“All the sirens throughout the centuries have carried their stolen treasures to an island, Isla de Canta. There can be found the wealth of history, treasures beyond imagination. This is what my father seeks. This is why I’m here. This is what I’ve prepared for: stealing another piece of the map.”
I adored everything about this book. The characters, the (minimal) world building, the action, the (minimal) romance. This was one of my anticipated releases for 2017, and even as a debut book it did not let me down. The story follows Alosa as she embarks on an adventure to steal 1/3 of a map that leads to an island that holds a treasure that pirates dream about. Despite her determination and persistence she encounters obstacle after obstacle that she must overcome to finish out the task appointed to her by her father.
Alosa-as the title describes she is the daughter of the pirate king. Her character is both beautiful, ruthless, and overall badass. The thing I particularly appreciated about her though is that despite all her redeeming qualities, she was still aiming to please her father. She did not fear the high seas, death, or the other pirates. What she feared was what would happen if she failed her mission and let her father down. With the prospect of making him proud shes goes to many lengths to complete her mission-including let herself be captured despite her ability to escape time & time again. At first her ego was a bit much, but her fearlessness and skill is proven throughout the story to not be just talk.
“These men don’t know who they’re dealing with. I am power and strength. I am death and destruction. I am not someone to be triffled with. They are beneath my notice.”
Riden & Draxen-The pirates who capture her are also both handsome, ruthless, and smart. I loved that they too are willing to make sacrifices for what they desire most, and a ransom on a beautiful pirate princess is sure to do just that. They are both not what they seem and have a bond that even Alosa can appreciate and understand. They are key to adding more depth to Alosa’s character as she views her lack of family/bond with anyone besides the women on her own vessel.
The world building in the book is minimal but is not lacking. While the majority of the book takes place on a pirate ship lengthy descriptions of the scenery is neither present or necessary. What Levenseller does give us is circumstantial history and the presence of a world outside the confines of the wood ship. Conversations with and descriptions of the surrounding pirates gives a feel of the lifestyle aboard the ship. Through the tales from the pirates we learn of sirens who lure men away and steal the treasure that Alosa is after. It also gives the premise of the fantastical elements that are woven into the book. Every pirate story needs a siren and other deadly creatures of the sea.
Sword play and swashbuckling is prevalent throughout the story, and there isn’t a throat that Alosa wouldn’t hesitate to slit if it meant achieving her goals. The action sequences as well as the hint of espionage help drive the story from scene to scene. I couldn’t help myself but start humming the Pirates of the Caribbean theme music every time a fight scene would commence.
Of course, a little romance goes a long way. Despite Alosa being headstrong and adamant to doing everything in her power to get the map that she has been searching for, she can’t help herself but feel something for the one man who seems to figure her out. As it is only an underyling part of the story, the romance aspect does not take away from the action packed story. In fact, it adds to only justify who she does or doesn’t kill based on her relationship with her captors and the rest of the crew.