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Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O'Malley

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  126 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A captivating retelling of the story of Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland, and her struggle to protect the friends, family, and country that she loved.

A true daughter of the fearsome O'Malley clan, Grace spent her life wishing to join the fight to keep Henry VIII's armies from invading her homeland of Ireland -- only to be told again and again that the battlefiel
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published April 16th 2019 by Candlewick Press (first published April 4th 2019)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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 ·  126 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Start your review of Pirate Queen: The Legend of Grace O'Malley
You'd think a story about a pirate queen would have a lot of oomph!
This one does not.
Grace O'Malley is just kind of there, inhabiting her world between these pages. She doesn't want to conform to gender role, which is cool, but she's only motivated by doing what needs to be done, there's not much more to her here and that's not really what I'd hoped to read about.

I also didn't care for the art.

I'd love to see what Maura McHugh would do with something like this.
Aug 01, 2020 rated it liked it
The story of Grace O'Malley, the Pirate Queen of Ireland. O'Malley continued to rally the Irish against English invasion throughout her life, surviving many assassination plots and backstabbing from her own people. It was quite an interesting story, but could be jumpy at times.

Received a review copy from Candlewick Press and Edelweiss. All thoughts are my own and in no way influenced by the aforementioned.
I received an ARC copy of this book from Edelweiss

Definitely an interesting read. While I already knew a bit about Grace O'Malley this is definitely more of an in-depth look at her life than I have read before. I did find the writing style to be a bit clunky and some of the pacing seemed a bit awkward as well but this might not be as much of an issue for young readers. Overall a pretty enjoyable and informative read.
Jenna Vahue
I received this book for free in a Library Thing giveaway in exchange for an honest review

I've been reading comics every month since I discovered them in December. They're quick, vary in tone, and add to my Goodreads goal. I'm a big fan of Europe and I love to read books set in that continent. Pirate Queen was my first historical comic and I learned about the legend of Grace O'Malley. The artwork was beautiful and I loved how it showed the main character at different ages. I liked the girl power
Feb 10, 2021 rated it liked it
3.5 This was a longer graphic novel about the life of Grace O'Malley. I'm sure the sources that survive are a bit sketchy on the details so that is why each story varies a slight bit. The pictures and the story in this one were good. I didn't connect with it as much as the last one I read but I think that has to do with me. I felt a bit of a slump but am making myself read some of the books I have out from the library. This one could have waited a bit but I figured I would finish it and get it t ...more
Eliza Wilson
Feb 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I don't really like comic books. ...more
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from LibraryThing Early Reviewers and Candlewick Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

So on the one hand, I appreciate the existence of this book because Grace O’Malley is super cool and her story isn’t widely shared. On the other hand, I’m still not 100% on board with how it was done here.

There’s not a whole lot of definitive fact out there about Grace – and this is my historian
John Clark
Apr 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This very well done graphic nonfiction title is at times grim, but that's necessary to adhere to the facts surrounding the life and rebellious career of Irishwoman Grace O'Malley. Readers will come away with several impressions and awarenesses. That the English treated the Irish terribly and with no respect, that the Irish reacted in kind, mostly out of desperation, that Grace broke the mold that women of her time were cast into and that she was a very strong and determined woman. I would encour ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fierce and independent woman who would do anything to defend her homeland. Grace O'Malley was a pirate from Connacht, who died in 1603. She rallied the Irish to fight the English and lost her father, son, lover, and husbands. Despite meeting Queen Elizabeth I and reaching a peace settlement, the battles continued. ...more
Cindy Vallar
Nov 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Strife is a byword during the time in which Grace O’Malley grows up. As a young girl, England ravages her homeland: ransacking churches, oppressing the people, and taking land from the Irish to give to Englishmen. But the O’Malleys are a proud clan and they are determined to fight for Ireland, which gains them enemies among the English.

Often away on sailing voyages, Grace’s father arranges for her to foster with a neighboring clan, the O’Flahertys. The idea doesn’t sit well with Grace, who would
mad mags
May 07, 2019 rated it liked it
A Portrait of an Ambivalent Freedom Fighter

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing's Early Reviewers program.)

Born to a fierce chieftan in western Ireland named Eoghan "Black Oak" O'Malley, Grace O'Malley went on to become a legend and folk hero in her own right. The Pirate Queen, as she would later be called, grew up in the 1530s and 40s, at a time when England, under King Henry VIII (and later Queen Elizabeth I), began its Tudor conquest of Irelan
Jun 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: comics
I picked this up because I thought it was going to be crazy fantasy about a chick popping caps with a flintlock pistol in one hand and cutting throats with the other. The cover kind of gives that vibe. It sorta` screams action and adventure. The pages don’t. Now it feels like melted ice cream on a stick. Cool wrapper with the ice cream sticking to it, messy and not fun or yummy at all.

Take what I’m saying with some milk. I did a skim through and tried to see if it could look good out of contex
American Mensa
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Pirate Queen tells the legend of Grace O’Malley from age 16 until she passes away at age 73. She is a fierce fighter and amazing sailor who falls in love a number of times and has several children along the way. She battles the English and the Spaniards, usually because they kill some she loves or because they try to take Irish land. Everyone doubts her strength, but I think she is more powerful than an army of men.

