Lintang dreams of escaping her island home and having adventures on the high seas. She gets her chance when she and her best friend, Bayani, face a deadly mythie and survive, attracting the attention of the infamous Captain Shafira. Lintang’s bravery earns her an invitation onto the ship of the pirate queen, who is on her way to hunt down a nest of vicious sirens.
But they’ve barely left the island when Lintang discovers that Bayani has risked his life to stow away. Worse, he won’t tell her why. Lintang must choose whether to be loyal to Captain Shafira and continue with her adventures, or be loyal to her best friend and lose everything she’s ever wanted.
I really enjoyed reading about the characters in this novel. Lintang was a courageous and adventurous kid who admired the Pirate Queen and would do anything to go on a journey on her pirate ship. Lintang’s worst nightmare was to stay home and do chores for her mother all day. She followed her heart and found it hard to follow instructions. She was a character who grew on me more and more throughout the book.
Bayani was my favourite character in this book. He was a quiet and caring boy who was Lintang’s best friend. He loved magical creatures (called mythies) and because of this, other kids thought he was weird and avoided him. He did everything Lintang told him to do and they kept no secrets from each other… until recently, when Bayani started to not tell Lintang things.
I also liked the secondary characters, like Captain Shafira (who was the coolest character in the book!!) and her mostly all-female pirate ship crew. There was a huge cast of characters, however I felt each of the secondary and minor characters were relatable. I liked that there was representation of Asian characters, LGBTQ and mental illness, and that this was done with subtlety and warmth. I also loved the kick-butt female characters in this book!
Plot and Pacing
The pacing of the book was spot-on. After I got to about 1/3 of the book, it became un-put-down-able and I devoured the rest of the book in two days!
There were definitely a few plot twists towards the second half of the book that I couldn’t see coming.
Writing and Worldbuilding
I really appreciated all the thought that went into the worldbuilding. Loved the idea of mythies and pirates. I could tell that the places in the book had a rich history; there were also unique mythologies interwoven into the story that I loved. I definitely felt swept away on a pirate ship as I was reading about Lintang’s adventures.
Interspersed throughout the book were pages from the “Mythie Guidebook” that described each of the monsters that would appear in the upcoming chapters. Those were always so fun to read and also get me excited about the chapters coming up!
If you are looking for a fun and adventurous Middle Grade novel full of empowering female MCs and magical creatures, then give Lintang and the Pirate Queen a try!