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“She would break every rule in the world if it meant she could save him,” Lintang. –Lintang and the Pirate Queen.
Lintang and the Pirate Queen
by Tamara Moss
AR Test, Strong Female Character
Lintang loves her family, but she doesn’t want to be a homemaker. Lintang dreams of leaving her island home. She longs to go on dangerous and daring adventures. When she meets the infamous pirate, Captain Shafira, Lintang wants to join her crew. When she gets her chance, Lintang promises to follow orders. However, Lintang’s curious, impulsive attitude always gets her into trouble.
Lintang discovers that living on a pirate ship can be difficult. Her loyalties are divided when she finds that her best friend, Bayani, has stowed away and is desperate to stay hidden. Lintang knows that Bayani is hiding a secret that could change the world. However, she has promised the pirate queen that she will never lie to her. How can Lintang impress the pirate queen and keep Bayani’s secret at the same time?
Readers will relate to Lintang, who has a difficult time following orders. Despite her best intentions, Lintang gets into trouble time and time again. When Lintang is demoted to a cabin girl, she gains the crew’s respect through her positive attitude and work ethic. During her voyage, Lintang “had turned into Lanme Vanyan (the mother of all monsters), faced a Kanekonese siren, fought a dragon, almost drowned twice, battled a sea serpent, [and] worked as a cabin girl.”
Moss creates a beautiful world full of mythies. Some mythies are friendly and others are deadly. In order to introduce the different creatures, many of the chapters being with a page from The Mythie Guidebook, which describes each type of mythie. The information describes how to eradicate the mythie, their behavior, danger level, and provides a description.
Lintang and the Pirate Queen has non-stop action as Lintang, Captain Shafira, and her crew embark on a dangerous journey where they fight fearsome monsters. The story ends in an epic multi-chapter battle that has many surprises. Because of the complex world, the complicated plot, and the large cast of characters, Lintang and the Pirate Queen is best for strong readers. However, adventure-loving readers will love this tale of friendship and adventure.
- Lintang tells a legend about Pero, who “was not afraid of the Goddess of Death.” When he left home, he “packed his bag, said goodbye to his mother, kissed the barmaid, and left.”
- Avalon is transgender. One of the ship’s crew treats him unkindly. She says, “Avalon pretends she is a boy. I remind her she is not.”
- While walking in the forest, Lintang and Bayani are attacked by a malam rasha. “A night terror (malam rasha) is a humanoid forest mythie in the predator category. It appears as a woman with wooden skins, long dark hair, and a white dress. Instead of arms, it has tree roots, which are sharp enough to dig through flesh.” Bayani’s fey friend, Pelita, helps. “Before it could attack, a ball of white light zipped in front of its face. The malam rasha recoiled, snarling.” Lintang raised her sword and the “malam rasha reared up. It moved to strike with its arm of tree roots, but she stabbed and it retreated. Slash. Dodge. Stab. Dodge. . . Lintang ran to Bayani, shoved him to the ground, and threw herself over him.” When the two are laying on the ground, someone chases the mythie away. The fight scene takes place over four pages.
- The malam rasha goes to the temple and goes after Lintang. “The mythie barreled into her. She landed on the stone floor, winded. Pelita fluttered out of the way just in time. The malam rasha curled its lip and slashed at Lintang’s stomach. . . The malam rasha tried again, clawing and tearing until the front of Lintang’s sarong was in tatters.” Panna leaves that were smeared on Lintang protected her. Captain Shafira jumped in to help. “Captain Shafira aimed sword blows at the malam rasha so fiercely that it was forced to retreat.” The Captain’s crew assists her in capturing the malam rasha. “Captain Sharfira brought her sword down and chopped off its arm. It released an earsplitting shriek.” The battle is described over three pages.
- Once the malam rasha is captured, Captain Shafira “directed a kick to the malam rasha’s wooden head, and it slumped, unmoving.” Later when the light of day appears, the mythie “burst into flames, leaving only a silhouette of ash and the broken fishing net.”
