I gave a strong 4.8/5 star rating for Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller. If you want a female Captain Jack Sparrow, this is the fantasy pirate book for you. I assumed this was fantasy romance, but the romance wasn’t as strong as a focus as I wanted because of the cliffhanger ending. I am still very eager to read the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen, yet I personally believe if a book is marketed as fantasy romance, then it still needs to meet that criteria as a standalone instead of only as a series. If you disagree, message me to change my mind!
This YA/NA borderline reminded me of a mix between Daughter of the Deep by Lina C. Amarego, All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace and Fable by Adrienne Young. The steam level was clean but the multiple references to non-consensual sex made the content feel more New Adult.
The best part was how well structured the plot was. Everything made sense and was so smooth from start to finish without hiccups making it a quick 48-hour read. It was a pleasant ride, expected outcome, yes, but it kept me soaked in the story. What I’d change was getting Asola out of captivity more. That part became a little repetitive. They were on the ship the majority of the time and since she was in the brigg, most of the “movie” of this book would be in the same location, cast in dark shadows surrounded by stink.
The prose flowed beautifully in first person, present tense and didn’t feel forced or clunky at all. I couldn’t say that the theme was super obvious since the sequel will probably cover more of her character growth. Maybe it was simple enough that girls can kick ass?
Here’s some thoughts while reading: (possible mild spoilers)
So chapter one set the stage well for their location aboard pirate ships and how witty Princess Alosa isn’t a naive girl being captured but is pretending in order to rob Draxen’s ship. I’m hoping the possible romance isn’t with this captain because why he said about allowing his free to rape her at night if she didn’t follow his orders wasn’t something I’d forget. So if it’s enemies to lovers with him then the author has a lot of work to redeem him.
In chapter two I was relieved to learn that Riden, the first mate, might be the romantic interest instead of his sleezeball brother. I’m excited what secrets they’ll learn about each other and how she will escape.
Sidenote- I loved the font of the chapter headers. It was right on target for piratey. At this point in the story I needed something different to happen other than conversations with the crew and her setting the stage for her goal of stealing the map.
At page 73 when they were temporarily forced to work together was writing genius.
At chapter seven I’d wanna comment that the content feels more like new adult material instead of YA even though the character is 17.
At the halfway mark I loved that Riden showed a few instances that he cared. I never understood how in movies and books when the protagonist finally gives the bad guy the information they want, it would be believed so easily and taken as truth. They had no reason to trust her. I felt the pressure here of her new time crunch to find the map for her father. Yet I also questioned the unconditional love comment they brought up earlier.
Usually when novels feel “simple” like this, they are anything but that. It’s a testament to the authors skills and how well all the pieces flow and merge cohesively. The ease in this story reminds me of “The Nature of Witches” with the smooth movement from scene to scene progressing perfectly.
Chapter 13 was perfect with the seduction and color of emotions/energy!
Ah! Chapter 17 was frickin’ brilliant to show what she cared about!
The only reason this book wasn’t a 5/5 was because 1. too much time in captivity and 2. It ended more like a fantasy genre instead of fantasy romance genre.
Here’s the blurb if you’re interested:
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.
If you want other exciting reads, don’t forget to check out the Golden Chains trilogy by yours truly.