Lintang and the Pirate Queen (Tamara Moss, Random House)
Lintang lives in a world where creatures known as ‘mythies’ cause mayhem. Her home, the island of Desa, is protected by a sea monster, and Lintang yearns to travel out into the world and away from a place where she feels unwanted and odd. So when the Pirate Queen Captain Shafira arrives at Desa, Lintang comes up with a plan to join the ship on its hunt for sea mythies. Lintang’s curiosity and headstrong nature have always caused her problems, but Captain Shafira sees her potential. However, once aboard the ship, Lintang struggles to be useful while staying out of trouble, especially as she encounters events that could change the world. Lintang and the Pirate Queen by debut author Tamara Moss is full of well-paced adventure, maintaining the reader’s interest with cleverly foreshadowed twists in the action. Moss has created an unusual fantasy world, peopled with a pleasingly diverse cast of characters and containing a thought-provoking undertone that will hopefully continue to play out in later instalments. Interspersed with stunning illustrations by James Brouwer, this middle-grade fantasy adventure should appeal to fans of Lian Tanner and Catherine Jinks aged nine and up.
Tehani Croft is a lecturer in teacher-librarianship, a publisher and literary awards judge