The Princess Mutiny by L.J. Surrage – REVIEW
Anastasia Windell is not your average princess. Even as an heir to the Eagen Empire, she craves adventure, fun, and excitement that her life as a royal simply can’t give her.
An arranged marriage to an unhinged Duke and a stubborn father is enough to send Anya over the edge, as she is forced to take her life into her own hands. By staging her escape in disguise, Anastasia makes a bid for freedom and sails to the West Indies and unintentionally falls under the tutelage of notorious pirate lord Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard. She doesn’t know what the Caribbean will hold for her, but she’s willing to bet that even piracy is better than life at the mercy of an abusive and powerful husband.
“Because what you learn as you grow up, is that you have no choice. You have no freedom. You have nothing unless you go out and get it for yourself, not caring an ounce about who you might hurt along the way.”
I was contacted by the author a couple of weeks ago inquiring whether I’d be interested in a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Normally I turn down unsolicited review requests but this one actually sounded like something I’d be interested in. Who doesn’t love a good pirate story?! The bones of the story are great and it has huge potential but there are some issues that lessened my reading enjoyment. I felt the first third of the book went a little too slowly. There weren’t enough obstacles in Anya’s way and her ascent to becoming a successful pirate whilst hiding her gender seemed a little too easy. I also found that there were numerous errors and typos which interrupted the flow. These could be easily remedied though so aren’t a major problem.
“You are destined for great things, Anya, no man will stop that.”
Another issue I found jarring was some accidentally modern references, such as ‘friends with benefits’. This felt so out of place that I was jolted out of my reading. The relationship between Anya and Ben also needed fleshing out as I wasn’t as invested in them as I should have been. I just didn’t care about Ben because I barely knew him. It feels like I’ve criticised this book a lot but I definitely enjoyed it and these were minor niggles in my overall positive impression. After the first third, the book picked up the pace and I found myself completely absorbed. I didn’t want to put the book down and continued reading until about 4 am and had finished it.
“I can see in your eyes that you don’t take to kindly to having your balls handed to you by a princess, but welcome to life, men, it is harsh. It is brutal. It is unforgiving.”
I loved the fighting descriptions as they were realistic and visceral, and demonstrated the author’s beautiful writing style. Another element I found realistically nuanced was Anya’s feelings in the aftermath of the final battle as it felt authentic. I hope the return to Nassau at the end means that Anya has returned permanently as I’d love to read more about her (hopefully piratical) adventures there. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love adventure stories as it’s an entertaining and fun read. I look forward to reading the sequel!
An action-packed tale of pirates and princesses!
|About the Author
L. J. Surrage is an aspiring author based in Oxford and Hampshire. After graduating University with a degree in Journalism, she tuned her hand to creative writing, and wrote her first novel, ‘The Princess Mutiny’. In her spare time, you can find her in the local coffee shop planning her next book, or penning articles and blogs for online magazines. Surrage is currently working on the sequel to ‘The Princess Mutiny’.