________________ CM . . . . Volume XI Number 18 . . . .May 13, 2005


Torrie & the Pirate Queen.

K.V. Johansen. Illustrated by Christine Delezenne.
Toronto, ON: Annick Press, 2005.
156 pp., pbk. & cl., $9.95 (pbk.), $18.95 (cl.).
ISBN 1-55037-900-3 (pbk.), ISBN 1-55037-901-1 (cl.).

Grades 4-6 / Ages 9-11.

Review by Georgie Perigny.

**** /4



"What do I do?" she asked, and she looked at the fluffy, mostly white collie dog that was sitting beside her. She wasn't really asking the dog, of course. Humans can't talk to dogs. She was just thinking out loud. "What do I do, Ya-Ya? Should I challenge Mister Flytch to a duel?"

The dog whined as though she didn't like the idea.

"I can't think of any other way," said Anna. "I need that ship. There's no other way to do what I have to do. And anyhow, she's my ship. My grandfather left her to me when he died." She drew the sword out a little and looked at the light gleaming on the silvery blade.

"So, if Flytch won't give her to me, I'll have to take her."

The dog whined again. Anna patted her head and jumped up, flicking her pigtail over her shoulder.

"Yes, you're right, Ya-Ya," she said. "We've wasted enough time, and we've got responsibilities. Mister Flytch is not going to boss me about my own ship I'll do it."


Torrie & the Pirate Queen is the second book of K.V. Johansen's Torrie fantasy novels for kids. Torrie, a magical being who is the oldest of the Old Things of the Wild Forest, tells about his latest adventure in helping Anna, a young sea captain, rescue her father from the Pirate-Queen.

     After Torrie helps Anna win back her ship, Shrike, from Mister Flytch, Anna reluctantly allows Torrie to help her rescue her father from Nevilla the Pirate-Queen. Nevilla is the queen of Granite Isle, and the Granite Islanders are all pirates who attack ships and steal their cargo. After being swept to Granite Isle in a hurricane, Anna's father, Captain Icterus, and his crew members have been kidnapped by the Pirate Queen and will not be released until Captain Icterus tells her where his own father, Captain Lanius buried the enchanted treasure that he stole years ago from the kingdom of Granite Isle. The treasure is buried someplace so secret that even Captain Lanius' crewmembers do not know where it is. The Pirate Queen is convinced that Captain Icterus knows the whereabouts of the treasure and has him locked in a dungeon. As the story unfolds, readers learn that prior to his death, Anna's grandfather revealed the location of the valuable treasure only to Anna. Anna knows that she is the only person that can save her father and his crewmembers.

     As Anna, Torrie, Ya-Ya and the dozen retired pirates sail away on the Shrike, they soon realize that this adventure is more than they bargained for. Their escapade has them rescuing a marooned castaway on a deserted island only to discover that he is Nevilla's long lost and only son, Prince Frederick. The Prince reveals that the treasure that Captain Lanius has hidden is enchanted with a spell and is the key to lifting a curse that has plagued Granite Isle for years. Anna quickly decides that she will hold Prince Frederick as ransom as a plot to set her father free. But will she be able to find the magical treasure? Will she get to Granite Isle in time to save her father?

     K.V. Johansen enthrals readers and has them on the edge of their seats as they read about Anna and Torrie rescuing a marooned prince, battling a sea serpent, finding the buried treasure and fighting angry pirates. Although the book is an adventure story based on magic and fantasy, Johansen has brought the characters to life and captivates readers by taking them on a journey they will never forget. This magical adventure should be added to all schools and libraries.

     To find out what happens to Torrie, Anna and Prince Frederick after page 156 in Torrie & the Pirate Queen, K.V. Johansen has provided the third adventure in Torrie and the Firebird. It is a book that all Torrie readers must read.

Highly Recommended.

Georgie Perigny has recently received the Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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ISSN 1201-9364
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