A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that despite heavy marketing of its title character (a snarky, tricky, self-possessed 17-year-old) as "a lady Jack Sparrow," Daughter of the Pirate King features a stunning quantity and casual acceptance of brutal violence as all in a day's work. That violence includes stabbings, throat-cuttings, beatings, torture, rape, and more. Princess Alosa and her 18-year-old captor/love interest have the occasional ethical twinge, setting them apart from most of the other characters. The story is fast-paced and a fun read, but its moral compass points to pretty dark territory.
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What's the story?
Seventeen-year-old Princess Alosa, DAUGHTER OF THE PIRATE KING and a Siren, has just fallen into the clutches of her father's rivals, the young pirate captain Draxen and his 18-year-old brother Riden. But it's all part of an elaborate plan to please her brutal father (and probably avoid torture and imprisonment) by recovering a map he's convinced is stashed somewhere on Draxen's ship. Threats, imprisonment, beatings, hypnotic magic, deception, and intrigue ensue as the body count rises. Meanwhile, Alosa and Riden grapple with each other's deceit, rising romantic tension, and inexplicable twinges of conscience.
Is it any good?
Princess Alosa tells a fine tale, has many adventures, and takes care of herself, but the sheer overwhelming carnage as the story unfolds goes way beyond piratical genre-driven window-dressing. First-time author Tricia Levenseller delivers a spirited, snarky heroine who's quite at home in a murderously dysfunctional environment:
"'Kill the rest,' I say.
"Sorinda is the first to take out her sword. She starts stepping behind the men and slitting throats one after the other. Killing is practically an art for her. The way she moves is magical."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pirates in Daughter of the Pirate King. How does this pirate story compare with others you know? Why are pirate stories so popular?
What do you think is the appeal of being a pirate? What might be a downside?
What other stories do you know that involve the Sirens? How do those stores turn out? Does anyone ever get the best of the Sirens?
Themes & Topics
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