A courageous bear sails the high seas in this fifth installment of a children’s fantasy series.
Back at home after his latest exploits, Flurry, the live teddy bear, is annoyed when his human mother admonishes him for stealing a pirate movie. Flurry goes to bed, only to wake up to discover that his room has been replaced by the ocean. Flurry and his four plush friends—Noah, Boaz, Honja, and Caboose—pilot their floating bed to shore, where they find themselves on the outskirts of Tigris, a city inhabited by walking, talking tigers. They quickly run into Flurry’s old friend Chingu and old frenemy Drizzle, who are in Tigris looking for Chingu’s brother, Shinyuu, who has been seized by pirates. The group manages to locate Shinyuu, but only after being abducted. They learn they are being taken to the dreaded pirate king Black Bear’d. “He’s the most ruthless and evil pirate there ever was,” another prisoner informs them. “He’s as ferocious at sea as any other grizzly bear would be on land.” A new mission emerges: rescue the captured Capt. White Cloud and keep Black Bear’d from building a secret army, whose vile purposes are more than those of the average pirate. The biggest thing standing in their way is Black Bear’d’s powerful sorcerer, Theran—and, of course, Flurry’s penchant for letting his pride screw up the plans of his friends. Skye’s (Churchianity Pandemic, 2017, etc.) prose is direct and lively, conveying the excitement that Flurry feels through every step of the escapade. The book succeeds in evoking the unfettered imagination of youth: simple conflicts of good vs. evil, with plenty of cannons, sword fights, and swashbuckling. The author makes a minor nod to the trauma these recurring conflicts have on the protagonist—“Flurry’s parents managed to make an arrangement for him to get therapy over the phone, since it would not be possible to take a living, breathing teddy bear to the therapist’s office”—but in general this is adventure without consequence, experienced by a hero who is part animal, part toy, and part energetic boy who never wants to go to bed.
A rousing pirate tale and a welcome addition to the Flurry series.