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Cindy Vallar, Editor & Reviewer
P.O. Box 425, Keller, TX  76244-0425

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Books for Adults - Fiction

Cover Art: Daughter of the Pirate King
Daughter of the Pirate King
By Tricia Levenseller
Feiwell and Friends, February 2017, ISBN 978-1-250-09596-1, US $17.99 / CAN $24.99


Pretending to be someone sheís not and hiding skills that could free her are difficult for Alosa, but to succeed in her mission, she has no other choice. She just canít make her capture seem too easy for Captain Draxen and the rest of the pirates of Night Farer. She also wants to make certain her crew gets away unharmed . . . well, at least the three she trusts who are true members of her real crew. Her father handpicked the rest from among the debtors, thieves, and disobeyers who come to his attention.

Once he boards her ship, Draxen reveals that he knows exactly who she is: Princess Alosa, daughter of Kalligan, the Pirate King. When she attempts to negotiate her surrender, a battle of wits ensues. An accord is finally reached, but not without shedding blood, and his crew puts her crew in longboats and tells them it will take them 2 Ĺ days to reach the nearest port. Once there they are to deliver his ransom note to the Pirate King. Then Draxen sinks their ship.

Furious at losing face in front of his men, Draxen threatens Alosa before locking her in a cell. Getting out isnít a problem; sheís quit adept at picking locks and well-trained by her father, but sneaking out must wait until the pirates are asleep. Only then will it be a tad safer to search Night Farer to complete her mission.

Many years ago a map was torn into sections and given to three pirate lords. These pieces have been handed down from father to son through generations. Her father has one. The second was held by Draxenís father, but heís dead now, which means Draxen may or may not have the map. In fact, he may not even know about it. Itís her job to find it; only then can she set in motion the rest of her fatherís plan. Once he has all three sections and reassembles the map, it will lead him to the Isla de Canta Ė an island filled with treasure and protected by magical sirens.

Draxenís brother Riden is tasked with interrogating Alosa to discover the exact location of Kalliganís hideaway. While heís out searching for herhter, Draxen will sail to the hideaway and lay an ambush. The Pirate King introduced the concept of honesty to make deals and negotiate with rival lords. Draxen prefers the old ways and being honest goes against the grain of many pirates. Hence his reason for capturing Alosa.

Having been raised by a vicious father, Riden has seen the crueler side of life. He doesnít want to see Alosa hurt, but heís not against allowing others to hurt her if she fails to answer his questions. Almost from the start, she recognizes Riden feels responsible for some situation. She just doesnít know what or why. But she does understand that all he truly wants is to be loved and accepted.

Riden has a special skill, one that allows him to elicit information without others knowing this is what heís doing. His technique differs from usual interrogations, and Alosa enjoys their cat-and-mouse game. Until she realizes she has shared some secrets, such as her willingness to do whatever her father asks just to please him. Riden also senses Alosa keeps a more important secret . . . but itís one she canít afford to reveal to him or anyone else.

From first sentence to last, Alosa weaves a magical web filled with powerful emotions that compel you to keep turning pages. She drops hints throughout her tale, but never reveals the truth until the exact moment you need to know. Levenseller deftly melds fantasy with pirate lore and betrayal. Just when you think you know what comes next, she inserts an unexpected twist that heightens the tension and sends you plummeting. The intended audience may be young adults, but anyone will enjoy this story because it touches on themes we all can relate to:  the need for acceptance, a desire to be loved, and trying to please oneís parents no matter how high they set the bar.

Daughter of the Pirate King is a great fantasy made even better with the promise of a sequel. After all, thereís still one piece of map to find.

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Review Copyrighted ©2016 Cindy Vallar

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