I desperately wanted to love Magic of Wind and Mist, but instead I was left confused and wanting more.
Summary from Goodreads:
Hanna has spent her life hearing about the adventures of her namesake Ananna, the lady pirate, and assassin Naji, and dreams to have some adventures of her own. One day when Hanna is with her apprentice—a taciturn fisherman called Kolur—the boat is swept wildly off course during a day of storms and darkness. In this strange new land, Kolur hires a stranger to join the crew and, rather than heading home, sets a course for the dangerous island of Jadanvar. As Hanna meets a secretive merboy—and learns that Kolur has a deadly past—she soon realizes that wishing for adventures can be deadly…because those wishes might come true.
Before I talk about each book in more detail, I want to stress how important it is you buy this duology if you intend on reading this series. Both Magic of Wind and Mist and Magic of Blood and Sea have the same qualities: large story arcs and abrupt endings. The decision to market the duology together is the best decision because it allows you to seamlessly move from one book to the other without the feeling of abruptness – smoothing over many of the problems I might have had if I read them individually.
The Wizard’s Promise – Book One
That being said, Magic of Wind and Mist was an intriguing premise – our heroine is named after Ananna, our famous pirate from the first duology. This opens up a whole new level of world interplay and connections that I loved. Even though I was disappointed with the presence of Ananna and Naji in this book, I thought the idea to connect them like this was brilliant on Clarke’s part.
I feel most strongly towards the first book, The Wizard’s Promise because of its storyline. Besides Hanna and Isolfr, I pretty much disliked each of the adult characters – her mentor and a sea witch. Not only that, but I felt that they were very typical ‘adult’ characters: they didn’t trust the protagonist with anything, lied and deceived, and just generally didn’t seem to think much of Hanna. That felt really disheartening to me, because it wasn’t the case with the first book, and I enjoyed the relationships Ananna had with her fellow sea companions.
Secondly, the story felt drawn out. At one point, Hanna spends some time away from the group and while I realize that these events were necessary to her own character development, it takes up a large piece of book one which, upon reflection, feels out of place, extraneous, and long. On the subject of plot, because the adults are so convinced they should keep Hanna in the dark, for many pages I just had no idea what was really happening or where the story was ever going – which made it frustrating because Hanna wasn’t allowed to do anything, to show us her strengths or even much of her character.
The Nobleman’s Revenge – Book Two
Considering all of this, the second book was much better. We got to meet more characters I enjoyed and Hanna bloomed into the character she was meant to be. What I adored about this book, was the dangerous dark magic. While it can give me the creeps, I cannot think of a world in which there would be prevalent magic and a lack of really dark magic. In Ananna’s duology there was blood magic, but while it was considered somewhat taboo by other magic users, it was not nearly as dark as this book – and I loved it.
What I wish had been capitalized more on in this book, were the themes. With the introduction of dark magic, there is so much potential to talk about the use of dark magic versus good intentions or if dark magic ultimately defines a person. In this similar topic, we are introduced more to the villain in this book and I wish there was more depth there – what motivated them, how do these characters really feel. I was most pleased by Isolfr’s friend exactly for these reasons. He feels strongly about the demise of our villain and he is intelligent and funny. (I wish we got more time with him!)
This entire duology just didn’t match up to my expectations. I just felt that the characters were flatter in this book. Which is quite painful for me to say, since I really loved the ideas of them. I love Hanna’s relationship with her namesake and her desire for adventure. I enjoyed Isolfr’s dance with humanity and family background, but I just wanted more of it, more depth and more time with these aspects. Story wise, I just was disappointed with some of book one, The Wizard’s Promise and wish it didn’t feel like a day trip excursion that we forget about afterwards. The second book makes up for the first, introducing more elements and intrigue.
But how do I recommend this? Well if you want to read a story about a girl who doesn’t think she can be the hero, but ends up being pretty heroic, this is for you. Book one The Wizard’s Promise is a bit confusing, but you have to get through it to make it to the next and I actually thoroughly enjoyed Hanna’s little side excursion. I am still very glad I read it, I’m always down to read a young girl’s journey through magic.
Disclaimer: I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher.
What’s the last series you read where you loved the sequel more than the original?
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