The best YA fantasy books with pirates

The Books I Picked & Why

The Assassin's Curse

By Cassandra Rose Clarke

Book cover of The Assassin's Curse

Why this book?

I love a good enemies-to-lovers trope, and this one has it! Pirate Ananna nearly escapes a forced marriage into another pirate clan, but her freedom comes at a cost—an assassin sent to kill her. Hold on to your hats because this book has adventure, romance, curses, and more! You’ll fall in love with the world and the characters as they leap off the pages! 

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Daughter of the Pirate King

By Tricia Levenseller

Book cover of Daughter of the Pirate King

Why this book?

Alosa is the type of pirate I would want to be. She’s got swagger, sword skills, daring, and wit. She deliberately lets herself get captured by her enemies (but will they stay enemies???) in order to search their ship for an ancient map leading to a legendary treasure. However, on her quest to not everything is as it seems—even Alosa herself. I love the twists and turns you take as you explore this robust pirate world!   

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By Carrie Vaughn

Book cover of Steel

Why this book?

What’s a pirate story without a little stolen treasure? Well, modern-day Jill doesn’t exactly steal the broken sword piece she finds on the beach, but it certainly is a treasure—one that transports her back in time to the age of pirates. Who hasn’t wanted to be transported to a pirate ship? I know have…and I still do! 

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By Melissa Landers

Book cover of Starflight

Why this book?

Pirates…in space! Maybe you weren’t expecting space pirates on this list, but they’re just as cool as sea pirates. With a mix of Star Wars and the movie Overboard vibes, this story follows a down-on-her-luck Solara as she bargains for passage to another world and another life. However, some risks are bigger than others. So are some cons. And Solara might just have to team up with the last person she wants to in order to survive. I love the “found family” trope in this one and how you learn there’s more to people than you ever thought.  

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Hook's Revenge

By Heidi Schulz, John Hendrix

Book cover of Hook's Revenge

Why this book?

Okay, I cheated with this one. It’s a Middle-Grade book and not a Young Adult book. But it’s a list about pirates! You should’ve expected a little bit of cheating going on. And I had to include this one because of the voice. It’s told by a narrator who’s as off-putting as he is entertaining. And if that’s not enough, it follows Captain Hook’s daughter on her quest for revenge against Peter Pan. You’ll be hooked right away…get it? Get it??? Hahaha! I’ll be over here laughing at my own jokes (and you should go add these books to your to-be-read piles!)

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