Quest of the May's Rose
by Kevin J. O’Brien

"I believed it was imperative that I convince the Emperor that I was an unimportant woman, not a danger to his kingdom."

Elizabeth Rose Silverleaf, a young half-elf on the planet Talamh, is traveling to the city of Fair Haven to stay with her uncle after her father passes away. As she is trained in both traditional combat and the rare art of magic, her uncle deems her fit to join him on a journey of exploration to the Far East. With the hope of establishing a lucrative trade route, several ships set out in cooperation hoping to reach these distant lands and successfully accomplish what nobody else has been able to do. With piracy and treachery on the high seas as the least of their concerns, Elizabeth and her fellow sailors must engage in trade and diplomacy, face frightful monsters, and survive at all costs against an angry sea and scheming foreign nations.

Open-sea sailing always makes for a classic literary tale, and this one is no different. Combining a pirate-style story with fantasy elements like elves, magic, and dragons makes for a combination that keeps readers excited for each new chapter and the adventure that comes with it. With a flotilla of five ships, the cast starts out massive, but the ever-present danger means that nobody is safe; and when even likable characters put their lives at risk, there’s no guarantee they’ll come back alive. Elizabeth is a strong female protagonist who treats her fellow sailors with respect and asks the same from them, which should be something young readers can look up to. Fans of young adult fantasy or classic pirate novels like Treasure Island will devour this epic journey and be ready for more by the time it returns to its home port.

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