Daughter of the Pirate King: My First Negative Review

I don’t know what the sound effect is for internal cringing but I’m feeling pretty ugh about even writing this review because I hate being negative about books and I just … ugh! Daughter of the Pirate King had such great potential so I never thought I’d be writing my first negative review of it.

I’ve never written a book (hopefully one day soon that will all change… don’t hold your breath), so I hate to be down on anyone that has and the product they’ve put out into the world, but I have issues with this book. First, though, I need to air these initial thoughts:

  1. I’m usually pretty easy to please with books
  2. I’m going to be as nice as possible, but I want to be honest
  3. I was promised a female (Captain) Jack Sparrow, and it just didn’t deliver

*big breath*

The back cover (and multiple reviews) promised me a female Captain Jack Sparrow so I bought this book. But, unfortunately, no matter what I did, I could not pull that vibe from this book or any of its characters – especially, disappointingly, Alosa Kalligan.

Alosa is the daughter of the pirate king (hence the title), and has a mission to find a piece of a map that’s been owned or stolen by another pirate. She does this by purposefully getting captured by the pirates she thinks have the map, and the rest of the book tracks her time with those pirates and Alosa’s sneaky, moon-lit searches of the boat. Also there’s a love story.

Unfortunately (ugh, the internal cringing, I’m so sorry), there were a few things that fell flat for me in this whole plot.

Let’s break it down.

Pirate King

As far as I could tell the Pirate King is self-proclaimed. Like, no other pirate cares?!? They all just do their own thing, live by their own rules, etc. “King” would suggest some sort of control over the other pirates, some sort of hierarchy in general that everyone sticks to and respects despite their swashbuckling ways. But there was no proof that Alosa’s father held any sort of authority. He didn’t even make an appearance, which wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world, but his power should have been displayed on full blast, not just in Alosa’s memories of his training exercises for her that were super traumatizing … though she still obeys him blindly. Without his clear show of power, without any clear threat from him, and without any sort of reader/pirate king experience Alosa’s actions seem completely empty and without motivation.

Love Story

I’m all about an enemies-to-lovers love story (I mean, the angry, shut-up-and-kiss-me moments are what we’re all living for right now). But what this love story really needed was more of a background for Alosa and Riden. Riden and his brother inherited their dad’s ship (the one Alosa hitches a ride on to search for the map), Riden’s brother is in charge, but Riden seems the better choice. Alosa is very taken with Riden because he’s…handsome.

Maybe it’s just me, but I saw no other attractive characteristic in Riden. He had a sad-boy energy, and didn’t really do anything but flirt with and threaten Alosa the entire time.

They needed a background. Like, Alosa’s dad is the pirate king, wouldn’t Riden and Alosa have potentially grown up together? Like, before the fallout where the Pirate King became the pirate king, Alosa and Riden were besties and then were forced apart by their feuding fathers? For me, there needed to be something more between them besides convenience and snarky comments.


As no-nonsense as she is, Alosa didn’t strike me as a Jack Sparrow. Jack Sparrow is exaggerated and comical. He’s rash and random, tipsy and totally the opposite of the normal pirate we all think of (and yet still very on brand somehow). I know I’m really hung up on the Jack Sparrow thing, but it is what talked me into purchasing this book, and it was promised. I’m just a little salty.

Instead, Alosa is damaged. She reminds us time and again that her dad was not exactly cuddly but she’s a survivor. However, this wasn’t really shown, we didn’t experience her relationship with her dad first-hand, and her resilience was barely put to the test. She’s a survivor and tough (as any pirate would have to be), but I needed this to be pushed to the limit, instead of simply explained to me.

Anyway. Alosa fell a little short of the promise for me – and I think the world really really deserves a female Jack Sparrow.


I gave this book 2 out of 5 stars on Goodreads. It makes me so sad because I really hoped to like this book more than I did. It’s most likely just me (apparently I’m pickier than I thought), so, as much as I probably talked you out of reading it, you should totally give Daughter of the Pirate King a shot!

Give it to me straight. What did you think? Share your thoughts & love for Daughter of the Pirate King with me on Instagram (@austen.etc).

Read some more book reviews here & here.

One Commnet on “Daughter of the Pirate King: My First Negative Review

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.