Epic Journeys A-Hoy!: 20 Unforgettable Pirate Fantasy Books

In this curated collection, we invite you to hoist the Jolly Roger and set sail on a journey through 20 of the most captivating pirate fantasy books ever written. Whether you’re a seasoned corsair of the literary seas or a landlubber eager to dip your toes into uncharted waters, these tales promise to whisk you away to distant shores filled with swashbuckling action, daring escapades, and larger-than-life characters.

From timeless classics that have stood the test of time to hidden gems waiting to be discovered, each book in this list offers a unique blend of adventure, romance, and intrigue that will keep you turning the pages long into the night. So prepare to weigh anchor, unfurl your sails, and embark on a voyage of discovery as we explore the thrilling world of pirate fantasy literature.

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Pirate Fantasy Books

To Kill a Kingdom – Alexandra Christo

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Princess Lira is siren royalty and the most lethal of them all. With the hearts of seventeen princes in her collection, she is revered across the sea. Until a twist of fate forces her to kill one of her own. To punish her daughter, the Sea Queen transforms Lira into the one thing they loathe most–a human. Robbed of her song, Lira has until the winter solstice to deliver Prince Elian’s heart to the Sea Queen and or remain a human forever.

The ocean is the only place Prince Elian calls home, even though he is heir to the most powerful kingdom in the world. Hunting sirens is more than an unsavory hobby–it’s his calling. When he rescues a drowning woman in the ocean, she’s more than what she appears. She promises to help him find the key to destroying all of sirenkind for good–But can he trust her? And just how many deals will Elian have to barter to eliminate mankind’s greatest enemy?

The Princess Bride – William Goldman

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A tale of true love and high adventure, pirates, princesses, giants, miracles, fencing, and a frightening assortment of wild beastsThe Princess Bride is a modern storytelling classic.

As Florin and Guilder teeter on the verge of war, the reluctant Princess Buttercup is devastated by the loss of her true love, kidnapped by a mercenary and his henchmen, rescued by a pirate, forced to marry Prince Humperdinck, and recused once again by the very crew who absconded with her in the first place. In the course of this dazzling adventure, she’ll meet Vizzini—the criminal philosopher who’ll do anything for a bag of gold; Fezzik—the gentle giant; Inigo—the Spaniard whose steel thirsts for revenge; and Count Rugen—the evil mastermind behind it all. Foiling all their plans and jumping into their stories is Westley, Princess Buttercup’s one true love and a very good friend of a very dangerous pirate.

A Wizard of Earthsea – Ursula K. Le Guin

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Ged was the greatest sorcerer in Earthsea, but in his youth he was the reckless Sparrowhawk. In his hunger for power and knowledge, he tampered with long-held secrets and loosed a terrible shadow upon the world.

This is the tumultuous tale of his testing, how he mastered the mighty words of power, tamed an ancient dragon, and crossed death’s threshold to restore the balance.

On Stranger Tides – Tim Powers

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On Stranger Tides features Blackbeard, ghosts, voodoo, zombies, the fable Fountain of Youth…and more swashbuckling action than you could shake a cutlass at. Reluctant buccaneer John Shandy braves all manner of peril, natural and supernatural, to rescue his ensorcelled love. 

Vampirates: Demons of the Ocean – Justin Somper

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Twins, Connor and Grace, never dreamed that there was any truth to the Vampirate shanty their father sang to them before he died. But that was before the two were shipwrecked and separated from each other. For Connor, who is taken aboard a pirate ship, there’s the chance to learn to swordfight. For Grace, aboard a mysterious ship of vampire pirates, the danger is great. What will it take for them to find each other?

Pirate Latitudes – Michael Crichton

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Michael Crichton (“One of the great storytellers of our age” —Newsday) takes to the high Caribbean seas for an irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates, lost treasure, sword fights, duplicity, and hair-breadth escapes in the New World.

Fable – Adrienne Young

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Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men.

Peter Pan – J. M. Barrie

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The book opens with Peter’s nighttime visits to the house of Mrs. Mary Darling, who entertains her children with bedtime stories that Peter eavesdrops on. When he is spotted one evening Peter loses his shadow trying to escape. Later he returns to retrieve it and his identity is finally revealed to Wendy Darling. Peter invites Wendy, along with her brothers John and Michael, to return to his island home of Neverland. 

Pirates! – Celia Rees

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Nancy Kington, daughter of a rich merchant, suddenly orphaned when her father dies, is sent to live on her family’s plantation in Jamaica. She is disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother’s willingness to marry her off. Nancy and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates. For both girls the pirate life is their only chance for freedom in a society where both are treated like property, rather than individuals. Together they go in search of adventure, love, and a new life. One that breaks all restrictions of gender, race, and position.

Red Seas Under Red Skies – Scott Lynch

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Escaping from the attentions of the Bondsmagi Locke Lamora, the estwhile Thorn of Camorr and Jean Tannen have fled their home city. Taking ship they arrive in the city state of Tal Varrar where they are soon planning their most spectacular heist yet; they will take the luxurious gaming house, The Sinspire, for all of its countless riches.

Ship of Magic – Robin Hobb

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Bingtown is a hub of exotic trade and home to a merchant nobility famed for its liveships—rare vessels carved from wizardwood, which ripens magically into sentient awareness. Now the fortunes of one of Bingtown’s oldest families rest on the newly awakened liveship Vivacia.

For Althea Vestrit, the ship is her rightful legacy. For Althea’s young nephew, wrenched from his religious studies and forced to serve aboard the Vivacia, the ship is a life sentence. But the fate of the ship—and the Vestrits—may ultimately lie in the hands of an outsider: the ruthless buccaneer captain Kennit, who plans to seize power over the Pirate Isles by capturing a liveship and bending it to his will.

