Listmania Monday: Pirates & Mermaids

One subgenre that has absolutely stolen the show in YA for the past couple years is that of the high seas adventure! Whether based in history or set in a more fantastic lands, books starring pirates and mermaids are sweeping bookshelves all over! For this list, I've collected books that contain something seaworthy, although for some, it's a small part of the plot overall.

The Abyss Surrounds Us duology - Emily Skrutskie
Airborn (Matt Cruise series) - Kenneth Oppel
The Aquathari duology - Amalie Howard
"The Assassin & the Pirate Lord" - Sarah J. Maas (part of The Assassin's Blade bindup)
The Assassin's Curse duology - Cassandra Rose Clarke
Atlantia - Ally Condie

Blackhearts duology - Nicole Castroman
Bloody Jack series - L.A. Meyer
The Buccaneer's Apprentice - V. Briceland

The Celestial Globe - Marie Rutkoski

Daughter of the Pirate King duology - Tricia Levenseller
The Dust of 100 Dogs - A.S. King

Fathomless - Jackson Pearce (book 3 of the Retold Fairytales series)
Forgive My Fins trilogy - Tera Lynn Childs

Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue duology - Mackenzi Lee
The Girl from Everywhere duology - Heidi Heilig

Hook's Revenge duology - Heidi Schulz

In Other Lands - Sarah Rees Brennan

Jane Unlimited - Kristin Cashore

The Language of Thorns - Leigh Bardugo
Lies Beneath Trilogy - Anne Greenwood Brown
Lost Voices trilogy - Sarah Porter

The Mermaid, the Witch and the Sea - Maggie Tokuda-Hall (2019)
Midnight Jewel - Richelle Mead
Monstrous Beauty - Elizabeth Fama

The Necromancer's Song series - Caitlin Seal
Never Never - Brianna Shrum

Over Raging Tides - Jennifer Ellison

Pacifica - Kristen Simmons
Passenger - Alexandra Bracken
The Pirate Captain's Daughter - Eve Bunting
Pirates! - Celia Rees
Princess Bride - William Goldman

The Reader - Traci Chee
Real Mermaids series - Helene Boudreau
The Runaway King - Jennifer A. Nielsen

Salt & Storm - Kendall Kulper
Sea Change - Aimee Friedman
Sea Witch - Sarah Henning
The Seafarer's Kiss series - Julia Ember (HECK yeah this series has BOTH mermaids AND badass girl pirates)
Seafire trilogy - Natalie C. Parker
Siege & Storm - Leigh Bardugo
Siren - Michelle Zink
The Siren - Kiera Cass
Song of the Current duology - Sarah Tolcser
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Steel - Carrie Vaughn
Stream Raiders series (These Rebel Waves) - Sara Raasch
Syrena Legacy trilogy - Anna Banks

Teeth - Hannah Moskowitz
Tempest trilogy - Tracy Deebs
Tiger Lily - Jodi Anderson
To Catch a Pirate - Jade Parker
To Kill a Kingdom - Alexandra Christo
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle - Avi - Not so much pirates as an awesome sea voyage book, but I can't leave it off. Charlotte Doyle is, like, OG girl pirate
A Tyranny of Petticoats: "Mother Carey's Journey" - J. Anderson

The Unbinding of Mary Reade - Miriam McNamara

Water Tales duology (Aquamarine!!!) - Alice Hoffman
Waterfire Saga - Jennifer Donnelly
Watersong series - Amanda Hocking
Witchlands series - Susan Dennard

What do you think of my seafaring list? Which of these are your faves? Did I leave anything off? Let me know in the comments!


  1. ooo yes, I like this list very much!

    1. I had a feeling a lot of people would be into this list. :D

  2. I didn't realize how many books i had to choose from to read high seas adventure. I've read and loved Daughter of a Pirate King, Over Raging Tides as well as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. I've seen, but never read, Princess Bride so many times it's "Inconceivable" but I love the Dreaded Pirate Roberts.

    1. So many options for pirate books! And I have a feeling we're going to see many more coming out. They're really hot right now!

  3. Yes, yes please! The only pirate (ahem privateer) I’ve read about is Nikolai in the Grisha series! Daughter of the Pirate King is on my TBR though!

    1. READ SONG OF THE CURRENT, WENDY!!! Seriously, it's SO good! But yes, I love Nikolai. I can't wait for King of Scars!

    2. Thanks for the rec, Mary! I will check out Song of the Current!! And yes, King of Scars!! 😍

  4. I love this list!!! And I love that Never Never made it on! <3

  5. o0o yes, I love this list! This is very useful.

    Thanks for sharing,
    ~Brittany @ Brittany's Book Rambles

  6. I wonder if the Mackenzi Lee follow-up to "Gentleman's Guide to Vice & Virtue" will be as good. The first book wasn't the exciting thrill-ride to the extent that I expected, but it was still pretty good!