- A predator mermaid uses her power to make Lintang jump into the sea. “Stinging spread across her body, from both the impact and the chill. It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered anymore. She was with the mermaids now.” The mermaids try to pull Lintang deeper into the ocean. “Splinters sliced at Lintang’s lungs. Her head felt light. . . She barely noticed the flash of steel, or the clouds of blood in the water, or the fact that the mermaids had released their deadly grip.” Lintang is saved. The scene is described over a page.
- When leaving the island, Nyasamdra picks up Captain Shafira’s ship. Nyasamdra “let them float in the air. She watched them swirl inside the bubble, her face childlike with curiosity.” Trying to help, a “bird darted past Nyasamdra’s fingers and pecked the bubble. There was a pop, and everyone had to hold on as the ship plummeted back into the waves.” Bayani comes above deck and gives Nyasamdra the correct tribune, then she lets them pass. The scene is described over four pages.
- A sea serpent attacks Captain Shafira’s ship. The huge serpent tries to break the ship up by squeezing it. “Lintang acted without thinking. She raced forward and shoved a harpoon into the serpent’s mouth to wedge it open. The serpent started to snap but stopped as the dragon’s claw dug into the roof of its mouth and sprayed blood across the deck.” One of the crew members “swung out on a rope, caught the harpoon with one hand, and used the dragon talon to slash the serpent through the neck.” Lintang is injured. The fight is described over three pages.
- When Governor Karnezis tries to get Lintang to give up Captain Shafira’s location, Lintang tries to escape. “. . . Governor Karnezis snatched her hair. She cried out as he yanked her backwards.” Lintang uses a dart to put the governor to sleep. Captain Shafira and her crew help Lintang escape.
- Farah and her family helped Captain Shafira when she was injured. The Vierzan counsel sent “people to kill Farah’s family and burn the place down.”
- While under the sirens’ spell, Avalon attacks a crewmember, Mei. “Avalon lunged. He wrapped his arm around Mei’s throat. . .Mei strained to pull his arm from around her neck. Her round cheeks turned pink. She was suffocating.” A crew member hits Avalon over the head with a frying pan, causing him to pass out.
- Captain Shafira boards Captain Moon’s ship and the two fight with swords. “The two thrust and parried, each as skilled as the other. A few clashing blades and a clever maneuver later, they’d switched positions. . . Captain Shafira managed to kick Captain Moon’s ankle, dropping her to one knee. Captain Moon blocked an attack while she was down, then stabbed forward so violently that Captain Shafira had to jump two steps down the staircase. . .” When the sirens threaten both ships, the two captains work together.
- The ship’s dragon awakens. Captain Shafira and Captain Moon bait the dragon, causing it to tear down a locked door.
- At one point in the fighting, Bayani is “standing on the bridge with the spear side of the khwando pointed at Zazi’s neck.”
- Lintang jumps in the ocean, then turns into the mother of monsters named Lanme Vanyan. Lanme attacks a dragon. Lanme “sprang, clamping her hands on the dragon’s shoulder. It tried to toss her aside, but she held on and slashed at its wings. They twisted in the air like a whirlwind.” She flings the dragon away and then attacks a siren. “Lanme zipped toward it and bit it beneath the arm. . . The siren tried to crush her with its free hand. She bit its fingers. Bubbles hissed from its mouth, but it didn’t pull back.” The siren swims away.
- The dragon returns and attacks Lanme again. Lanme “whipped her tail into the air, wrapped it around the dragon, and slammed it onto the waves. The dragon shuddered with the impact, then floated, stunned.” Then, Lanme turns back into a human.
Drugs and Alcohol
- The Vierzans developed a medicine that “kills dangerous things in your body. Stops illnesses, disease; you name it, the Curall fixes it.” When Pelita is sprayed with Curall, she glows brighter. “Pelita’s squeaks turned into tiny shrieks. She sounded like she was in pain. . . And then, as swiftly as a sneeze, a human body burst out of the pixie. A girl lay in Pelita’s place, an Islander barely ten years old.”
