A desperate orphan turned pirate and a rebellious imperial daughter find a connection on the high seas in a world divided by colonialism and threaded with magic.
Aboard the pirate ship Dove, Flora the girl takes on the identity of Florian the man to earn the respect and protection of the crew. For Flora, former starving urchin, the brutal life of a pirate is about survival: don’t trust, don’t stick out, and don’t feel. But on this voyage, as the pirates prepare to sell their unsuspecting passengers into slavery, Flora is drawn to the Lady Evelyn Hasegawa, who is en route to a dreaded arranged marriage with her own casket in tow. Flora doesn’t expect to be taken under Evelyn’s wing, and Evelyn doesn’t expect to find such a deep bond with the pirate Florian.
Soon the unlikely pair set in motion a wild escape that will free a captured mermaid (coveted for her blood, which causes men to have visions and lose memories) and involve the mysterious Pirate Supreme, an opportunistic witch, and the all-encompassing Sea itself.
Genre(s): YA, Fantasy, Adventure
Published by Candlewick Press on May 5, 2020
[ Add it on Goodreads ]
Representation: (click to show)
Japanese-coded setting/culture, Japanese-coded WLW MC, questioning/genderqueer MC, nonbinary Black-coded minor character, Japanese-coded WLW minor character, queer central romance, minor F/F relationships
Content warnings: (click to show)
colonialism, xenophobia, alcoholism, drinking (mermaid/human) blood, slavery, homophobia, transphobia, misgendering, past rape, amputation of a finger as punishment, deaths of children, arranged marriage, on-page waterboarding
I received an advance review copy from Candlewick Press. Quotes were checked against a finished copy of the book.
This post is backdated.
- Which of these postcards is your favorite?
- If you had to pick: mermaids or witches?
- What kinds of literary lives do you most like to escape into?