Recommended Age: 15+
Genres: Fantasy, Adventure
Tags: pirates, sirens, romance, magic, disguise
- Moderate violence: Physical attacks resulting in injury or death, threats, descriptions of physical abuse.
- Moderate sexuality: kissing scenes.
- Moderate language: some swearing and verbal abuse.
A new pirate captain has gone rogue, sailing separately from the pirate king. So his majesty sends his daughter, Alosa, to knock the arrogant young captain down a few pegs. After arranging her seemingly surprise capture, Alosa must find a missing part of a treasure map that’s hidden somewhere on the ship. Then she and her father will be able to find an island of treasure and sirens, though honestly any treasure is not worth the trouble of sirens. But pretending to be a frightened prisoner is harder than she expected, and not everyone on the enemy ship is easy to hate.
This book is full of fun adventures and entertaining characters. Alosa is a bloodthirsty pirate with an obsession with gold and power, but also a very proper sense of humor that keeps the tone lighthearted and amusing. She is extremely talented and perfectly capable of getting herself in and out of any situation as she pleases. She is equal parts deadly and constantly exasperated when she has to hide her deadliness for the sake of her mission. Her ruthless drive for winning is not sugar coated and though she’s young and a generally good hearted person, she has no problem with murder and mayhem. She’s a complex character, using a snarky sense of humor to move past her loveless childhood and fuel her ambition.
Despite the fact that she’s surrounded by enemies, she manages to make some friends. Her interactions with Riden, the first mate and brother to the captain, are always entertaining. He seems to be the only one able to keep up with her, even if he can’t for the life of him figure out how she manages to escape from her cell every night. They both push each other to challenge the authority in their life and search for what they truly want. They both come from terrible fathers, and seeing Riden reflect on his childhood helps Alosa face her own traumatizing upbringing.
While lighthearted to the point of sounding like satire, this book delves into serious relationships, abuse, torture, and murder. There’s a balance between the drama and comedy, and even the romance, that makes this book well rounded. This adventure is full of humor and sleuthing and fighting, with some twists and turns as Alosa runs into some of her father’s enemies, and makes some enemies of her own.
Alosa is a delightful protagonist with a satisfying stubbornness to never back down from a challenge, and a bloody ambitious streak that runs in her core. Her sense of humor is what makes this book stand out, and I would never get tired of reading her perspective.
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