- While practicing sword fighting, Lintang says to her best friend, “You ebony-nosed loobatoon! You brown-tailed barbanees! You blood-eyed ruberrince!”
- “By the Gods” is used as an exclamation four times.
- When Lintang scares the ship’s cook, she says, “Mother of monsters, you scared the petticoats off me!”
- Someone calls another character a gnome.
- Lintang’s world has various mythies, such as sirens, propheseeds, mermaids—both predator and friendly types. For example, “Propheseeds are sky mythies that take the form of three glowing dandelion seeds. They appear harmless, giggling childishly, and do not physically attack. . . The propheseeds will say your name three times, then, in a form of a riddle or rhyme, give you the time and details of your imminent death.”
- Those born on the twin Islands have “small, shiny fish scales” on the back of their necks. A ship can only leave the island if they have someone from the Twin Islands. But the island’s mythie guardian Nyasamdra drowns ships “that tried to leave her territory unless they carried someone with her mark.”
- Sirens are predator mythies. “Like the common siren, it calls for males, but unlike the common siren, it gives power to its victims, making them strong and violent, unable to think of anything but getting close to the mythie.”
- Mythies did not appear in Lintang’s world until “shooting stars had passed overhead when the mythies arrived. No one knew why the Three Gods had sent the mythies. The creatures had caused havoc throughout the world, but the priest always said in serene voices that the Gods had reasons for everything they did, even if humans could not understand them.”
- One of the characters is a talking clamshell.
- Lintang turns into the mother of monsters named Lanme Vanyan.
- People believe in Ytzuam, which is “high above, past the clouds, past the sun, there’s a world in the stars. . . It’s separated from our world by a single thick curtain. There are three Gods who live there: Niti, Patiki, and Mratzi.”
- As Lintang walks she sees the temple, which makes her think about the gods. “Lintang used to learn about the Gods from the priest there when she was younger, but the only time she visited now was during seasonal festivals.” The three gods are Neti, the creator of the stars, Patiki, the planter of stars, and Mratzi, the harvester of stars.”
- When Lintang accidentally sets the house on fire, she needs water fast. “Their offerings to the Three Gods had been freshly lain on the stone alter that morning. She reached between a scattering of juicy bubleberries and thin, smoldering sticks of mollowood to take the earthen jug.” She uses the water to help fight the flames.
- When Lintang fights the malam rasha, she was “praying to the Three Gods that her plan would work.” Then she “dredged up a memory of a prayer from temple. ‘Hear me, Niti, Patiki, Mratzi—Gods of Ytzuam, givers of life, guardians of stars. Please protect us, please don’t let the malam rasha eat us.”
- People believe that when someone dies, they continue to live. Lintang thinks about her dead grandfather. “Lintang hoped her grandfather’s star, blazing high in the sky” was not ashamed of her.
- Bayani had died and Mratzi told him that the mythies were human. She then allowed him to return to the living.
- Lintang trusted the Pirate Queen, but then “prayed to Niti she wasn’t wrong.” Later, when the Pirate Queen decides to stay with Lintang until she gets to her destination, Lintang “sent a silent prayer of thanks to the Gods.”
- In Vierzan, the people have destroyed the Gods’ monuments because “they think the Gods sent mythies to wipe humans out. . . Now they refuse to pray or build temples or leave offerings.”
- When Lintang must jump off a building, Bayani thinks she is injured. When he discovers that she is fine, he says, “Thank the Gods, thank the Gods—”
- When almost drowning, Lintang sees a vision. Shooting stars crashed “through a field of unplanted seeds. . . the impact of the shooting stars scattered seeds throughout the world. . . She saw a man unwittingly absorb one of the star seeds, then he burst apart as a gnome sprang from him.” The vision shows Lintang how humans became mythies.
- Lintang turned into a mythie.