Horrendo’s Curse #1 – Anna Fienberg: Pirates & Good Hearts

Horrendo's CurseHorrendo’s Curse by Anna Fienberg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What a delightful little story! A young boy cursed (!) with the inability to curse or wish harm, grows up in a village that spends every year preparing for the annual pirate attack. Schools instruct children in practical matters such as Petrifying Pets and Rude Words, instead of Maths & English. How does Horrendo survive this environment and later, the pirate attack?

The ending felt somewhat moralising but perhaps that’s a feature of children’s fiction. I saw a review that criticised the violent language and depictions as being unsuitable for children. That’s probably true, though I didn’t think about it when I read the book.

If this is a children’s book for adults, a slightly less preachy ending might have worked better. If this is a children’s book only, then I’m not sure how to tell a pirate story without some swordplay, plank-walking, rum-swigging and cussing. Personally, I enjoyed it. I read this book on NetGalley.

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