Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
In a vibrant world reminiscent of a fantastical maritime Southeast Asia, 12-year-old Lintang's greatest wish is to trade her staid island life for adventure on the high seas. When pirate queen Captain Shafira chooses her to join her crew, Lintang's joy seems complete, until she discovers her best friend, Bayani, hiding in the ship's cargo hold. In addition to proving herself a worthy pirate, Lintang must now unravel a web of secrets that begins with Bayani and ends with the gods themselves. In her U.S. debut, Australian author Moss layers the tale's world and mythology with a lurking specter of historical imperialism that permeates the characters' lives. Excerpts from the "Mythie Guidebook," a world-specific encyclopedia of monsters encountered by the characters, precede the chapters and add to the world's complexity. In a cast of powerful and charmingly eccentric female characters, high-spirited Lintang distinguishes herself with a vulnerability and, often, immaturity that slowly gives way to burgeoning leadership. Women of color take center stage in this fast-paced adventure about friendship, loyalty, and defiantly fighting for one's destiny. Ages 10--12. (Oct.)
School Library Journal Review
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.--Caitlin Augusta, Stratford Library Association, CT
Lintang is an islander in a world of monsters, called mythies, and a storyteller who has been labeled a troublemaker in her village. A water goddess protects her home from human outsiders, but mythies plague humanity and nobody knows for sure how they came to the world or even how they appear. One day, Shafira, a pirate queen, lands on their shores, and she needs a villager to help her and her crew past the guardian to leave. Lintang, always in the thick of any commotion and raring for adventure, is chosen by Captain Shafira to sail away on a mission, and the story takes readers away to a world of sirens and magical birds, sea battles, and mythical transformations. The overarching theme in this story is the concept of home, what it means to an individual, and how it can reside in friends and family rather than a geographical location. The world Lintang resides in is inventive and nicely established by scattered excerpts from a ""mythie guide book,"" and the story is an immersive delight for any fan of fantasy fiction.--Kristina Pino Copyright 2019 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
It's a pirate's life for Lintang.For Lintang, humans and "mythies," magical powerful creatures, tensely coexist. (A creature profile foreshadows some chapters.) Inspired by legends, Lintang yearns for adventure beyond her home island of Tolus. However, she only manages to make trouble despite good intentions and warnings from best friend Bayani. Her fortune turns when the infamous pirate captain Shafira appears, offering to rid the island of a deadly Night Terror in exchange for a child from the villagea necessity for a ship's safe passage past Nyasamdra, the island's sea guardian. Impressed by Lintang's spunk, Shafira takes the girl onboard, promising a safe return and a priceless necklace to Lintang's mother as collateral. The all-female pirate crew prepares to hunt sirens when attacks from mythies and a stowaway Bayanias a boy, vulnerable to sirens' callsreveal a more complicated history. A bigger adventure ensues. Lintang's impulsive tendencies push the plot along, at times frustratingly so. Moss models characters and worldbuilding after aspects of Southeast Asian cultures and Indonesian myths in addition to Western folklore and her own imagination. Inconsistencies coupled with the lack of a cohesive cultural system lead to disjointed details that detract from the story. Several twists provide a peak in intrigue and possibilities but in the end generate more questions than answers, hinting at a sequel.An imaginative premise ill-served by its execution. (Fantasy. 10-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.