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Awesome YA Pirate Books You May Not Know Exist

The Assassin’s Curse reminded me why I love pirate books. I mean, there are ENDLESS reasons, but a few of my favorites are: pirates are fierce, pirates are fearless and pirates don’t play by the rules.

I’ve compiled a few top YA pirate books that you did not know exist, but that I think you will definitely enjoy.

Awesome YA Pirate Books

ya pirate books


A lot of these books feature strong heroines and rough and tumble motley crews. I think my favorite part of pirate books is reading about the experience of living on the sea. I love “hearing” characters talk about how the boat is like a living thing and that they love being swayed like a baby at night.

But, life on the sea is not all laughs and giggles. So, to get you started, I recommend:

Mad Kestrel by Misty Massey – Not only is this book a pirate-ridden story, it’s also a FANTASY pirate story. A win-win-win.

Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer – There are a ton of books in this series (11 total), so if you’re looking for a good time, call this book. Jacky Faber is a high-strung, wild thing who wants to be a pirate and has to dress up like a boy to be one. Antics ensure.

Pirates! by Celia Rees – Another female-centric pirate story that is filled with adventure and romance.

Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigalupi – Seems to have a pirate-esque flair but is not called a pirate book outright. Let’s just say, there’s definitely some “privateering” going on instead.

The Princess Bride by William Goldman – You’ve most likely seen this movie, but have you read the book? It’s genius. It’s funny and geniusly told and so different than the movie in a good way.

Steel by Carrie Vaughn – Although it wasn’t my favorite book, you may enjoy this realistic-ish story of a girl sent back in time to a real life pirate ship.

Other pirate books:

If you see the book To Catch A Pirate online or on any pirate book list, RUN AWAY. It’s total fluff and is just embarrassing to read. Just say no.

If you like epic fantasy – and I mean EPIC – then check out Ship of Magic (Liveship Traders #1) series by Robin Hobb. It’s a high seas romp that combines multiple points of view. It’s definitely not YA, though, so you’ve been warned.

What are some of your favorite pirate books, and are there any you’ve read that you think we haven’t heard of?

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Creative Mind

    I’ve been stumbling upon “The Princess Bride” a lot lately, so I think it’s time I read it!! And the other books also sound interesting!
    I have a book in my TBR, “Katya’s World” by Jonathan L.Howard and I think it is also about pirates! I haven’t read it yet so I am not sure! You should check it out!

  • http://twitter.com/MelLHay Melissa

    Huh. THanks for this post. There are more Pirate books to love. :) I haven’t really got to read many of them. This is cool!

  • Sara of the Page Sage

    I’ve been waiting for a post like this! Pirate books are fantastic- I love Bloody Jack. Piratica by Tanith Lee is another great YA pirate book.

  • BlackSea

    Pieces of Jade by Lani Woodland is also a great YA Pirate book.

  • Susan Macdonald

    Why is Andre Norton’s SCARFACE not on this list? In my opinion, SCARFACE rivals RLS’ TREASURE ISLAND as the greatest YA pirate adventure ever written. How can you not love a book that begins with a fencing and Shakespeare lesson, and ends with a family reunion?