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.
With The Wizard’s Promise I gave Cassandra Rose Clark a second chance after I DNFed her book The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. I wanted to give her another chance with a different kind of story because it wasn’t the writing style in general I had problems with, but the story. Turned out Cassandra Rose Clarke and me just don’t work out. Even though I wasn’t tempted to give this one up too, I didn’t enjoy it a lot.
One thing that bothered me a lot was its secretiveness. Sometimes you have to keep things secret from the reader to make it a gripping read but that didn’t work out with this one for me at all. It didn’t take long for me to be really annoyed by everyone keeping secrets from Hannah. She had so many questions and no clue about what was going on, where she was taken but everytime she asked questions she only got answers like ” I can’t tell you yet.”, “It’s not safe to tell you.” or “You will know soon.”. For me, it felt like this was only a means to keep the reader’s attention. Once I knew what was going on I was mad at the others for not telling her sooner because in my opinion their reasons for keeping it secret weren’t good enough or didn’t even make sense.
It’s not one huge secret, there are some clues here and there but to get the bigger picture Kolur or the boy just had to tell her and the story could have focused on a more thrilling plot than getting behind this secret.
Another reason why I didn’t fully enjoy this is that I just expected a different story. When I read the summary I thought I would get an exciting adventure on a ship, maybe not a pirate story, but something similar. It does play on a ship of course but not like I expected and I definitely did not expect that a huge part would be set on an island. On top of that comes the lack of action. There were long passages when nothing interesting or thrilling happened. Even Hannah herself was bored sometimes when she didn’t have anything to do on the ship.
Starting this book I was afraid this mysterious boy would turn out to be the basis for insta love and a cliché love story. Instead I was sad everytime he was not present. He made for a really interesting character and even though I knew his secret pretty early I was always happy to read more about him. He was also the only character I really cared about. I didn’t dislike Hannah, Kolur and the others but I didn’t care what happened to them either.
Cassandra Rose Clarke definitely has the right ideas. When I found out what was going on I instantly liked the idea. It just took way to long to get there and I think I could have liked this a lot more if I had known all this way earlier, if the focus of the plot had been somewhere else.
If you want to read her other series, The Assassin’s Curse, I think you should definitely do that in publication order, because its main character is mentioned in this one a couple of times.