Lintang and the Pirate Queen

HMH/Clarion. Oct. 2019. 368p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781328460301.
Gr 4-7–Twelve-year-old Lintang of Desa village, protected by the sea guardian Nyasamdra, yearns for adventure, and thinks she’s found it when pirate captain Shafira welcomes her on board in exchange for safe passage through Nyasamdra’s waters. Lintang’s friend, Bayani, for reasons of his own, stows away and joins the crew. Lintang relishes every aspect of the eventful voyage including tangles with magical creatures who are described in occasional pages from The Mythie Guidebook (similar to entries from J.K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts). Lintang struggles to follow Shafira’s orders; she dives recklessly into any available fray regardless of her own safety. A final conflict with a dragon and a siren makes for an exciting ending, with sequels likely. Despite a bucketload of human and Mythie personalities, the story is clear and approachable. Moss’s smooth, sensory prose carries readers through the story as fluidly as Shafira’s ship navigates the waters around the United Regions. Shipboard activities are realistically portrayed, and there are enough political machinations and loose ends to provide many future stories. There may be a few too many elements in Moss’s series opener, but they will likely be explored in future works.
VERDICT A particularly well-crafted, solid fantasy adventure suitable for most collections.

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