Book Review: The Pirate Princess

Book Review: The Pirate Princess by Tawn Krakowski

Penelope Puffinstuff is the ninth child of the royal family of Pufftania, so everyone calls her “Princess Penny.”  She’s a sweet, well-behaved girl, but is feeling slightly bored with the life of a princess.  So when it turns out that a centuries-old prophecy requires her to acquire a family treasure by her twelfth birthday (only a few months away!), Penny comes up with a scheme to disguise herself and her supporting crew as pirates.

The Pirate Princess

The first part of the plan goes off swimmingly, but there’s something a bit suspicious about Captain Mountebank.  Penny learns that her family has secrets, enemies and allies; and the peril described in the prophecy is very real indeed.  Penny’s a plucky girl, and she’s got good friends…can they succeed?

This book originally appeared on Big World Network, a website that showcases serial fiction.  It hosts stories ranging from children’s fantasy adventure (like the volume in hand) to steamy fantasy erotica.  Stories that are especially popular get to go to actual printed books; there’s even a sequel to this one.  The cover art by Mario Hernandez accurately depicts Penny’s outfit by the end of the novel.

This is an enjoyable children’s book, with some mildly scary bits (with pirates, you have to expect a certain amount of violence and bloodshed.)   The only thing I didn’t like was that Penny is perhaps a little too good-natured; a slight character flaw or moment of immaturity might have humanized her more.   Parents will appreciate that Penny has a good relationship with her parents and siblings, who are very supportive.  Naturally, the book is more aimed at girls, but boys should be able to enjoy it too.

I’d recommend this book for parents of 8-13 year olds who want pirate stories but aren’t ready for the more gruesome tales.

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8 thoughts on “Book Review: The Pirate Princess”

  1. Surprised to see a children’s book in the mix here, Scott. Didn’t realize that was something you tackled. Some of my favorite reads have been written for kids (read when I was a child mostly but have to admit I really enjoyed the Harry Potter series as an adult). I imagine your review will help parents decide if this is a good find for their little darlings.

    1. I picked it up at the convention, along with another Big World book, to help support small press. And yes, I read children’s books too–not as many as I did when my nieces were small, but some.

  2. How fun. Some years ago a group of friends were quite caught up in the legends of the Pirate Queen Grace O’Malley. It would have been great to have a kid’s book to widen the adventure of girls as pirates being adventurous and brave.

    1. I’ve seen other pirate girl stories before, but they usually were pirates first and then sometimes became queens.

  3. I appreciated your comment that Penny is perhaps a bit too good natured. That is something that annoys me as it throws me off. I’m thinking too much about that, rather than the story. Like the concept of girls being adventurous though.

    1. Many kids wouldn’t even notice, I think–it’s more in the line of the old-fashioned pure-hearted princess fairy tales.

  4. This looks fun. I love mid-grade fantasy fiction for kids, but I want to throw the book across the room when the main character is too good. I’ll keep my eye out for this title at the library, and make sure to aim well should throwing be required.

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