Named after one of the most awe-inspiring pirates, Hanna thinks that there must be something more to her life than being an apprentice to a surly fisherman. Learning some magic, and maybe even be a little good at it doesn't seem like an order too tall anyway. But little does Hanna know that Kolur is not what he seems to be, and what she's in for may be not the simple, tranquil fishing life she's imagined, but one of the biggest adventures in her life yet.
Hanna wants a grand life, the kind of life that her namesake Ananna, the great pirate, has. So when she becomes apprentice to Kolur, the grumpy coot who fishes, she thinks that the only magic she'll be honing will be all about the catch. While I do like Clarke using Hanna's starstruck voice when she talks about Ananna, as she uses the young girl to update readers of the great pirate's adventures, I did feel a bit overloaded with information about Ananna. Don't be mistaken; I love Ananna, and I love Ananna best when she's with Naji, but this one was supposed to be all about Hanna and her unlikely adventure.
Kolur is as vague as all get out when he instructs Hanna whichever way they need to go, so of course Hanna isn't particularly happy with the way things are working out. She's bent on getting back home where things aren't as crazy (or as unpredictable) as this wild ride. To top it all off, there's an insanely beautiful boy named Isolfr in the, err, water. But like Kolur, he can't tell Hanna his purpose either. So Hanna's even more pissed because everyone seems to be in on the big secret, and she's not. (And no, it obviously does not entail a surprise birthday party on an island for Hanna.)
I actually like Isolfr - even when I feel like I'm butchering his name because I can't pronounce it right (I-Sulfur? Isolf with a silent 'r'? Sorry, dude). While his vagueness was maddening, it was endearing watching him interact with the increasingly petulant Hanna. And it was kind of amusing to watch Hanna be all, "ADVENTURE PLEASE!!!" and watching her retreat back with something like a "NO, NO THANKS. I WANNA GO HOME NOW. K."
While the novelty of the mystery was refreshing at first, it soon waned and got me just about as impatient as Hanna. There's still a hint of the same author who penned both The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish, but having The Wizard's Promise follow up a fantastic quest like that made it kind of pale in comparison. It's still enjoyable, I must say, it's just that it felt more like a companion novel, or a novella, as opposed to a spin-off that would be having succeeding titles.