Tricia Levenseller's "Daughter of the Pirate King" is an unexpected treasure for her debut novel. Fans of pirates, action, a bit of romance and a dash of fantasy are in for a real treat.
Alosa is the daughter of the self-appointed Pirate King of Maneria, a fantasy world similar to the real world in the early 18th century. The story begins with her being captured by Captain Draxen and his brother and first mate, Riden. In truth, Alosa wanted to be captured and held for ransom as her father has sent her on a mission to find one-third of a map to the Isle of Canta, home of the sirens.
Princess Alosa is half-siren herself. Her tempestuous relationship with Riden is doubly difficult for her because playing the part of the damsel in distress does not sit well with her. The fact that Riden may actually have a heart and not be the typical brute she's used to doesn't help.
The story takes a good look at the bonds between brothers, between children and parents, and the emotional scars created by difficult childhoods. It demonstrates the strength of loyalty in the face of harsh fathers and the difficulty in seeing goodness in others when all you've known is bad.
Levenseller's novel has a strong, confident female protagonist who employs a majority of women in her crew. It has great moments of pure romantic interplay between Riden and Alosa as they verbally test each other's mettle. Her siren abilities come into play later on and are described and handled adeptly by the author.
The violence is not graphic but does deal with killing and swordplay. The romance includes kissing and vague references to stronger sexual situations that never take place. There is no adult language or profanity.