Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Updated: Jan 18
“The man at the back of the group is Kearan. Stars, he’s ugly. His nose is large, his eyes too far apart, his beard too long and unkempt. His belly hangs over his belt to complete the look.
I think that my opinion can’t get any lower when I notice what’s in his hand. He tosses a couple of my dresses onto the heap at the floor.
I clench my teeth. “Were you dragging those? On this filthy floor? Do you have any idea how hard it was to find a girl my size to steal those from?”
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller is now one of my favourite pirate books (duology). Alosa, daughter of the pirate king who rules all the seas (plus the pirate quarter of most towns), is just as much of a badass leader and spy as Aelin Galathynius. Her mission is to allow herself to be kidnapped onto an enemy ship to find an ancient map to take back to her father. Similar to Captain Jack Sparrow, she is adept at creating plans in the moment, although they don’t always succeed.
The history of the characters and world is rich and well dispersed within the story. The book and the sequel aren’t huge, and I’d love for more to the series to explore the world further. I really like the idea of the ownership split between a land and sea kingdom. Plus, that the pirates have their own area in towns where the local land laws don’t apply to them.
“I am me because I choose to be me. I am what I want. Some people say you have to find yourself. Not I. I believe we create ourselves to be what we want.”
Alosa is a character who has a tough past. As the daughter of the king, he has made sure that she has been gruellingly well-trained to face anyone, especially pirate males who could cross her path. Although she is a pirate, like many women, she loves her clothes and would do anything to keep her hair from being cut off. For much of the story, Alosa cannot perform to her full potential as she can’t reveal how powerful she is. I felt for her frustrations, and it was an effective way to keep keep the suspense. She has her own ship and crew (all-female plus a couple of big guys) who have been handpicked by herself. I adore that she chooses her crew by proper morals.
“I value other traits above an affinity for torture and power over those weaker than oneself. I value brilliant minds, honest souls, and those with long endurance. I forge relationships based on trust and mutual respect, not fear and control.”
The pirates are "piratey". Levenseller has described them perfectly, and the few that we get to know are unique. It is clear how their past has shaped their lives and character. The brothers Draxen and Riden are both so hateable and lovable, respectively. Draxen is the unyielding, slimy, brutal pirate captain of old. Riden is as much of a gentleman as a pirate can be. I wasn’t sure about romance in a book like this at first, but it brought depth and many hilarious moments.
The inclusion of the connection between people who make a living on the sea and the sea itself gave the book an extra flavorful aspect.
“Even a man who’s spent his whole life at sea has reason to fear her when she’s angry. But not I. I sleep soundly. Listening to her music. The sea watches over me. She protects her own.”
Read: Oct 2019
—————KEEP READING IF YOU DARE (SPOILERS)———————————————
I found the most hilarious scene to be when Alosa rearranged the items in Riden’s room. This was definitely one of the most frustrating things to do to an organised person. It still amuses me!
The pairing of Alosa’s parents: Pirate King and Siren Queen, work so well together. It is refreshing to have a pirate heroine who is not entirely human. The hints to her heritage were subtle and so obvious after the fact (if you haven’t already thought about the title of the sequel too much).
I love that being in siren form gives her weaknesses and well as strengths. And that these weaknesses are enough to threaten the mission.
This book has so many layers, and I’m really looking forward to reading Daughter of the Siren Queen.
“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”