Five Books About Unconventional Pirates

Masted ships. The salty tang as a wide blue wave crashes onto a sandy shore. Sweaty, drunk defected sailors hiccupping through bawdy chanties. The pop and snap of a Jolly Roger flag.

Pirates, amiright?

The imagery around these figures (in fiction and nonfiction) evokes vivid tales of buried treasure, running from the Crown, and banning together in a fellowship of scoundrels. No wonder so many novels have leapt off the starboard railing and cannonballed into the endless indigo waters of pirate stories.

But what about the books that turn piracy inside out? The ones that plunk tightly-knit brigands into outer space or chuck scrappy rebels into dystopic high seas?

In my latest book, These Rebel Waves, dozens of rivers divide the fictional island of Grace Loray—rivers that contain much desired botanical magic. With the most valuable objects in the world nestled in riverbeds, the pirates in These Rebel Waves...

These Rebel Waves

Adeluna is a soldier. Five years ago, she helped the magic-rich island of Grace Loray overthrow its oppressor, Agrid, a country ruled by religion. But adjusting to postwar life has not been easy. When an Argridian delegate vanishes during peace talks with Grace Loray’s new Council, Argrid demands brutal justice—but Lu suspects something dangerous is at work.

Devereux is a pirate. As one of the stream raiders who run rampant on Grace Loray, he scavenges the island’s magic plants and sells them on the black market. But after Argrid accuses raiders of the diplomat’s abduction, Vex becomes a target. An expert navigator, he agrees to help Lu find the Argridian—but the truth they uncover could be deadlier than any war.

Benat is a heretic. The crown prince of Argrid, he harbors a secret obsession with Grace Loray’s forbidden magic. When Ben’s father, the king, gives him the shocking task of ...