The Marauders, The Daughter, and The Dragon (The Azure Achipelago #1), by K.R.R. Lockhaven
To say that Azure Brine is at odds with her father would be an understatement. A new governor has emerged in the League of Islands, and her father has completely bought in to his “Humans First” rhetoric, pushing their once-strong relationship to the breaking point. Their connection is truly put to the test when her father decides to join the governor’s ship on a voyage to the Capitol Isles for the inauguration. But when Azure learns the governor has nefarious plans for the islands, and her father is in danger, she and her best friend (a foul-mouthed bird named Robin) set out across the archipelago to save him.
Along the way they meet a reanimated skeleton with confidence issues, a group of pirates who just want to sing and have adventures, and…a dragon.
My Review (4.5 out of 5 )
The Marauders, The Daughter, and The Dragon is the first book in the Azure Archipelago series, written by K.R.R. Lockhaven. It is an adventure fantasy story, filled with strong and valiant characters, that will directly reach your heart; with a really clear message: don't let appearances fool you, and don't prejudge somebody for who he/she is.
Azure Brine (also known as the Daughter of the title) doesn't have the best relationship with her father, especially after knowing he supports Governor Pratt, a bigot that in many aspects remembers a certain USA president; his main slogan is considering non-humans as non-worthy of vote and rights ("humans first").
But Azure gets forced to join the trip of Governor Pratt, following her father; and a trouble in the galleon ends with Azure, Elijah, a talking skeleton, and Brisa, a ciguapa, being expulsed off said galleon, and thrown into the sea on a leaking small boat (and with Azure's father siding with Pratt). Azure aligning with those that are persecuted will be a general tonic of this novel.
This will mark the start of an adventure for our unlikely group, as they meet a group of mercenaries, that travels along the sea trying to live adventures. Probably one of the best-vibed groups I've read on fantasy; and I should mention that they have a pair of capybaras as part of their boat. Those marauders will help Azure in her mission to defeat Governor Pratt and make her father see the reality.
Together with them, they will live several adventures while exploring the Archipelago, and even getting to know a dragon, Zoth-Avarex (you might recognise this name). All of this with a good dose of humour and fun, making this novel a pleasure to read, and perfect if you prefer to go for a lighter read.
The Archipelago created by Lockhaven is a world filled with several races, most of them living in harmony, until the human first policy of Pratt comes disturbing everything. I tend to love nautical adventures, and to be fair, this is not an exception. It has its unique elements, such as the talking skeletons cursed from a treasure, and the ciguapas with magic and runes.
The Marauders, The Daughter, and The Dragon is an excellent novel, perfect for those that prefer a more encouraging kind of fantasy, less heavy, but with a strong component of critique. If you are also a fan of Monkey Island-like adventures, please, do yourself a favour, and get this book!
K.R.R. (Kyle Robert Redundant) Lockhaven writes humorous, fun fantasy books with a pinch of social satire.
He lives with his wife and two sons. Together they conjured a bearded dragon who rules over a hoard of sand and devours crickets by the dozens.
When not writing or raising kids, he works as a firefighter/paramedic.