“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”
Billowing white sails, ancient maps, oceans of bright blue water, or gleaming gold treasure might define the life of piracy. Many things come to mind when you hear the word pirate: pistols, deceit, a wee bit of rum. Okay, maybe a lot of rum.
Tricia Levenseller’s debut Daughter of the Pirate King exhibits everything any pirate fan could wish for. With fast-paced action and twists that leave the reader guessing, the novel dives into a swashbuckling, positively fun adventure, all the while balancing wit and a sufficient abundance of killer sword fights and swoony romance.
Daughter of the Pirate King readers will discover themselves thoroughly hooked in all the pirate-y euphoria the book has to offer.
The young adult fantasy novel, written by Tricia Levenseller, was published on February 28, 2017, and lets readers set sail with a crew of cunning, vile pirates as protagonist Alosa seeks a piece of the map that supposedly leads to the world’s greatest treasure.
Alosa, with fiery red curls that match her ruthless and stubborn personality, is the daughter of the infamous Pirate King, who sent her on the demanding task to retrieve an ancient hidden map that is said to be the key to a legendary treasure trove.
In order to search her rival enemies’ ships for the map, Alosa allows herself to deliberately be captured and interrogated. During the nights on sea, she seeks the map they supposedly possess, forced to use clever fake attempts at escape simply to make sure no one is suspicious of her actual motives.
Alosa brings about a new type of young adult heroine, one who is not afraid to take what she wants by any means necessary. Strong-willed and manipulative, Alosa is the female Jack Sparrow you never knew you needed.
Alosa practically saunters through the pages with snarkiness and flamboyance, not afraid to duel whoever steps in the way of her plan.
“Real female pirates existed. Women can be brutal, talented swordsmen, and excellent leaders — qualities that are thought to be more befitting of men. Women can and do have these qualities, and it’s important to me to write heroines who do as well,” Levenseller stated in an interview with the American Booksellers Association.
“Too often, I see people being chastised for having what are traditionally feminine qualities. Some of this is evident in some of our own expressions. ‘Man up.’ ‘Stop crying like a little girl.’ ‘You’re so emotional,’” Levenseller said.
“Traditionally feminine qualities are just as important as male ones, yet society treats them as being lesser. Men are ridiculed for doing or saying anything that might be construed as feminine, which is, of course, ridiculous. I wanted Alosa to have both male and female traits because there is nothing wrong with being feminine and there is nothing wrong with being masculine,” she continued. “Members of both genders should be free to show the qualities they innately possess without fear because individuals are complex. It is society that tries to categorize people.”
With endless training as a child, haughty Alosa is confident that no one is the match to the daughter of the Pirate King. However, first mate Riden starts suspecting her and attempts to use observations to try and figure out what Alosa is hiding.
Riden, brother to the ship’s barbaric captain, is your typical swoony, smug pirate, and is smarter than Alosa gives him credit for. Too handsome for his own good, Riden is Alosa’s interrogator and protector. Despite his loyalty to his brother, Riden finds himself growing feelings for Alosa.
Alosa continues throwing sassy insults at Riden, brainstorming a plan to find the map she came for. Will she be able to use her savvy to find the missing map, or will Riden’s suspicions turn into a full-blown confrontation?
With hysterical dialogues and a fast-paced storyline, Daughter of the Pirate King is a shocking debut novel for Levenseller, doused with plenty of heartening pirate adventures and a dash of intimate romance.
Author Tricia Levenseller admits she developed a passionate love for pirates ever since her childhood, thus inspiring her to create her novel.
“My love for pirates started when I saw the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I was blown away by the aesthetics: ships, cannons, single-shot pistols, cutlasses, compasses, telescopes, tricorne hats, justaucorps coats, boots — even the ocean,” Levenseller said. “I’ve always loved stories told with historical settings, and being transported back to the Golden Age of Sailing was incredible. On top of this, the plot of the story was incredible.”
The novel contains some flaws that can be noticed, such as certain pacing issues or somewhat sloppy story-telling. Some critics complained of a rushed ending, and readers will occasionally ponder “this could be better if…”
The book doesn’t offer complex world building or fascinating, unique plots, rather simply being a lively book full of lovable characters and pirate pleasures. The innovative mix of romance and action makes the novel hard to put down.
Despite the minimal flaws, the overall story is a blissful bundle of fantasy fun, mates. The novel is not meant to be taken too seriously, after all.
Readers will feel giddy with all the wit and action the book allows readers to savor. Daughter of the Pirate King is truly a delightful hidden treasure among pirate books, offering a whimsical nautical world of pirates, sirens, and sword fights.
The sequel to Daughter of the Pirate King, Daughter of the Siren Queen, was published on February 27, 2018 and is available along with the first of Levenseller’s series at the high school library.
So grab your cutlasses, pirate hats, and a copy of Daughter of the Pirate King and “drink up, me hearties, yo ho!”