A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
When you make a mistake, forgive yourself but do better next time. A solid relationship needs honesty and open communication; if you have those, you can figure out the rest as it comes. It's OK to rely on others for strength, but you also have to find your own strength from within.
Positive Role Models
Most characters are pirates, and Sorinda the narrator is the pirate queen's personal assassin, but within that world the pirate queen is a good, responsible leader who cares about her crew and doesn't leave anyone behind. Sorinda models perseverance and doesn't value possessions because they can be taken away from you easily. She hates responsibility but takes it on and does the right things with it in order to help others in danger. Kearan is a great model for compassion, empathy, communication, and is the ideal, patient and supportive love interest.
Narrator Sorinda is Black with dark brown skin, brown eyes, and long dark braids. Other characters' skin ranges from White to onyx, and there's a wide range of hair texture and color. Women are in positions of power and are strong leaders. Men and women work alongside each other as equals. One character is described as big, and there's a brief discussion of being okay with being big.
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Violence & Scariness
Killing and fighting with swords, knives, and guns describe slashing, nicking, and plunging knives into body parts. Blood and pain are described in detail. Other than blood there's not much gore in the real world, but fantasy violence includes descriptions of pulling hearts out of living victims, mention of gooey entrails and shattered bones, slicing tendons, hacking off body parts like noses and fingers, and a giant sea monster that eats people. There's an army of the undead controlled by an immortal being. Past memories imply rape, and the murder of a family including young children by slitting throats and drowning is described.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
A few kisses with descriptions of emotions and hand placement without mentioning sensitive body parts. The most intense mentions parting legs, locking ankles behind the partner's back, and pressing together. Spending the night together is implied but only kissing is mentioned. Characters model good examples of asking and giving consent. The narrator says her love interest "feels like death" in a positive way that's the same as the feeling she gets when she exacts revenge by killing someone.
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"S--t" and variants, "damn," "hell," "arse," and "piss."
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Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
A minor character smokes a pipe. Some exploration of a character's past alcohol abuse. Drinking at a celebration, but Sorinda doesn't have any because she likes to stay in control.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Vengeance of the Pirate Queen is a set in the same world as author Tricia Levenseller's Daughter of the Pirate Queen duology, but follows a different character on a rescue mission at sea. Sword, knife, and gun violence are still present but not excessive; gore is mostly from descriptions of blood. There's also an army of the undead controlled by an immortal being, and a giant, human-eating sea monster. There's a blossoming romance with a few kisses and implied sex without mentioning sensitive body parts. Older teen and adults drink alcohol at a celebration. One character's past abuse of alcohol is an important theme. Family loss is also prominent as the main character struggles with having watched her family be murdered as a child. Strong language is rare and includes "s--t," "damn," "arse," and "hell."
Is It Any Good?
This gleefully swashbuckling and genuinely funny snark-fest will have fans of all things pirate digging in with relish. Vengeance of the Pirate Queen certainly has its share of throat slitting and running through with swords, but it's more than balanced by high-seas adventure, romance, and saving the world from an immortal, power-hungry dictator. Set in the same world as Levensetter's Daughter duology, this story pivots to focus on Sorinda. Favorite characters return, and colorful new ones are introduced. The ending is satisfying while leaving plenty of room for further pirate adventures.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.