Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate's life for me....
If you've followed me or this blog for any length of time, you'll know I'm an avid pirate fan! I love all things sea-faring and nautical! Especially in my fiction!
Here's my top ocean/pirate/nautical recommendations and a bonus recommendation for an upcoming release!
Sea of Ruin - Pam Godwin
This one is a dark, gritty historical pirate romance. There's love triangles, violence, adventure, and so much more!
Bennett Sharp is on the run. Wanted for piracy, she fears neither God nor death nor man. Except Priest Farrell.
The unfaithful, stormy-eyed libertine hunts her with terrifying possessiveness. Nothing will stop him from coming for her. Not his unforgivable betrayal. Not when she’s captured by the ice-cold pirate hunter, Lord Ashley Cutler.
She must escape Ashley’s prison and Priest’s deceit. But can she walk away from their twisted desires?
Two gorgeous captains stand on opposite sides of the law. When they collide in a battle to protect her, the lines blur between enemies and lovers. Passion heats, secrets unravel, and hearts entangle until they break. Can love prevail in the sea of ruin?
Dark Shores series - Danielle Jensen
This series is just pure AMAZINGNESS. Danielle manages to weave characters and stories together like a genius. You will start with this one... but you'll instantly get sucked in and have to read the rest of the series immediately.
In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
A SAILOR WITH A WILL OF IRON
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
A SOLDIER WITH A SECRET
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
A DANGEROUS QUEST
When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice.
Check out the rest of the series: Tarnished Empire, Dark Skies, and the next installment, Gilded Serpent, which releases April 27th!
All the Stars and Teeth duology - Adalyn Grace
Captivating YA coming-of age story filled with magic, high seas adventure, and found family goodness!
Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.
She will reign.
As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer — the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.
When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.
But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder — and more peril — than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.
I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.
Check out the sequel too, All the Tides of Fate!
Seafire trilogy - Natalie Parker
Badass lady pirates save the world. That's all you need to know.
After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armored fleet.
But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?
Check out the rest of the trilogy with Steel Tide and Stormbreak!
Fable - Adrienne Young
There's adventure on the high seas, and a little slow build romance to boot!
For seventeen-year-old Fable, the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home she has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one, and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father, and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.
But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him, and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.
Check out the sequel, Namesake, which released March 16th!
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christos
Dark Little Mermaid retelling, featuring a dual POV structure! Overall, just a very wonderful standalone!
Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?
Daughter of the Pirate King duology - Tricia Levenseller
One of my favorite pirate books ever! There's just no words for how captivating and engaging this story is.
There will be plenty of time for me to beat him soundly once I’ve gotten what I came for.
Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.
Check out the sequel, Daughter of the Siren Queen!
On Stranger Tides - Tim Powers
The inspiration (loosely) for Pirates of the Caribbean, this book just HAD to be on my list!
Aboard the Vociferous Carmichael, puppeteer John Chandagnac is sailing toward Jamaica to claim his stolen birthright from an unscrupulous uncle, when the vessel is captured . . . by pirates! Offered a choice by Captain Phil Davies to join their seafaring band or die, Chandagnac assumes the name John Shandy and a new life as a brigand. But more than swashbuckling sea battles and fabulous plunder await the novice buccaneer on the roiling Caribbean waters–for treachery and powerful vodun sorcery are coins of the realm in this dark new world. And for the love of beautiful, magically imperiled Beth Hurwood, Shandy will set sail on even stranger tides, following the savage, ghost-infested pirate king, Blackbeard, and a motley crew of the living and the dead to the cursed nightmare banks of the fabled Fountain of Youth.
Vampirates - Justin Somper
Okay, this one is not my usual type of recommendation. This is middle grade, and I remember reading this series in middle school and I absolutely LOVED it. Vampire pirates. Orphaned twins separated by a ship wreck. Lots of humor and adventure.
Twins, Connor and Grace, find truth to Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died, after they are shipwrecked and separated. Connor, aboard a pirate ship, learns to swordfight. For Grace, aboard a ship of vampire pirates, danger is great. What will it take for them to find each other?
Daughter of the Deep - Lina Amarego
This holds a top spot on my TBR and I am so excited to dive into it!
A wedding to end a war.
It's been four years since the blood feud between the Branwens and Mathonwys started. Four years of sunken ships and loved ones lost, four years of wounds both seen and unseen. Keira Branwen is no stranger to duty. As the first mate of a legendary pirate ship, blessed by the sea-god Lyr, and heir apparent to her clan, she would sail to the Otherworld and back to keep her family safe.
But when the Council threatens banishment for her people, Keira is faced with a choice; she must either marry her father's alleged killer, the sea-snake Ronan Mathowny, or curse her family to the deep.
But in the Seven Isles of the Deyrnas, secrets sleep just beneath the surface of the water. Her father's death is still shrouded in mystery, and Ronan--her childhood friend, the man she once loved -- is hell-bent on proving his innocence. As enemies become friends and friends become suspects, Keira must wade through the waters of doubt to expose the truth, save her family, and restore her father's legacy.
But Keira soon learns that there are ties thicker than blood, and there is more than one way to sacrifice a life.
The much anticipated sequel, Sister of the Stars, releases April 17th!
On These Black Sands - Vanessa Rasanen
And as a bonus recommendation, this beauty releases August 10th, and will very likely immediately skyrocket to the top of my favorites list I'm sure!
AN HEIR ON THE RUN
In one month, Aoife Cascade will turn twenty and take her seat on the Council of Cregah, an honor she’s been preparing for her whole life. But when she lets a secret slip to her mother with devastating consequences, all her plans for the future crumble. Believing her people to be better off without her, she flees Cregah, stowing away aboard a pirate ship bound for dangerous waters.
A PIRATE CAPTAIN WHO NEEDS HER HELP
Captain Declan McCallagh is young compared to the pirate lords, but after twelve years on the grueling sea, he has earned a well-respected ship and the attention of the lords, who’d like nothing better than to see his ruin. All he wants is to leave the Aisling Sea—and his past—behind him. But when his sister demands he find the enchanted dagger her rebel faction needs to overthrow the ruling Council, he’ll have to decide whether to cast off all family ties or take the perilous voyage to waters guarded by sirens, only passable with the help of the last remaining fae, currently imprisoned by the Council.
With murder and betrayal at every turn, can Aoife and Declan learn to rely on one another? Or will the secrets they carry destroy their people—and each other?
Have you read any of these? Let's chat about them!