It’s definitely not okay that I haven’t written an official book review since January. Really kicking myself for that. However, I’m back today with a review of Tricia Levenseller’s debut novel, The Daughter of the Pirate King.
Summary (provided by Goodreads): There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.
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.
First Impressions: I discovered this novel about a year ago when I was searching for YA novels about mermaids and/or pirates. The title didn’t scream at me, and it wasn’t until I read the description and researched the novel a bit more before I decided to add it to my “To-Read” shelf. The title, as well as the cover, gave me the impression that the story was geared more towards a middle-grade reader and while I’m not against that genre, I was looking for a story focused at an older audience.
Dee’s Review: It took me about 30 or 40 pages before I reached a point where I became invested in the story and its characters. It was easy for me to like the main character, Alosa, and root for her the whole time. She’s everything I look for in a female protagonist–smart, independent, witty, and just the right amount of sassiness. Sometimes I think that people think that if a female character is depicted as strong and badass that she cannot be vulnerable/susceptible to falling in love. However, I think that Levenseller did a nice job between balancing Alosa’s headstrong personality with her feelings for a certain pirate (you find out who he is right away, but I’m going to leave his name out anyway).
The romance is was kept me invested in the story. Alosa’s refusal to let emotions get in the way of her mission is an integral part to the story, but also one of her character flaws in my opinion. However, through this romance, she proves to herself that she can be both the badass independent female pirate, as well as a girl who can fall in love. I think the romance overshadowed Alosa’s mission and what I thought was the major plot to the story, but I didn’t mind it.
The writing itself was very easy and quick to read, which I think was necessary to avoid boredom. Not that the writing or story was boring, but there’s only so much time that can be spent on a pirate ship before the reader becomes bored with the familiarity of it. But Levenseller’s clear and witty prose prevented this situation from happening. The story is told from Alosa’s point of view, and while I normally don’t like that perspective, it was an integral part to the story, so the reader could better understand Alosa’s conflict between the two different parts of her identity.
In addition to this, Levenseller’s portrayal of pirates was very authentic and easy for the reader to comprehend their lifestyles and political structures. The language did not seem out of place for the time period being portrayed, nor the procedures or actions being done by the various characters.
Rating: I ended up giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. It was an interesting and quick read, and I’m hoping that the sequel will be just the same if not better. All of the characters are pretty likeable, and I’m interested to see how Alosa will further be tested in The Daughter of the Siren Queen.