Daughter of the Pirate King Review

dotpkDaughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Synopsis: 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.

About the Author: Tricia Levenseller is from a small town in Oregon, but she now lives in Utah with her bossy dog, Rosy. She received her degree in English Language and editing, and she is thrilled that she never has to read another textbook again. When she’s not writing or reading, Tricia enjoys putting together jigsaw puzzles, playing volleyball, and watching her favorite TV shows while eating extra-buttered popcorn.

Genre: young adult, fantasy, romance, historical

More Info: hardcover, 320 pages, published by Feiwel & Friends on February 28, 2017

4.5

Partial spoilers

Alosa is not only the captain of her own ship, the Ava-lee, but she is also the daughter of the Pirate King, Kalligan. Her father monopolized the sea and now rules over all who sail on it. But he wants more. As one of three descendants of the first pirates, Alosa’s father has one piece of a map that leads to The Treasure.  He is determined to get the other two thirds, and claim the mysterious island for himself. As the future queen, Alosa wants the treasure just as much.

So, she purposely gets captured by the sons (Riden and Draxen) of one of her father’s, recently deceased, competitor, Jeskor. She has no idea if the sons know about the map, or if they are hiding it. So she spends every night searching the Nightfarer. Along the way, she gets caught “trying to escape” or “exacting revenge.” But she is really hiding her true motive and her true abilities.

When things take a turn for the worse, she has to work with Riden to save his life, preserve her secrets, and escape their kidnappers.

 

I read this book immediately when it released February 2017. I then started to write a review, but never finished. A few months later and I wanted to reread Daughter of the Pirate King again, because who can resist a swashbuckling, young adult pirate book with a kick-ass female main character. So, here I am with my second attempt at a review.

The book starts out with a bang. There are major twists and some hidden hints along the way. The plot is fast-paced and easy to follow since Alosa has one main task: find the map. The plot is filled with stealthy escapes, witty banter, surprise attacks, and more. There was a huge change/escalation at the rising action/climax of the book. If felt like the book jumped into a different plot altogether. But that section helps readers learn more about Alosa. The end was satisfying, but felt like on ended on a weird note. It was not like the take charge, step up to the ship’s wheel, dramatic, music, ready to go on another adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean ending.

Alosa is fiery, just like her red hair. She is smart, ruthless, strong, and competent; a well-rounded pirate. She is confident and critical; all of which made me enjoy listening to her thoughts. But she is also feminine. For example, she makes her captors bring her clothes and accessories into her cell aboard their ship. While she also uses her belongings to stash lock picks and knives, her demand makes me think of Mulan: “Just because I look like a man doesn’t mean I have to smell like one.” Readers hear a lot that Alosa is holding back because she can’t give herself away. When she makes a mistake, I can tell that she is holding back. But her constant annoyance with minimizing her abilities gets tiring. So, she is not as perfect as she thinks. Alosa also has a tortured past. Her father was brutal in her training as he taught her to learn her limits. Yet, she still works for her father and claims to have freedom. I think she is blinded from his cruelty as he uses her for a weapon. Alosa is also half-human, half-siren. And both half don’t blend. Alosa can call upon her siren self, which she doesn’t like to do often. Readers can feel the change in Alosa through her thoughts, the prose, and people’s perception of her.

Riden can see through Alosa. He sees the change between her two selves and he sees past her facade. Riden is also fiercely loyal to his brother, which I admire despite his brother being an egotistical jerk. Riden is also the opposite of your usual pirate; he has proper hygiene, keeps a pristine room, and holds back on many aspects of pirating.

I totally ship Alosa and Riden. Riden seems honorable, hot, and capable. And it seems that Alosa may agree with me. Aside from their entertaining back-and-forth nature, the fact that Riden can pull Alosa from her siren trance shows a lot about their relationship. While Riden gets caught between his loyalties to Draxen and his feelings for Alosa, I think their strong bonds will prevail.

Draxen seemed like somewhat of a stock characters. He thinks he has it all. The only time I was impressed with him was when he figured out the best way to get information out of Alosa, by threatening to cut her hair. That was a backhanded, clever moved I never expected from him. I like Kearan and Enwen. I don’t have much of a opinion on Kearan, because he always seemed the strong, silent, mysterious type. But Enwen certainly sticks in my mind. He is a rum-good thief and he is a superstitious fool.

While Alosa is an awesome female protagonist, I wish there were more prevalent female characters. Readers see Alosa’s crew through her thoughts and briefly in-person, but not enough interaction to form an opinion of them. I wish there was more about her female crew. I’m sure this will be addressed in Daugher of the Siren Queen, but it was the one thing lacking in this first book.

The setting was just the Nightfarer, and two islands. I think this was the main disappointment for me. I felt like there should have been more exploring and sailing in a pirate book, although I get how that would be hard for Alosa as a prisoner. The ship fights were a good addition but they didn’t strike me like a Pirates of the Carribean attack, because they ended quickly and there was minimal description.

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