Monday, February 27, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King ~ Tricia Levenseller (earc) review [@tricialevensell @FierceReads @FeiwelFriends]

Daughter of the Pirate King (Daughter of the Pirate King #1)
Feiwel & Friends
February 28, 2017
320 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

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.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

"Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a girl my size to steal those from?”
-pg 22, Alosa (regarding her dresses)

Despite being a fantasy, set in the fictitious Maneria in an unspecified (but seemingly not present day) time, Tricia Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate King has one of the most modern and real portrayals of a female character I've had the pleasure of reading. Alosa is a fierce, sometimes even ruthless pirate. Alosa is also a girl, who likes her dresses, appreciates makeup and wants to keep her hair as it is. These two things (being a pirate, being feminine) need to be mutually exclusive and I really enjoyed the fact that Levenseller didn't make one preclude the other.

The different elements of Alosa's personality and how well the inclusion of each is executed was really something and one of my favorite parts of the book. This is a book I have a lot of favorite things about, though.

I really, really love this book and all of the feelings that came with it. Alosa is both mentally and physically strong, she's stubborn, she's smart, but can also second guess herself and be unsure. Her being held (intentionally) prisoner on another's ship gives us ample opportunity to see what she's capable of and to learn more about her past.

It is also a great way for readers to learn about Riden. We see how he treats her based on her (assumed) captive status, see some of his relationship with the Night Fever's captain, and who he is. Having them start out on such uneven footing (in relationship to her 'prisoner' status and all that entailed) was smart. It allowed a lot more interaction and of a different sort than their positions would have otherwise allowed.

While it was clearly not appropriate, there were so many times I wanted to give one or both of them a hug. (I say not appropriate because they're fearsome pirates, have swords, readily use them, etc.) All of the secrets they were keeping, the roles they were playing and how they thought they needed to be was somehow sweet, heartbreaking, endearing all at the same time. While also leaving me very hopeful!

Starting Daughter of the Pirate King, I didn't realize it was the first book in a series; now I don't know how I'll wait a full year to read more! What we learned not only about Alosa's upbringing as the Pirate King's Daughter, but also how she viewed or relayed those events has me especially curious about what's to come.

And we can't forget that there's a pirate who might like rum as much as Captain Jack Sparrow . . .

digital review copy received thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

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