Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Book Review: Daughter of the Pirate King

TITLE: Daughter of the Pirate King
Book 1 in a duology
AUTHOR: Tricia Levenseller
PUBLISHED: February 28th, 2017
GENRE: Fantasy/Adventure
PREMISE:The daughter of the pirate king gets captured by pirates. Little do the pirates know: her capture was on purpose...
MY REVIEW: I don't know about anyone else, but I wanted to read this one the minute I heard about it. Pirate princess? Like, who doesn't want to read about that? But I also went in with low expectations because...well YA, much as I love it, can have the tendency to take great concepts and just ruin them. Luckily, a few issues aside, the author mostly managed to make this a delightful book.
Are there tropes in here? Yes. But the author tends to subvert them. Every time a familiar scenario would start and I'd "uh oh, here comes sigh worthy part" she managed to take the trope in a way I didn't expect. The romance is a bit insta-lovish but the author never once tries to make the relationship into one of those "meant to be!" couples. She remembers at the end of the day: these two characters are pirates and that means things like romance are always going to be messy and not happy-go-lucky. The main character is a delight, I don't mind the romance, and the adventure is fun.
The thing that made me sigh heavily though was the representation. Mainly...there wasn't much of it. There are bits at the end where I can tell the author went "oh! Everyone here is white and straight...might need to fix that." and what follows is some pretty textbook examples of tokenization (the one character specifically not white was exotified so much in her description) and Bury Your Gays (one character revealed to be gay and then killed). Sigh. This debut was going so well before that. I'm sorry, if you're going to do some poor examples of representation like that, then I'd rather you not have bothered at all.
While there are definitely things that need work, I did ultimately like this book. It's exactly what it advertises itself as: a fun pirate adventure. The author needs to really work on her representation issues but overall, she has a lot of promise. I look forward to the next book.
WHO SHOULD READ: Pirates of the Carribean fans, those looking for books featuring lady pirates
MY RATING: Four out of Five pirate ships

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