I absolutely adore when I first read it. Hanna is named after Ananna, the central character in The Assassin’s Curse and Hanna longs to have her own adventures just like Ananna. Like most young heroes in these types of stories, the actual adventure is much more than was bargained for.

Hanna Eulia would like to train to become a witch; instead she’s stuck as a fisherman’s apprentice. While out fishing one day, her boat is thrown far off course and she’s taken to lands that she’s only ever heard of. Hanna is unprepared for this adventure that is at times dull, dangerous and mysterious. Before long, all Hanna wants to do is return home, but it seems that she may have a much larger role to play in her captain’s quest and she’ll need to decide whether or not she can trust the non-human boy asking for her help.

What I really liked in this novel was the character of Hanna. Her longing for adventure gave me an old-school Tamora Pierce vibe, which I liked because it reminded me of all the books I loved so much as a teen. As a consequence, I found that The Wizard’s Promise had a much younger tone than the Assassin’s Curse duology. For whatever reason, Hanna seemed like a much younger character than Ananna, so I think this one can definitely be recommended to younger readers.

I also liked the fact that Hanna wasn’t your stereotypical female lead. She wasn’t out there taking on the world all on her own. What she was scared and homesick and thrown in the midst of conflict that she doesn’t remotely understand. Ultimately, the story was about her accepting the fact that she was involved and that she couldn’t remain passive anymore. Hanna has to take a more active role in combating the mysterious Mist or she will never see her home again. This meant the novel was quieter than the Assassin duology that was so action packed. But I have a feeling that the action will take a turn in book two considering Hanna’s decision at the end of the book.

Despite my love for the character and the world that the author has created, I did find The Wizard’s Promise a little difficult to get through. As I have mentioned, this book was all about Hanna realizing that she had a role to play in the grander scheme of things, as a result I did feel like the majority of the book was one big build up to book two rather than a book that could stand on it’s own. So if you’re looking for a complete novel, I would suggest waiting until book two comes out. I think reading them both together will lead to a more cohesive reading experience.

It was a pleasure to return to this world that I loved so much and I’ll definitely be tuning in for book two to see how everything wraps up. I really enjoyed the fantasy elements and I think there’s too much left unanswered for me not to tune in for the second book.

*Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.

Similar Reads

As I mentioned, the author reminds me of classic Tamora Pierce. I loved Pierce’s Song of the Lioness series, and those tales remind me a lot of the Assassin’s Curse duology. But Pierce also wrote a quieter tale in the same world, much like Hanna’s story with her Protector of the Small quartet. It’s awesome and I recommend both series if you like Clarke’s books.

First Test (Protector of the Small, #1)

My second recommendation is Sherwood Smith’s Crown Duel. Like Hanna (and Ananna), Meliara is a different sort of heroine, that doesn’t always make the right decision. I loved this novel when I discovered it in high school and I think it’s the perfect fit if you like the types of characters Clarke writes.

Crown Duel (Crown & Court #1-2)


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