Sunday, January 8, 2017

Review: Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller


Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Book One of the Daughter of the Pirate King series
Publisher: Feiwel and Friends
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
Rating: 4 stars
Source: ARC sent by the publisher

Summary (from Goodreads):

A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

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.

Debut author Tricia Levenseller blends action, adventure, romance, and a little bit of magic into a thrilling YA pirate tale.

What I Liked:

This was a really fun and entertaining read - exactly what I would hope for, from a story with pirates. Anytime you drop the word "pirate" in the title or synopsis, I'm going to except swashbuckling adventure, clever scheming, and a good dose of sneak thievery. I was not disappointed by this book! 

Alosa is the daughter of the pirate king Kalligan. She's his only child (the only one he's claimed), which makes her very valuable. What people don't know is that she isn't a spoiled and pampered pirate princess - she is a cunning and dangerous pirate. When her father sends her on a mission to retrieve a part of a map, Alosa's plan is get captured willingly by a young pirate lord and search their ship for the piece of the map that the former pirate lord of that ship had. The captain, Draxen, is every bit as cruel and ruthless as his father was. But Alosa doesn't expect to be distracted by the captain's first mate and younger brother, Riden. Finding the piece of the map isn't going to be the difficult part of the task - getting around Riden will be.

From the start, this book set the tone of adventure and humor. Getting captured (willingly) might seem like gloom and doom, but Alosa is so entertaining. She is taken prisoner and her crew is freed. From the start, Alosa proves to be a handful. She is brazen and smart-mouthed, and she is feisty. She's spirited and unafraid to keep trying. She has a plan and she doesn't let obstacles get in her way of finding the map.

Much of the first half of the book is about Alosa's search for the map without getting caught. She is placed in the brig, but she cleverly lets herself out of the prison at night to search the ship. But she is caught several times by Riden, the first mate. He is very suspicious of her, but he finds her entertaining and hot-tempered. Between him and the captain, he is more merciful, but he makes it very difficult for her to search the ship at will. 

I adored Alosa! She is so spirited and she is a fighter. She has been hardened by her father's tutelage, and she proves herself to be a capable and clever pirate, over and over. She's a fierce and wonderful heroine, and she relies on no one to save her but herself. This book has a light and fun current to it, but it's also incredibly empowering and feminist in a subtle way.

I also really liked Riden. We can see that Draxen, his older brother and captain of the ship that, is greedy and ruthless pirate. But Riden is much more merciful and wicked, with a conscious and a clever brain. He is very observant and learns a lot about Alosa by watching her and observing her. I like how he understands and reads her so well, even after only weeks of knowing her. 

Initially I thought the romance would be weird, because how on earth would Alosa fall for a pirate that took part of her capture. But Alosa and Riden sort of become friends. Almost every time she let herself out of the brig, he catches her, which leads to some sort of hilarious back-and-forth banter. He visits her in the brig and talks to her - the purpose being to extract information about the pirate king from her - but they each learn a lot about each other. And there is a lot of banter and bicker, especially on Alosa's part. As the story goes on, it's clear that at least in terms of their relationship, it's less of prisoner-captor, and something else. Riden begins to help Alosa, both directly and indirectly.

It was adorable, watching them fall for each other. The chemistry between them is suuuuuuper swoony, fan-yourself-worthy, and tangible. Every time the scene included the two of them, I started to expect two things: banter, and serious tension. I was almost never disappointed, especially as the story went on. Whew!

But I liked that the author didn't develop the romance too quickly. Neither character is at the "I-love-you" stage. Both have pretty strong feelings for each other, and there are a few makeout scenes, but their relationship doesn't progress too quickly and it doesn't get too heavy. Yet? There is another book to follow this one.

There are several twists and turns to the story! You think it's just about Alosa finding a map piece for her father? Nope! I can't say more because of spoilers, but we learn key things about Alosa, and another pirate lord, and Riden and Draxen, as the story progresses. 

