Daughter of the Siren Queen: Daughter of the Pirate King, Book 2

Book review by
Mary Eisenhart, Common Sense Media
Daughter of the Siren Queen: Daughter of the Pirate King, Book 2 Book Poster Image
Snarky, slashy pirate princess returns in gory revenge romp.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Gore, adventure, romance, bonding, yes. Education, not so much.

Positive Messages

In between the hacking, slashing, beating, and stabbing, there are positive messages about leadership, teamwork, trust, respect, and finding your own path in life.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alosa and her crew may be too steeped in gleeful bloodshed to qualify as positive role models, but they share a strong, even desperate bond of loyalty, concern, and mutual responsibility. Riden, who's driven by concern for his (mostly worthless) brother as much as for his love of Alosa, is kind, levelheaded, steadfast, and has a good sense of humor.

Violence

Quite a few characters meet a violent death in Daughter of the Siren Queen, which even has a dagger-wielding 6-year-old. A villain keeps a character prisoner and rapes her. Not only is the violence inescapable from the first sentence, in which Alosa slashes a luckless pirate's throat, both the author and the characters seem to be having a lot of fun dishing it out, from stabbing, throat-slashing, dismemberment, and drowning to viciously abusive parents and dank dungeons. Also cannibals and man-eating sea monsters.

Sex

There's strong attraction between Alosa (who's also fighting off a pirate's unwelcome advances) and frenemy/captive/love interest Riden. But despite a lot of ogling, sexual banter, a couple of intense kisses, and a bit of foreplay that's interrupted by an attack on the ship, the bond finds its most important expression in growing trust and in a protective embrace to keep Alosa's siren side at bay. Sex, and the sirens' habit of killing and dismembering their hapless sex partners, are essential to the story, but the violence overwhelms any romance involved. Some of Alosa's crew worked as prostitutes before turning to pirate life.

Language

"Hell," "damn," "piss," "bastard," "arse."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A drunken helmsman sobers up when a crisis demands it. At one point water's in such short supply the pirates are forced to drink rum with their meals.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Daughter of the Siren Queen, like its previous volume Daughter of the Pirate King, is packed to the gunwales with gleeful, gory, mind-numbing violence from the first sentence, in which protagonist/narrator Alosa slits an unfortunate pirate's throat. Amid the stabbing, slashing, dismemberment, shooting, drowning, and devouring by sea monsters -- and that's all from the good guys, the villains are worse (a villain keeps a character prisoner and rapes her) -- there's also a page-turning, imaginative adventure, a heroine grappling with the challenges of leadership and unwelcome superpowers, and a ridiculously good-looking hero who's also a nice guy. To say nothing of a motley crew that includes ex-thieves, former prostitutes, a hard-drinking pilot, and a knife-wielding 6-year-old.

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What's the story?

Back in favor with her father, the Pirate King, 18-year-old Captain Alosa makes the unwelcome discovery that, besides all the abuse, he's being lying to her about a lot of important things having to do with the fact that she's also THE DAUGHTER OF THE SIREN QUEEN. Then an unexpected reunion with her long-lost mother opens up entire new worlds and forces Alosa to deal with her own destructive siren nature before she kills the humans she loves and needs. Complicating matters further: captive/frenemy/hottie/love interest Riden. But no time for all that, as Alosa pursues revenge on her dad, the king follows with a large crew and murderous intent, characters kill and maim one another with gusto. Meanwhile, awaiting their moment: the seductive, lethal sirens. Epic battles, a colossal body count, wild adventure, snarky dialogue, and snarkier narrative soon follow.

Is it any good?

The relentless, gleeful gore may be a deal-breaker for many, but Captain Alosa's return also brings an imaginative mix of snark, crew bonding, romantic tension, and swashbuckling adventure. The hacking, slashing, stabbing, and worse start on the first page of Daughter of the Siren Queen, continuing throughout at a rate more typical of horror tales or violent video games. If you can get past that, though, it's a fun read, with plenty of adventure, romance, and conflict to keep the pages turning.

 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the legend of sirens, who have appeared in mythological tales for thousands of years. What do you think is their enduring appeal? Is Daughter of the Siren Queen typical of the siren stories you know, or do other versions see them differently?

  • Alosa and Riden both come from brutally dysfunctional families, but are determined to do better themselves. Do you know any kids who struggle to overcome bad circumstances to make a better life? What challenges do they face?

  • Do you have trouble with the violence in this story, or do you think it's just part of the fictional world?

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For kids who love romantic fantasy and adventure

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