My Rating: ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: February 28, 2017
“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.”
“Oh, the ridiculous things one has to do when one is a pirate.”
If I were being honest, my rating for this one actually falls vaguely between 3.5 and 4 stars. Weird, right? Okay, give me a sec to explain.
This book is fun. Loads of fun. I mean, who doesn’t enjoy pirates? I’ve loved the concept of pirates ever since Pirates of the Caribbean. For me, pirates is immediately associated with the feel of adventure, the feel for the unknown, and the opportunity to discover something new, something forbidden, and maybe even something gold. I’m so in love with pirates that when A Gathering of Shadows introduced a pirate subplot with Lila, I was over the moon, even after pirating proved to be a secondary element to the story as a whole.
So you best believe I was ecstatic to pick up Daughter of the Pirate King, an entire book dedicated to pirates and adventure and treasure. And while I enjoyed the book for what it was, I’m not sure I received all that I was looking for.
The characters are, by far, the most entertaining part of the story. Alosa is cunning, deadly, sarcastic, stealthy, and simply a force to be reckoned with. She doesn’t mind killing those who obstruct her path and she uses all the resources available to her in order to get ahead of her enemies. Or so she thinks.
“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’s love interest, Riden, is charming and intelligent and has a great sense of humor like all the other characters in the book. However, I don’t think I was entirely sold on the budding romance between him and Alosa. They had witty rapport that elicited more than a few smiles and chuckles from me, but that was just about it. By the end, I felt as if they would have made better platonic friends than potential lovers.
As for the story itself, I felt it could have been more expansive. When I think of pirates, I think of endless oceans, uncharted islands, and multiple encounters with various cultures and peoples. I see a big wide world, yet this story felt very contained as most of the action took place on a ship. In other words, the world-building could have used a boost. I wasn’t able to get a clear picture of the world beyond that ship and when the characters found themselves on land, in a seaside town, there was not much said about the way the houses were built, the way the town smelled, how the people looked, and so on. There was no lore or history associated with the town or any other place for that matter, and this capacity, the story was severely lacking.
And while I loved Alosa, I was not much a fan of the twist. The author did well dropping very subtle hints here and there about Alosa’s true nature, but when it was officially revealed I could not help but feel a bit disappointed. Alosa was far more interesting to me when she was simply a formidable pirate who relied solely on skill and wit to succeed. But after the big reveal, she became something more and a little less at the same time.
By all accounts, I’m a fan of this book, mostly for its pirate storyline. And I’m a fan of the characters. However, I’m hoping for more of an adventure in the next book, one that involves a lot more exploring and sailing of the seven seas. I’d like to see more of the world the author’s created, and hopefully the treasure hunt will feel more like a hunt than a happenstance.
All in all, this is a good book with tons of potential. I’m really looking forward to the next book, just to see what shenanigans Alosa and her crew, as well as Riden, will get up to!