The ending is pretty good, in terms of how it wraps up. There isn't a cliffhanger, but it is clear that the story must (should) continue. I think this is a two-book series, which sounds good to me! I love the duology trend in YA publishing these days.

What I Did Not Like:

I don't have any specific dislikes, though I suppose I would have loved for this story to keep going! The end was a little bit abrupt. Hopefully book two picks up exactly where book one finishes. 

Would I Recommend It:

I'd recommend this book! It's not an omg-new-favorite, but it's really enjoyable and definitely not disappointing. I wanted a fun, entertaining pirate-based story and I got exactly that (and a little more). I really liked the strong female protagonist and the clever and charming male protagonist, and the story was very entertaining. If you're looking for a captivating adventure on the sea, look no further!

Rating:

4 stars. I am looking forward to reading the second book! I'm hoping for more "pirate stuff", especially concerning Alosa's father, more swoon (kissing! more kissing!), and more sticky situations for Alosa to clever wriggle out of. Levenseller is an author whose books I will be keeping an eye out for in the future!


Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!

44 comments:

  1. It's because of Peter Pan and Captain Jack Sparrow that I love pirates! And this definitely sounds like a great read. Awesome review!

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    1. Right?! We grew up with pirates in our lives! This story was really good. Thank you!

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  2. This looks AMAZING! Great review, glad you loved it! I adore swoony banter and pirates, so this is definitely a book for me. I NEED IT!

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

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    1. Right?! This book had me at pirates, honestly!

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  3. It's always a good thing when the only dislike you can list is that you wish it were longer!! :D I'm glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Alyssa! I'm really looking forward to reading it!

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    1. I kept trying to turn pages but the ARC had no more! Very disappointing, LOL. I hope you enjoy this book, Becky!

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  4. OOoh nice! I've been trying to be good this year and not add a whole lot to my TBR pile (LOL!)! But this one was definitely catching my eye, because PIRATES!! Glad to hear it was an amazing debut! I might just be buying this one right away too! LOL! Great review!

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    1. Girl, I feel you! There are just so many great books that have published recently and will be publishing. This one is pretty unique and fun because, as you said, pirates. :D I hope you enjoy it if you read it, Jessica!

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  5. I had fun reading this one too. I loved the romance and I'm hoping we get more in the sequel. I especially can't wait for her lady pirate crew to be featured more heavily! :)
    Great review, Alyssa!

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    1. Yes, definitely need more romance in the sequel! I can't wait to see Alosa in action, on her own ship.

      Thank you, Nick!

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  6. I like the sound of this one. Pirates are always a win and I haven't read too many pirate stories for some reason. I am glad you enjoyed this one. Great review!

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    1. I agree! There have not been many YA stories featuring pirates. Thank you, Carole!

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  7. I am so glad to hear this delivers everything a pirate book should deliver. YA needs more pirate books so I am super excited to read this one!

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    1. RIGHT?! I would have been so sad if this book was disappointing. I hope you enjoy this one when you get the chance to read it, Teresa!

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  8. I'm glad that you ended up liking this one! I loooooved it so much! I can't wait for the sequel! I need more lady pirate badassery in my life!

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    1. I remember seeing your review! Hopefully book two is even better than this one. =)

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  9. Glad to hear you had fun with this one, Alyssa, it sounds like quite the adventure. Wonderful review! :)

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    1. It was very entertaining! Thank you, Rachel. ^_^

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  10. This book sounds like so much fun. I have recently been reading some heavy books, and this sounds like the perfect break from those. You definitely convinced me to add this to my goodreads TBR. :)I love that banter and tension are two big aspects of their budding relationship. It sounds perfect for me. Plus, it is a big pro that they don't immediately fall in love with each other.

    Amazing review, Alyssa! Have a great rest of your week!

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    1. Girl, this is something I think you would LOVE! I really hope you read it because it is so fun and entertaining, and I am so sure you'd like it. Please let me know if/when you do!

