** There will be a summary in this review. Please do not read it if you don’t want to risk reading a spoiler**
Book Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Main Theme: Historical Young Adult Fiction/Fantasy
Thesis: Princess Alosa, daughter to the Pirate King, is a young, brave, and incredibly smart pirate who is tasked with a dangerous task: To willingly be kidnapped and be held captive on an enemy’s ship while looking for an object within the crew and boards of the ship. She will have to outwit full-grown men, a smelly brig, and the constant threat of being isolated on a ship with no friends or allies around while staying on task.
What Drew Me In: I won’t lie, cover art is a key point into drawing me into the book. It must reflect on the theme or message of the book. On the cover, you see firey redheaded lass who looks that she is on a mission. The blood-splattered parchment adds a sense of thrill and adventure. Aside from the cover, I have always loved a fantasy based novel, and there isn’t enough pirate lore out there to keep me satisfied!
Summary: The tale of Alosa begins on her makeshift ship, along with her crew mates. Soon, they are taken over by an enemy ship, captained by Draxen and his first mate Riden. Alosa allows herself to be taken captive in return for the safety of her crew mates. While boarding the Night Farer, Alosa shows that she is unbelievably strong for a seventeen-year-old, as well as having more wit than most men who sail the seas. As the tale goes on, we learn that first mate Riden is the brother to Draxen, and although the two are very different when it comes to morals, there is an unmistakable loyalty between them. Riden is in charge of taking care of Alosa, who they want brought back to Alosa’s father for a ransom, who happens to be the “Pirate King” and therefore, the man who has the most power and money across the seas. We soon learn that Alosa is looking for an object that was in Draxen and Riden’s father’s possession when he died. She was sent by her father to search for it. Each night, Alosa sneaks out of her cage and searches the ship, with no luck. While searching, she learns more about her enemy’s and how to use them to her advantage. The more time she spends with Riden, a small love interest is budding. She slips up a few times, revealing more than she wants to Riden, which towards the end of the book, ends up revealing* a secret about her heritage. As they get closer to the meeting point between Draxen and Kalligan, Alosa’s father, Alosa has one last chance to find the object, which she finally finds, but unfortunately, her and Riden are kidnapped by another pirate lord, Vordan, to find the treasure of Isla de Canta. After several days of holding the two captive, the two young pirates escape back to the Night Farer with the missing object, where allies have come to the rescue. They taken Draxen as prisoner, but leave Riden to heal in the medical room on Alosa’s request. The end of the book sets up for a sequel in where Alosa (and assuming Riden) will search for the last object to find the legendary treasuer.
My thoughts: First, and I cannot stress this enough, after reading this book, we need more sassy female pirates in the book world! I was instantly sucked into the story, as Tricia Levenseller’s protagonist Alosa Kalligan is somebody I would really REALLY enjoy hanging out with. You immideatly get this feeling of “badassery” from Alosa and she takes on any challenge with a “stick-it” kind of attitude. You know that you do not want to be on this girl’s bad side. I appreciate the feeling of not having a “damsal in distress” character in this book, as you see that way to often in literature. The fact that Alosa’s real crew is made entirely up of women, who all range is some amazing skills, should make you feel like the badass of a women that you are. Although some laungage and suggestive themes are presented within the book, I would absolutely no problem handing this book to my daughter (well if I had one) or my twelve-year-old sister or fourteen-year-old cousin.
I also appreciate that while there is an obvious love interest between Alosa and Riden, that isn’t the main plot to the book. Alosa still has a mission, who she is deteremined to not fail, and will not let anyone, like a handsome first mate or ugly brute on the crew, get in her way. She has no problem telling Riden off, or slashing her sword through him if needed. But even if she doesn’t want it, there is no denying that there is a connection between the two.
The mystical aspect of the book, which, in effort to not spoil the plot, I will not say, also intrigue me. I look forward to getting more answers in the following sequel. This plot line definitely gives the “fantasy” aspect to this historical young adult novel.
Would I recommend this book?: Yes, absolutely. If your preteen (or even yourself) is interested in anything fantasy, this would be my recommendation to you. You’ll get a surge of “girl-power” through Tricia Levenseller’s writing and if you are anything like me, won’t put the book down until you are finished. I’m very excited for Daughter of the Siren Queen, which hopefully will be at work tomorrow for me to pick up. (Perks of working at a library 😀 )