Book Review: The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon by K.R.R. Lockhaven
If you want to listen to us discuss The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon, you can find the episode here (or on your podcast platform of choice).
Okay, we absolutely love this book. We've loved it ever since we got to read an early draft, but now it's out in the world and we can officially shout about it to everyone!
The story follows Azure Brine, a girl who is at odds with her father because he bought into the bigoted rhetoric of the new governor of the League of Islands. He even joined Governor Pratt's ship for a voyage to the Capitol Islands for Pratt's inauguration. But when Azure learns that Governor Pratt is up to no good, and that her father is in danger, obviously she's still going to go save him.
This is a much more mature book than Lockhaven's first novel (The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex, which we covered on the podcast as well). Not necessarily in terms of content but in writing. The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex, while a lot of fun, lacks the emotional depth that is present in The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon. (As we mention in our episode, The Conjuring of Zoth-Avarex never made Lilly cry.)
We would be remiss in our review if we didn't talk about how impressive it is that a male author has written such an admirable and compelling female character. Azure is a fantastic heroine. She never felt one-dimensional or like a stereotype (and we've definitely read some fantasy novels by male authors where that is not the case). Her tension with her father is real and heartbreaking (especially in today's political climate) without feeling melodramatic, and we loved reading about her friendship with Robin, her shit-talking bird companion. Also, no spoilers but we are very interested in learning more about the developing relationship between Azure and her love interest in book 2!
While this book is absolutely not a cozy fantasy (there are some unexpectedly gory bits!) it's got a lot of the same sweet vibes. There's supportive friends, found family, and capybaras in suits. And sea shanties! What more could you ask for???
If you're in the mood for wholesome pirates, a skeleton with confidence issues, and a self-contained story that still leaves hooks for a sequel, this may be the book for you.
You can purchase The Marauders, the Daughter, and the Dragon from Shadow Spark Publishing here.