Reviewed by Tori
“If I’m to keep up appearances, I’ll have to escape the ship. Then get caught on purpose. Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”
The Pirate King’s Daughter is a humorous, high spirited, action packed , YA fantasy adventure that offers readers an empowered teenage female pirate whose need for her infamous father’s approval sends her on the adventure of a lifetime.
Fans of the mythical Captain Jack Sparrow and the Pirates of the Caribbean films will find a kindred spirit (and some familiar scenes and plotlines) in Captain Alosa-the Pirate King’s Daughter. Bits of magic and mayhem rock the seven seas as Alosa is charged with finding a very special map. Allowing herself to be captured by rival pirates allows Alosa to gain access to their ship and search for the map. Of course, she never expects to be waylaid by the good looking and frustratingly intelligent first mate-Riden-who’s been charged with extracting information from her. As Alosa and Riden battle their wits and wants, someone else is looking for the map and will do whatever it takes to get it.
Well written with a bold narrative, dynamic characterization, and some interesting plotlines; Levenseller relies heavily on her heroine and the heroine dialogue to fuel the story. Slow but steady, this book spends a great deal of its time setting up the world and main character backgrounds while simultaneously plotting the conflict and edging towards the grand reveal. While most assuredly comedic and almost parody-like in this story’s telling, there are darker and more serious undertones as Levenseller deals with emotional angst, feelings of abandonment, abuse, misogyny, paternalism, and the risks one will go to gain a loved one’s approval. Levenseller pokes quite a bit at the male characters and their archaic masculine in here as you watch her constantly direct Alosa to humiliate them.
Our heroine, Alosa, is one of the few female pirates and an entertaining pain the arse. You can’t help but be amused by with her constant and oft repeated tales of all her magnificent talents while watching her drive an entire ship insane with her annoying but effective skills. Beautiful and extremely deadly, this seventeen-year-old is much much more than meets the eye. Raised by her father to be nothing less than the best, she is confidence personified and takes advantage whenever she can. She is an interesting mixture of strength, wit, and pragmatic views that is offset by her feminine nature. She is a girly girl.One minute she’s slicing throats and the next she’s fussing over the state of her dresses.
The romance is more of an undercurrent rather than a dominant element though it gains strength towards the end. It’s an antagonistic relationship that entertains immensely. I loved that even though Alosa is attracted to Riden, her mission and honor mean more to her. That’s not to say she won’t use Riden to get what she came for. Pirates are notoriously selfish and self motivated, you know. :) Riden is a strong solid presence and helps to show Alosa see there are more things in life beyond being a pirate.
The secondary characters all hold the potential to be more and each one seems to have a secret waiting to be revealed, adding to the suspense and intrigue. No one is quite what they seem and we are on constant guard possible betrayal and deception-I mean, these ARE pirates. Levenseller barely scratches the surface of the potential this story holds and I can’t wait to see what she has in store for readers next.
While the strong juvenile tone and overly chatty protagonist may turn some off, I feel this whimsical and high spirited adventure is sure to appeal to both young and older readers who love a flamboyant and forceful female protagonist, non stop action, witty banter, and a long reaching mystery. Tricia Levenseller is definitely an author to watch for in the future.