Title: Daughter of the Pirate King
Series: Daughter of the Pirate King #1
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Imprint: Feiwel & Friends
Release Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Blurb from Goodreads:
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
Pirate fans, rejoice! Tricia Levenseller’s debut novel is a wild, perilous, pirate-filled adventure served with snark and wit—plenty of it. There’s a lot of humor to be found in this book so it’s really easy to fly through its pages. I can’t say it was fantastically written but damn if I didn’t enjoy the treasure hunt. Also, it was a bit slow in pace, but it was captivating nonetheless.
I am power and strength. I am death and destruction. I am not someone to be trifled with.
The story kicks off with action as Alosa—daughter of the pirate king, Kalligan—and her crew, staged their capture to one of the most notorious pirates in the sea, for a mission that could easily go wrong and cost them their lives. Alosa is quite a refreshing character to me. There are a lot of feisty, witty, and headstrong protagonists in YA. But I haven’t met a character as cold as Alosa in so long. Even Celaena Sardothien who called herself an assassin wasn’t half as brutal as her right from the very first page of the book. Under her father’s tutelage, Alosa was inured to violence which explains why she has no qualms in killing. The girl could kill an entire pirate crew—if the mission demands—without flinching. But despite being hardened, there’s also a part of her that cares deeply for her crew and those that she loves. You’ll find a lot of Alosa’s inner monologues in this book. Usually I’d hate that but not this time, because Alosa’s thoughts were so hilarious. It’s entertaining.
“Everyone has something dark in their past. I suppose it’s our job to overcome it. And if we can’t overcome it, then all we can do is make the most of it.”
Aside from having exceptional skills with the sword and being a captain of an all-female pirate crew—I got to admit that sounds really badass—Alosa still has a few secrets up her sleeves. As the story goes, we slowly come to see that part of her that she’s locked away. And while I love seeing this other side of Alosa, I didn’t quite enjoyed the way this one suddenly turned into a fantasy book as we learned more and more about her, and her parentage, and the powers she possessed. The pirate theme seem to have faded for a while there, and my interest stumbled just a bit.
I live on the cusp of two worlds, trying desperately to fit into one.
I love a sprinkle of romance in my books. Here though I wasn’t falling for the romance. I was rather falling for the witty repartee in most of Alosa’s and Riden’s conversations. It was such a pleasure to read. But the romance, I just feel like it was lacking something that I couldn’t put my finger on. The chemistry between Alosa and Riden is okay. And they got this love-hate relationship that I enjoyed so much. But what I’m missing is the hook factor.
The worldbuilding is a bit lacking too. Although that could be because the story is mostly set on the ocean and most of our characters—especially the key players—were aboard on the same ship. But despite the lack of color, the worldbuilding wasn’t totally flat and dull. It’s simple but it has this kind of pull that makes you want to read more about this world anyway.
Overall, this has been a fun read—a little brutal at some points, but fun. This book might not have the most sophisticated worldbuilding, or the most complex characters, or the most beautiful writing, but it sure is entertaining. Levenseller closed it with just enough thud to satisfy its readers and question marks to make them long for the second book. This is something I would happily recommend to everyone looking for new pirate-themed fantasy book for their next read.