Aleja whiles away her days in her family’s dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she’s only ever read about in books. After all, she’s always being told that girls can’t be explorers.
But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend. And it wants Aleja.
Once on board its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew are desperately seeking something, and their path will take them through treacherous waters and force them to confront nightmare creatures and pitch-dark magic. It will take all of Aleja’s strength and courage to gain the trust of her fellow pirates – and discover what they are risking everything to find.
(ARC provided by NetGalley, my review is as unbiased as it can be around cake Tour is hosted by The Write Reads)
The only way to describe this book is fun. Because it is so fun. Aleja has dreamed of being an explorer her whole life, reading every book she can find in her town’s library. When she’s accused of stealing she finds herself escaping onto a Pirate ship crewed by women, and starts solving a years old mystery.
This had such feminist Pirates Of The Caribbean vibes. There’s a magical ship with shadowy figures lurking in every corner, a massive library, a grumpy ghost that lives in a globe, secret caves and lots and lots of cake. The crew seemed to be constantly on the move from one place to the next, encountering busy cities, long desert treks and learning how to sit on a camel properly.
This is the first in the series, I’m not sure if it’s a duology or more, but the story lends itself to many more sequels as we only searched for one piece of the map in this book. I pre-ordered this as soon as I closed the last page and can’t wait to more books to my shelf, I’m hoping we visit many different places – there was one mention of the aurora borealis that I would love to travel to with Aleja.