A Gathering of Shadows – V. E. Schwab

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Four months have elapsed since the dramatic events surrounding the acquisition of the shadow stone by Kell. Despite the passage of time, things are far from settled. Rhy, wounded in previous events, is more subdued, while Kell is burdened by guilt. As Red London prepares for the Element Games, a grand magical competition, old friends return, including a certain pirate ship. However, amidst the festivities, another London begins to resurface, hinting at dark and ominous consequences. The resurgence of Black London threatens to upset the delicate balance of magic, setting the stage for a new conflict and challenging the characters to confront their pasts and protect their world.

Pirate Freedom – Gene Wolfe

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As a young parish priest, Father Christopher has heard many confessions, but his own tale is more astounding than any revelation he has ever encountered in the confessional . . . for Chris was once a pirate captain, hundreds of years before his birth.

Deadmen Walking – Sherrilyn Kenyon

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Devyl Bane emerges as a notorious pirate in the New World. With secrets shrouding his past, Bane forms an alliance with Thorn, an immortal tasked with safeguarding the world from ancient gods’ creations. As enchanted gates containing these dangerous powers begin to weaken, Bane leads a crew of Deadmen, humanity’s last hope, to restore order. However, their mission is complicated by the Sea Witch, a powerful vessel with a human form and a personal vendetta against Bane. As the fate of humanity hangs in the balance, alliances are tested, and loyalties are challenged, leaving Bane and his crew to navigate treacherous waters in a battle against ancient forces and personal demons.

All the Stars and Teeth – Adalyn Grace

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As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson

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Treasure Island is an adventure novel by Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson, tells a story of “buccaneers and buried gold.” It is considered a coming-of-age story and is noted for its atmosphere, characters, and action.

Daughter of the Pirate King – Tricia Levenseller

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Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map. The key to a legendary treasure trove. Seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor. The unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King.

Magic of Blood and Sea – Cassandra Rose Clarke

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Ananna of the Tanarau abandons ship when her parents try to marry her off to an ally pirate clan. She wants to captain her own boat, not serve as second-in-command to a handsome and clueless man. But her escape has dire consequences when she learns that her fiancé’s clan has sent an assassin after her.

And when this assassin, Naji, finally finds her, things get even worse. Ananna inadvertently triggers a nasty curse—with a life-altering result. 

The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi – Shannon Chakraborty

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The retired pirate finds herself drawn back into the dangerous world she thought she had left behind. Offered a lucrative job to rescue a kidnapped girl, Amina sees it as a chance for one last adventure with her crew and to secure her family’s future. However, as she delves deeper into the mission, she realizes that there is more at stake than she initially thought. With supernatural forces at play and hidden agendas emerging, Amina must navigate treacherous waters to save the girl.

In Deeper Waters – F.T. Lukens

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Prince Tal has long awaited his coming-of-age tour. After spending most of his life cloistered behind palace walls as he learns to keep his forbidden magic secret, he can finally see his family’s kingdom for the first time. Their crew discovers a mysterious prisoner on a burning derelict vessel.

Tasked with watching over the prisoner, Tal is surprised to feel an intense connection with the roguish Athlen. So when Athlen leaps overboard and disappears, Tal feels responsible and heartbroken. Athlen could not have survived in the open ocean… right?

Setting Sail for Adventure: Other Genres for Fans of Pirate Fantasy Books

While pirate fantasy books whisk readers away on thrilling adventures across the high seas, there are plenty of other literary genres that offer similarly exhilarating experiences. Whether you’re drawn to tales of swashbuckling heroes, epic quests, or mysterious treasures, there’s a genre out there to satisfy your thirst for adventure. Here are a few genres that fans of pirate fantasy books may want to explore:

Historical Fiction

If you’re captivated by the rich historical settings and adventurous spirit of pirate fantasy books, then historical fiction novels may be just what you’re looking for. Transporting readers to different eras and locales, these books offer immersive glimpses into the past while weaving captivating tales of romance, intrigue, and betrayal.

High Fantasy

For readers who enjoy the magical elements and epic quests of pirate fantasy books, high fantasy novels offer a fantastical escape into imaginative worlds filled with mythical creatures, powerful wizards, and ancient prophecies. With sweeping landscapes and intricate world-building, these books invite readers on unforgettable journeys of discovery and adventure.

Swashbuckling Tales

For readers who crave the exhilarating thrills and daring escapades of pirate fantasy books, swashbuckling tales offer a treasure trove of adventure and excitement. Featuring charismatic rogues, daring sword fights, and daring rescues, these books capture the spirit of high-seas adventure in all its swashbuckling glory.


For readers who enjoy the fast-paced action and high-stakes thrills of pirate fantasy books, action-adventure novels offer a non-stop rollercoaster ride of excitement and danger. With pulse-pounding suspense and adrenaline-fueled escapades, these books keep readers on the edge of their seats from start to finish.

Whether you’re seeking daring exploits on the high seas, epic quests in fantastical realms, or passionate romances amidst the dangers of adventure, there’s a genre out there to satisfy your appetite for excitement and wonder. So why not set sail for new literary horizons and discover the endless possibilities awaiting you in the world of books?

Frequently Asked Questions

What genre are pirate books?

Pirate books can fall into any genre. Many pirate romance books exist, some pirate science fiction may involve space pirates. In our case, we are showcasing pirate fantasy books.

Are there any LGBTQ pirate fantasy books?

Why not check out In Deeper Waters for your LGBT pirate fantasy fix!

What is the most popular pirate fantasy book?

Currently, the new release The Adventures of Amina al-Sirafi has been getting rave reviews. However, you might be more tempted to explore the classics, such as Treasure Island

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