Goodreads: Pirate Princess
Series: Princeles #3
Published: June 2015
Adrienne has busted out of her tower along with the help of her guard dragon Sparky and now she’s on a mission to rescue her sisters from their various prisons. But when she finds another princess trapped in a tower, Adrienne knows she has to rescue Raven Xiantao, daughter of the pirate king and sworn enemy of her own father, King Ashe. Soon she’s swept up in Raven’s quest for revenge, but can the two overcome their differences before Raven’s enemies destroy them both?
The Pirate Princess sidetracks heroine Adrienne from her mission to save her sisters as she rescues Raven, daughter of the pirate king, and helps Raven to reclaim her ship. Though the storyline is slightly reminiscent of a mini quest in a video game, seeing as it holds little relevance to the main plot, Raven’s fiery spirit will no doubt endear her to many a reader, and make this volume a welcome addition to the Princeless series.
The commitment to representation made by the series is evident from the beginning–Raven comes from an Asian-inspired culture and she is clearly a lesbian. The story introduces these elements without comment, make its case for diversity by making diversity natural. Of course, making all the diverse heroines generally awesome does not hurt it case, either!
Though the Princeless series works hard to defy stereotypes and to subvert typical anti-feminist story elements, initially this volume seemed to have, ironically, fallen into one of the more annoying anti-feminist scenarios. Since Raven and Adrienne are both strong females, of course they have to fight each other to see who would win! Fortunately, the characters soon work out their differences and recognize their mutual awesomeness–and one could argue that their initial moment of jealousy is simply a sign of their humanity. Still, I wish that fight scene has been avoided altogether, loaded as it is with anti-feminist connotations.
Besides the random fight and its amazingly quick resolution, The Pirate Princess proves another fun romp with Adrienne and her friends going up against the patriarchy. Bedelia sadly receives little story time, but Raven’s wit, combat skills, and sassiness almost make up for this lack. It is nice to see female with actual combat training featured–watching Adrienne take out all the king’s men when she can barely hold a sword may be funny, but it does not make a lot of sense.
The Pirate Princess is a lighthearted and humorous interlude in the Princeless series. It serves little purpose in regards to the plot, other than to provide some political information that could easily have been inserted by other means, but the story possesses heart and humor enough to allow it to stand on its own. I am sure I am not the only reader early awaiting Raven’s return in an upcoming installment.