Kickass Women Who Are Pirates – Jan 14, 2017


Christina Engela’s short story ‘The Thirteenth Ship‘ appears on a list of reading recommendations for stories written by female authors about female pirates called ‘Kickass Women Who Are Pirates‘.

This is the eighth installment in a series of book recommendations, all of which will introduce you to kickass women from mythologies and folklore around the world, all of them written by women.
This one was prompted by @micamicster asking me this...

This is the eighth installment in a series of book recommendations, all of which will introduce you to kickass women from mythologies and folklore around the world, all of them written by women.

This one was prompted by @micamicster asking me this question, and I immediately felt ashamed I hadn’t done a rec of lady pirates before, so here we all are. This is gonna be a varied bunch of works, so in order to not let it get completely out of control, I set myself the following parameters:

  • The book is written by a woman
  • A woman is the protagonist
  • This woman lives on a ship and goes on adventures
  • Romance is strictly not the main plot*

I know this is incredibly vague, but that is mainly because I want to include a lot of books because this vibe speaks to me on a personal level. So yeah, sorry for this being as long as it is. I’m also considering doing a personal rec where I highlight a few books and wax enthusiastic over them, so lemme know if that’s something you’d be into.

*I added this requirement mainly so the list won’t be overwhelmed by Harlequin-style novels. While I have nothing against them – I certainly enjoy them myself – I’m more looking for stories where the spotlight is on these women kicking ass (see: the title of this list). I did accept novels where romance is included as a subplot. Also note: stories with romance as the main plot may still slip through, as I’m basing these picks mainly off the summaries on Goodreads. Additionally, the ordering of these books is also mostly based on the information made available on Goodreads, so if you think a book doesn’t fit on this list or appears under the wrong header, do let me know!

If you’re looking for diversity, I decided to help you out with this rec list, because it appears the genre seems rather adamant about promoting diversity and im all about supporting that SO:
* indicates that a main character is a wlw
indicates that a main character is a poc – note that I only use this indication when the character’s race is specifically mentioned in the description, or if the character is specifically described as hailing from a region that’s historically home to people of color, or if there’s a poc on the book cover. Obviously this can lead to inaccuracies and leaving books out, so do let me know if you spot a mistake.

Caribbean setting

European setting

Contemporary setting

The Seven Seas (i.e. indeterminate setting and / or multiple settings)

Science fiction & fantasy

Actual real historical lady pirates

Poetry & verse

Comics & graphic novels

Honourable mentions

More lists you can consult

Other kickass women: women in Greek mythology | women in Egyptian mythology & history | women in Mesoamerican mythologies | women in Celtic mythologies| women in Native American mythologies | women in Asian mythologies | women in Russian & Slavic mythologies

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