When Ravian’s father doesn’t return home from sea for his son’s birthday, Ravian is certain he must be in danger. Hearing tales of a cursed ship that captures fishermen, Ravian goes in search of his father accompanied by his only friend Marvin the seagull. Before long, the pair find themselves trapped on the ship with a kindly boy and a bad-tempered pirate for company.
The ensuing voyage is beset with battles with giant squid and fierce storms, and Ravian despairs of ever finding his father. Featuring stunning illustrations by acclaimed illustrator Karl James Mountford.
Thank you to NetGalley and Bonnier Books for the free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Ravian is the son of a fisherman, and because his father is often away from home, he has learnt to take care of himself. He knows that his father will always find his way back, especially for Ravian’s birthday. Except this year. Though he waits until the sun sets and he can no longer see the ships out in the bay, Ravian’s father doesn’t come, and he fears something must have happened. When he hears the story of a cursed ship captained by a despicable pirate, from which no one who sets foot can return, Ravian decides this could be the only thing keeping his father away, and so he sets out to find him, despite his great fear of sailing.
What he finds not quite what he expected, and on the journey he will learn to find his courage, and find friendship in unlikely places. It’s the perfect high-seas adventure for younger readers, and it often reminded me of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, though toned down somewhat. The characters were vibrant (especially Marvin the seagull), the plot was fast paced, and the illustrations were beautiful! This is also a book translated from Dutch, and I have to praise the translator for the smoothness of the prose.
Published: 28th April 2022 by Bonnier Books
Genre: middle grade, fantasy, adventure
Narration style: third person, present tense
Format read: eARC