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Daughter of the Pirate King Hardcover – February 28, 2017
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From School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—Levenseller's debut novel is a high-seas tale of a powerful female pirate on a mission set forth by her ruthless father. Alosa, a pirate princess, is the captain of her own ship with a mostly female crew. She is tough and clever and has a hidden secret that allows her to subdue the strongest of men. Her crew's mission is to track down an age-old piece of a legendary treasure map. Alosa's father, the Pirate King, is in possession of one-third of the map, and he sends Alosa to retrieve another part from a rival, Captain Draxen. In order to be taken aboard Draxen's ship, Alosa stages her own capture. Draxen, of course, believes that he has the upper hand and sends a ransom message to the king. Alosa is put under the watchful eye of Draxen's brother, Riden, who interrogates the princess. She is determined to discover the hiding place of the map, and she must conceal her true purpose and use clever tricks to escape her cell in order to search the ship. Finally, frustrated by her failure to locate the map, she turns to her secret power to enchant with song. With many plot turns and emotional bonds forming between Alosa and Riden, the search leads to an interesting twist. Levenseller has created a formidable female character who can take care of herself as she makes some hard decisions. VERDICT Hand to skilled readers seeking true adventure with swashbuckling, sword fighting, and a great problem-solving heroine.—Erin Olsen, The Brearley School, NY
"Readers should rejoice, because we now have a lady Jack Sparrow on our hands! Daughter of the Pirate King kidnapped my interest from the first chapter and never let it go! It's a superior debut with a deeply entangled romance, a fearsome heroine not to be trifled with, a clever hero that you seriously want to trifle with, and a plot twist that makes a rollercoaster seem stable. With a cunning plot, robust writing, and complicated characters, any reader will enjoy being manipulated in Levenseller's capable hands. Definitely for fans of Pirates of the Caribbean, fierce heroines, slow-burning romances, and adventures that can turn sour in the space of a gasp. Not for fans of complacent heroines, soothing plots, or those who don't speak sarcasm." -- Anna Banks, author of the New York Times Bestseller Of Triton
" Levenseller has created a formidable female character who can take care of herself as she makes some hard decisions. Hand to skilled readers seeking true adventure with swashbuckling, sword fighting, and a great problem-solving heroine." ―School Library Journal
"Levenseller makes an impressive debut with this funny, fast-paced, and romance-dashed nautical fantasy, set in an alternate world of pirates, sirens, and myriad islands....This one’s not to be missed." ― Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Tricia Levenseller's vivacious debut novel, the first in a duology, boasts stormy seas, sexy pirates, swordplay and a heroine who conquers all three with aplomb.... A rip-roaring high seas escapade with a tinge of fantasy, Daughter of the Pirate King will engage and enthrall its teen audience." ― Shelf Awareness
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Top Customer Reviews
In this world, there are three ancient pirate lines and once a long time ago they had a map that showed the way to the legendary Isla de Canta. This is an island heaped with unimaginable treasure that is guarded by magical creatures. The map was once whole but then it was separated into three pieces and given to each one of the three ancient pirates. The pieces had been handed down from father to son for many generations. It is the piece that is held by the Jeskor line that Alosa is currently searching for.
What I loved: Alosa as a female pirate captain was enjoyable. She is sassy, intelligent, and ruthless when it was required. Her character kept me entertained from start to finish. I enjoyed knowing that there was more to the story than she was displaying to the crew. It kept me on my toes wondering what she was going to pull next.
I enjoyed the plot of her being on a secret mission and allowing herself to be caught by the crew of the Night Farer in order to obtain an ancient map. It promises for more adventure and who does not like an adventure novel where there is a search for treasure! The crew of the Night Farer were written as mostly scoundrels and there were a couple of characters that were downright terrible.
The reputation of the Pirate King:
“I’ve heard rumors of Kalligan’s dangerous deeds. He’s said to be able to take on twenty men at once in battle. He’s traveled every inch of the sea, fought off all manner of sea demons, including a shark, which he fought underwater with his bare hands. He makes deals with the devil and encourages evil in others.”
Perfect reputation for a man capable of being King of the Pirates. My favorite part of that selection was the fighting of the shark underwater with his bare hands, hilarious!
The plot twist. I did not see it coming but once it did, it made perfect sense! It gave this story greater depth and added a fantasy and comedy element to the story that I just loved. I cannot wait to see how that element is explored in the next book. Two thumbs up!
What I wanted more of: Alosa was taken prisoner for ransom. She was rarely put in any situations where she was tested either physically or mentally. I would have liked to have more dire situations and less talking situations where she boasts to herself that she is better than they know.
The Ava-lee is captained by Alosa and it boasts an all-female pirate crew. I definitely wished we could have enjoyed more of that. There are a couple of scenes where her crew is introduced and I know that they are going to be in the next book but I wanted to learn more in this one. Well, it gives me something to look forward to.
What I wish had been different: I found that I truly like Alosa’s character but I did not like the aspect of her constant comparison of herself and others. She was always talking about how she was holding herself back, how she was better than the others. I could have done with less of that. I wish it would have been part of the character building and then a lot more show than tell. More fight scenes would have been just fabulous!
There is a romance that builds in this story between Alosa and a character named Riden. He is the first mate on the Night Farer and brother to the captain of that ship. It is an insta-love and I felt it was meh. He is cast as conflicted about his role but also as a manipulative interrogator. It was done in order to keep you on the fence about his actions but I didn’t like it. He was not convincing one way or the other. I did really start to enjoy his character by the end of the book so maybe he will continue to develop and grow a pair. As a love interest, he was not terribly swoon worthy. Had his moments but nothing that will make you swoon.
Final Thoughts: Fantastic debut book from author Tricia Levenseller!! This is a series I am absolutely going to continue with. I borrowed this book from the local library because I was not sure if I was going to want to own it but now I need this book to add to my collection! It was a great read and I highly recommend!
The strength of this book is the characters, especially, Alosa: Pirate Princess and all around badass. This girl does not need any help, thank you very much. She is capable and strong and gets things done. I loved her from start to finish. I also love that despite her tough exterior, and willingness to do anything to survive and succeed, she is fair, cares for her crew and isn't needlessly ruthless. Although she doesn't need anyone to rescue her, she also realizes that she's not an island to herself, and I loved seeing moments where she works with others. Of course those moments are few and far between when she's stuck on an enemy pirate ship.
My second favorite character is Riden: first mate on the pirate ship Alosa infiltrates on a secret mission for her father. I enjoyed getting to know him better as the story continues. I found his relationship with his brother Draxen, captain of the ship, to be interesting and well written in its complexity. But the best relationship in this book is the one Riden develops with Alosa. Their snappy banter and incredible tension is off the charts. They begin as enemies and are constantly trying to get an angle on each other, but almost immediately, it's very clear how great a match they are for each other - in wits and everything else. And slowly, the working against each other changes flavor to one of support and even more than that. AKA swoons abound. Riden is an observer and he doesn't miss Alosa's attempts at deception, but he also sees her strengths, and respects her for them. He is not threatened by how capable she is. I wish there were more heroes like him.
I'm not sure exactly the scope of this fantasy world, and I would love a map to appear in the finished copy. Alosa's home features a lot of ocean and some islands as well as a pirate king and a land ruler (not seen but briefly mentioned). There's also magic, which was a lot of fun to discover. But this story is mostly spent on a ship so I didn't get a clear picture of what this world looks like.
Daughter of the Pirate King is definitely part of a series (I think it's a duet). The book doesn't end on a cliffy, but it does stop in the middle of the story. This part of the tale is finished, and I can't wait to find out what happens next. Highly recommended.