bookish lists | generally bookish

books featuring ships #1 | pirates, sailors, explorers on water


Hoohoo, guys.

I don’t talk about this often, but I quite like ships. Not being on them, oh hell no, I hate deep water. But the things itself are fascinating. Human made bowls that can cross the seas, bring you to new places, bring you to a new life, bring new possibilities. And sailing ships also look aesthetically pleasing? But you know what’s equally cool? Space ships. Just. Ships.
So here I am, being both amazed and afraid of ships, loving to read about them. And since I’ve read a few, I thought I’d share them with you. If you have any recommendations, I’m only too happy to hear about them!
This is part one, the ships on water.

Master & Commander by Patrick O’Brian

> first book of a series of 20 1/2 books
> Royal Navy in the beginning of the 19th century
> unlikely friendship between captain & internist/naturalist
> written with humor and love for details
> a lot of research is behind this, so a big part is historically correct

As the Royal Navy takes part in the wars against Napoleonic France, young Jack Aubrey receives his first command, the small, old, and slow HMS Sophie. Accompanied by his eccentric new friend, the physician and naturalist Stephen Maturin, Aubrey does battle with the naval hierarchy, with his own tendency to make social blunders, and with the challenges of forging an effective crew – before ultimately taking on enemy ships in a vivid, intricately detailed series of sea battles. (goodreads)

The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

> fantasy standalone with dragons
> dragons
> diverse cast
> not mainly on ships but they are important to get from A to B and dangerous missions and stuff
> I love this book, I will forever recommend it and will always find one or more reasons to put it on a recommendations list

The House of Berethnet has ruled Inys for a thousand years. Still unwed, Queen Sabran the Ninth must conceive a daughter to protect her realm from destruction—but assassins are getting closer to her door.
Ead Duryan is an outsider at court. Though she has risen to the position of lady-in-waiting, she is loyal to a hidden society of mages. Ead keeps a watchful eye on Sabran, secretly protecting her with forbidden magic.
Across the dark sea, Tané has trained all her life to be a dragonrider, but is forced to make a choice that could see her life unravel.
Meanwhile, the divided East and West refuse to parley, and forces of chaos are rising from their sleep. (goodreads)

Dark Shores by Danielle L. Jensen

> sailor / trader / pirate MC
> centurion-like MC
> enemies to lovers
> diverse cast of characters
> magic & gods
> dangerous journey on ship

In a world divided by meddlesome gods and treacherous oceans, only the Maarin possess the knowledge to cross the Endless Seas. But they have one mandate: East must never meet West.
Teriana is the second mate of the Quincense and heir to the Maarin Triumvirate. Her people are born of the seas and the keepers of its secrets, but when her closest friend is forced into an unwanted betrothal, Teriana breaks her people’s mandate so her friend might escape—a choice with devastating consequences.
Marcus is the commander of the Thirty-Seventh, the notorious legion that has led the Celendor Empire to conquer the entire East. The legion is his family, but even they don’t know the truth he’s been hiding since childhood. It’s a secret he’ll do anything to protect, no matter how much it costs him – and the world.
When an Empire senator discovers the existence of the Dark Shores, he captures Teriana’s crew and threatens to reveal Marcus’s secret unless they sail in pursuit of conquest, forcing the two into an unlikely—and unwilling—alliance. They unite for the sake of their families, but both must decide how far they are willing to go, and how much they are willing to sacrifice. (goodreads)

Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo

> second in a trilogy
> fantasy
> privateer
> my fave villain
> hunt for a mythical sea creature
> magic

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land, all while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. But she can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.
The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her—or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm. (goodreads)

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson

fall of Granada & Spanish Inquisition
> on the run, flight by ship
> standalone
> search for a mythical land
> beautifully written
> magic

Set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, The Bird King is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker.
Hassan has a secret-he can draw maps of places he’s never seen and bend the shape of reality. When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan’s surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan’s gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, what will Fatima risk to save Hassan and escape the palace walls? (goodreads)

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

> pirates
> banter
> first in a duology
> a ship full of girls and women being pirates
> enemies to lovers
> much fun

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.
More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara

> pirates
> inspired by real story
> girl dressing as boy to escape life
> f/f romance
> m/f romance
> standalone

There’s no place for a girl in Mary’s world. Not in the home of her mum, desperately drunk and poor. Not in the household of her wealthy granny, where no girl can be named an heir. And certainly not in the arms of Nat, her childhood love who never knew her for who she was. As a sailor aboard a Caribbean merchant ship, Mary’s livelihood—and her safety—depends on her ability to disguise her gender.
At least, that’s what she thinks is true. But then pirates attack the ship, and in the midst of the gang of cutthroats, Mary spots something she never could have imagined: a girl pirate.
The sight of a girl standing unafraid upon the deck, gun and sword in hand, changes everything. In a split-second decision, Mary turns her gun on her own captain, earning herself the chance to join the account and become a pirate alongside Calico Jack and Anne Bonny.
For the first time, Mary has a shot at freedom. But imagining living as her true self is easier, it seems, than actually doing it. And when Mary finds herself falling for the captain’s mistress, she risks everything—her childhood love, her place among the crew, and even her life. (goodreads)

To kill a kingdom by Alexandra Christo

> siren princess MC
> human prince MC
> Arielle retelling with a twist
> standalone
> enemies to lovers

Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most—a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen or remain a human forever.
The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby—it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good—But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy? (goodreads)

Have you read any good books with ships? Which ones?

Until next time,

    1. thank you! I’ve actually heard of this before, maybe even from you? I can’t remember, but I’ve wanted to look into them for a time now. Thanks!

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