Reading/Interest Level: Young Adult
Author: Tricia Levenseller
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
When Alosa, daughter of the famed pirate king, is captured by a group of enemies she's not worried. After all, she planned her own capture so that she could find a legendary treasure map that her father desperately wants to uncover an incredible treasure. She uses this opportunity to search her captors' ship and learn more about her father's enemies while building her own reputation for the day that she will take over from her father. She has more than enough skill and cunning to find the map and escape, but when she starts to fall in love with Riden, the first mate and captain's brother, it might be the one thing that can get in the way. She finds the treasure map, but the ensuing challenges force Alosa to reveal secrets and use skills she'd rather not have to save herself and the people she has come to care about.
The book can be dark and gritty, just like the lives of real pirates, but also has elements of fantasy and romance. Alosa is the teenage girl equivalent of Jack Sparrow: smart, witty, but with less of an objection to killing anyone who gets in her way. Readers who have a problem with violence will likely have a problem with how often the pirates kill their enemies without batting an eye in this book. The romance takes over a significant part of the story, but the way their relationship builds over the course of the book works well with the rest of the plot. The story isn't meant to be taken seriously as much as it is to be enjoyed for a fun pirate story with a strong heroine that can handle anything that gets thrown at her. Readers who enjoyed this book will look forward to the sequel to find out more about what happens between Alosa, Riden, and Alosa's father. The sequel will also have plenty of room to explore the treasure hunting aspect of fictional pirates that wasn't fully explored in this one. Overall, this is a fast-moving story with enjoyable characters and a taste of the pirate life.
*Contains language, violence and torture, mentions of rape and other sexual content