My favorite parts of the book were inspiring quotes from confident women. At
S. Daisy
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a graphic novel with an historical setting and cast of characters. It tells the story (some fact, some fiction) of Grainne Ni Mhaille, a.k.a. Grace O'Malley, daughter of a legendary Irish chieftain, shortly after Ireland came under English Tudor rule. Spanning from the reign of King Henry VIII to that of Queen Elizabeth, this novel is a good way to introduce mature older children and young adults (or anybody who likes graphic novels, actually) to an era of history perhaps little known to ...more
Jun 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
PIRATE QUEEN brings us the legend of Grace O'Malley. There aren't many books about her available, so this is a refreshing and needed book. It's in graphic novel format and opens up with Grace as a young girl wanting to fight instead of being stuck with the mundane activities of a lady at that time. She didn't want to wear a dress and wanted to wield a sword instead of learnin things like sewing.

With the English trying to overtake Ireland, Grace wants to help defend her homeland any way she can.
Stephanie Bange
Jul 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Precious little information is available about Mary O’Malley, the legendary Pirate Queen of Ireland.
This is the fourth title in Tony Lee’s Heroes and Heroines series, and it is a doozy.

Born into the O’Malley clan, Mary becomes a skillful sailor and warrior when family and friends are viciously murdered by the English as she overcomes harsh sexist stereotyping. Her reputation precedes her as she skillfully negotiates or battles to attain her goals – to avenge murders in her family and to keep I
Maggie Librarian
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
While this book is inspired by real events and real people, it choose to take quite a few liberties with history, and didn't even have great storytelling as a pay off for its revisions. The number one flaw with this story was it's desire to cover far too much time, in far too few pages. They wanted to take us from Grace's childhood to her elder years, which never gave us the chance to connect with any characters or story lines. Her husband was killed by the British? I guess that's a bummer, but ...more
Dec 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
A colorful telling of the story of a famous part of the Irish resistance against the English crown for middle graders. Pirate Queen interprets the story of Grace O'Malley based an a few known facts about her life. Grace was certainly an impressive lady pirate who did it all: she had lovers, husbands, children, and she fought and fought and fought the English, and she even met the queen (of England). It's a short book, so even if Grace does some amazing things, like give birth in the middle of a ...more
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
A good story transcends the format - whether it's a screen play, novel or comic book.
You don't need to be a fan of graphic novels to get wrapped up in the accessible tale of Grace O'Malley. Known as the Pirate Queen, O'Malley fought to protect her homeland of Ireland from war and land-grabs by the English. She experienced tragic loss but continued to battle for what she believed was right and inspired others to do the same. With villains you'll love-to-hate, this one is recommended for anyone wh
Virginia Cope
Jun 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
This is a young adult graphic novel based on the life of Grace O’Malley, The Pirate Queen. My rating is biased as I don’t particularly care for graphic novels but I did give this one a fair try and it fell short for me. It was a relatively easy read but had many holes in the plot. It just seemed a bit rushed and could have used a little more development. (But is that the English teacher talking?)It does tell the story (rather crudely) of the life of the Pirate Queen of Ireland. It is relatively ...more
Kate Elizabeth
Sep 30, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: sms-imc
This is more a 3.5. This is a hugely important story to tell. Again, I find myself reading a book and thinking dang, I wish I had this in middle school or even high school! I would have LOVED reading about a woman pirate at 13...even more than I did at 25! However, this book wasn't perfect. It definitely could have had a stronger message of why Grace fought beyond simply her dead husbands. Still, it's a cool story and the history geek in me loved the story itself, if not the writing. ...more
Chelsea Haller
May 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully illustrated tale of Grace O'Malley and her fight to free Ireland from English rule. A wonderful way to learn a little bit of a woman of genuine heroism. Loved every second of it. It is technically a Children's book but I think ages 8 and up would enjoy this book greatly, as I did at 35. ...more
Crystal Ellyson
May 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received this book through Early Member Giveaway for an honest review of the book! I love this book so much!!!! The drawings are beautiful and amazing!!!! The story is great!!!! I love the fact that the story is based in Ireland!!!
Connie Harrison
May 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’m not an authority on graphic novels but I found this one to be a disappointment. The story of Grace O’Malley has great potential but in this book characters are superficial and many are so generically drawn it’s difficult to keep track of who’s who. The ending is rushed and unsatisfying.
Jun 15, 2019 rated it liked it
I love Grace O'Malley's story, but this treatment had campy dialogue and chunky faces. Also, the curves of Grace's cheekbones often looked like glasses, which distracted me. It was fine, but I think I'll stick with the song. ...more
Elizabeth P
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this graphic novel and found it fascinating. One note, though: it has quite a lot of killing and blood in it so I would probably recommend it for middle schoolers but not elementary schoolers.
Wilde Sky
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it
An account of a woman fighter/ sailor.

The graphics were a bit dodgy in places and the account could have done with some more background explanations.

Reading time around one hour.
Rachel K
May 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very quick read
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
There's a lot of back-and-forth with alliances made and broken, shady dealings personal and political, and not nearly enough actual piracy! ...more
Jul 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
I loved this graphic novel about Grace O'Malley. The story was compelling, and the art was fantastic at pulling me further into the story. ...more
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A New York Times Best-selling Graphic Novelist, Tony Lee was born in West London, UK in 1970. Informed by a teacher that he had a comic book style of writing, (a comment meant more as an insult), Tony decided that one day he would write for comics.

Tony has written for a variety of mediums including Radio 4, The BBC, commerical television in both the UK and US, magazines and both local and national

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