Storms and pirates are nothing compared to the evil within men’s hearts.
After a lifetime of abuse at the hands of superstitious townsfolk, Ophelia Young, a bastard child of the notorious pirate queen, is tired of paying for the sins of her mother. Despite playing by the rules her whole life, she’s earned nothing but spite and suspicion. So when a naval officer saves her from the jeering crowd at her mother’s hanging, Ophelia hatches a new hope of enlisting in the navy to escape her mother’s legacy and redeem her own reputation for good. But Ophelia soon discovers that a life at sea isn’t as honorable as she hoped.
Betsy Young is as different as she could be from her half-sister Ophelia. She’s a nervous homebody who wants to keep her family safe and longs to be in love. So naturally, she’s devastated when the son of their family’s business partner rejects her hand in marriage and her sister joins the navy. But when her father contracts a life-threatening illness as well, Betsy has to bring Ophelia home to save the family business.
Unfortunately for the Young sisters, Betsy trying to get Ophelia recalled reveals that Ophelia enlisted fraudulently under Betsy’s name, a secret which Ophelia struggles to keep from crewmates who would kill her if they knew she was the pirate queen’s daughter. To save Ophelia from the naval authorities, Betsy will have to board a ship during hurricane season and brave all the dangers of the sea to get them both home safe.
About the Author
Christine Calella lives in a place she refers to as “New York City–adjacent.” She spends her spare time singing show tunes in the shower, drinking more chai lattes than is strictly necessary, and either over- or under-watering an unfortunate string of houseplants named after sitcom characters. The Final Curse of Ophelia Cray is her debut novel.
"Calella’s action-packed debut manages to combine fairytale and drama with a hint of comedy, drawing upon the best elements of each. With a charming voice and a focus on girls who aren’t afraid to be imperfectly messy, this book is a fun, seafaring romp!”
—M.K. Lobb, author of Seven Faceless Saints
“A vast and thrilling tale! Calella’s delightful debut charts a steadfast course through an emotional story of sisterhood, friendship, and the meaning of legacy. A spectacular swashbuckling adventure from start to finish.”
—Rosiee Thor, author of Fire Becomes Her
“I absolutely adored this book for its brave heroines and cheered for them as they fought pirates, scoundrels, and their own deepest fears. Perfect for fans of Our Flag Means Death, Pirates of the Caribbean, and feminist takes on history that put swords in girls' hands and let them fight fiercely for what and who they love."
—Jamie Pacton, author of The Vermilion Emporium
“Calella's worldbuilding and characters shine, taking us on a journey filled with magic, danger, and lots of heart. The real curse would be never picking this book up in the first place.”
—Alex Brown, author of Damned If You Do and contributor for the Indie Bestseller The Gathering Dark
“A page-turning pirate adventure about sisters finding themselves and each other on the high seas. You'll discover a treasure trove of loveable, vibrant characters, vital prose, and gasp-inducing twists.”
—Leanne Schwartz, author of A Prayer for Vengeance and To a Darker Shore