Visions of dragons, treasure, and glory lead swashbuckling Capt. Cassie O’Pia and her doughty pirate crew into deadly waters once again.
After a quick précis that really doesn’t do the opener, Voyage to the Magical North (2016), justice, Fayers sends the good (if slightly malnamed) ship Onion into the long-uncharted Agena Ocean in search of fabled dragon nesting grounds and, perhaps, the home of distinctively dark-skinned, “crinkly-haired” foundling Brine Seaborne. Following diverse challenges (“Giant spiders! Why is my ship full of giant spiders?”), Brine and her young white crewmates follow their intrepid captain ashore on remote Apcaron Island. There, the beaches glitter with gold, dinosaurs roam the forests, and in a floating castle dubbed Orion’s Keep after a legendary dragon, efforts to prevent the local volcano from erupting have driven resident chief magician Belen Kaya off the deep end. Stage thus set, the author delivers a second rousing whirl of sudden attacks, narrow escapes, shocking revelations, treachery, and derring-do leading to massive explosions, magical transformations, and, yes, dragons. Brine’s search for her family only comes closer to fruition, though, so there are plainly further voyages to come. Chapter epigraphs just add to the fun, especially the recipes for exotic pirate chow.
Avast! Pirates and magicians. Dragons and dinosaurs. Big spiders and, for good measure, a pesky ghost. Anchors aweigh. (Fantasy. 11-13)