      Thank you, Genni! I hope you're having a good week, too. =)

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  11. Oh nice!I recently found out about this and have been wondering about it -- loving the banter and the slow burn to build everything up properly!

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    1. You should give it a chance, if you're interested! I don't think you'll be disappointed. ;)

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  12. I agree, there's something about the word "pirate" in book titles that promises a fun, action-packed read. The presence of a swoony, bantery romance just seals the deal as far as I'm concerned! Thanks for putting this one on my radar, Alyssa! :)

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    1. Yes! Somehow you subconsciously anticipate the book being AWESOME. And this one was. I hope you enjoy it if/when you get the chance to read it, Danya!

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  13. This one sounds very interesting. I like that you have a bit of humor mixed in with some suspense. It sounds like the author did a great job developing the characters as well! Great review!

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    1. The humor was really well-written! It wasn't overwhelming, but it made the book so much more fun to read.

      Thank you, Kristyn! :)

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  14. Thanks for sharing. This does sound like a fun one. The two main characters sound great, and I'm glad that the romance isn't unrealistic or occur too fast!

    -lauren

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    1. The only thing I really wanted more of was the romance, because I couldn't get enough! ;)

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  15. I have this one on my kindle right now! I'm so excited to read it and I'm glad to hear you liked it so much! I've heard so many good things about it one, I'm really looking forward to all the pirate adventures!

    Awesome review!

    Ashtyn @ Wonderland’s Reader!

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    1. It's one that (hopefully) won't disappoint! I hope you enjoy it, Ashtyn. =)

      Thank you!

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  16. I agree, if you mention pirates in a book, I expect swashbuckling adventure, and I so also pleased! So glad you enjoyed this book :D Lovely review, thank you for sharing!

    Hope you have a wonderful week :)

    Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

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    1. Excellent, I'm glad you liked it as well! Hopefully we are blown away by book two. Thank YOU, Brittany!

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  17. This book is already on out TBR - your review just meant it stays there. Fantastic review! it's been a while since we've read a pirate themed book, it'll be exciting to come back to that sort of world.
    ~ Pendragons 

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    1. YAY! I think you're in for a treat! I'll look out for your review. :D

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  18. I'm so freaking happy that the characters aren't in the I love you stage. I always think how a YA book should stick to the I like you stage with developing feelings. It's refreshing to know there's a book that's like that! Got me even more excited for this book.
    Genesis @ Latte Nights Reviews

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    1. It's pretty neat, how the author set up the romance! There is kissing and plenty of lust, and there are feelings between the two, but no one is professing love and whatnot. I hope you enjoy this book, Gen! =)

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  19. Yes great review Alyssa now I really want too check out this book when it comes out, I absolutely love books with pirates in them as well. Plus this one really looks and sounds right up my ally too! Thank you so much for your awesome post my friend.

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    1. I think you'd like this book, Katiria! Hopefully you get the chance to read it. :D

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  20. I LOVE pirates, but I haven't read enough books about them. I've seen many positives reviews about this book. I can't wait to read it. It sounds like such a fun read.
    Great review, Alyssa!

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    1. Right?! YA lit needs more pirates! I hope you enjoy this book if you read it, Lis. ^_^

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  21. This one is now firmly set on my TBR after reading this review. It's one I didn't really know too much about (until now) and it sounds like exactly the sort of read I will enjoy. I can't wait to get my hands on this one now!

    Thanks for the awesome review!

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    1. I think you would really like this book, Di! It has a certain adventure feel to it that appeals to me and I think you like those types as well.

      You're welcome and thank YOU!

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  22. Eee, yay :D This was a four star for me too. So so glad you loved it too :D YAY! It was just so cute. Sigh. And awesome :) And yess, book two better be awesome as well, lol :)

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    1. I'm glad! We need book two! More swoon too. ^_^

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