The Greatest

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She is just a girl but she will become
a martial artist, the queen of the China sea,
the greatest pirate who ever lived.

Canton, 1770. Shi Yu is an orphan who never knew her parents. At six years old, she works for quick-tempered innkeeper Bai Bai, who spares her no insult or whipping.

At the inn, Yu meets Li Wei, a boy who is already a martial arts expert. Yu persuades him to teach her to fight, and her talent is immediately obvious. This skill will save her life a few years later when she is kidnapped by the dreaded Golden Dragon’s pirates: instead of killing her, Golden Dragon enrols her in the crew.

This is the beginning of her ascent in the piracy world. After many raids in the Pearl River, Macau and Hong Kong, nineteen-year-old Yu becomes the commander of an entire fleet which will soon number more than a hundred ships. Her very name terrorizes the China Sea, and she seems to be an unstoppable force… But Yu’s fame has unwittingly made her an enemy as powerful as he is mysterious, who will stop at nothing to destroy Air and Water wushu: the legendary martial arts style of which Yu has become the latest master…

  • A breathtaking adventure and an extraordinary coming-of-age story inspired by the true story of Ching Shih, commander of the largest pirate fleet of all time.

  • Chinese wuxia literary tradition meets western romance and adventure on the sea

  • Amazing cover illustrations by Europe’s most famous illustrator.


GENRE Adventure
FIRST PUBLISHER Rizzoli (Italy), 2020
RIGHTS SOLD IN Germany (Thienemann), Netherlands and Belgium (Baeckens Books)


Davide is not only a sci-fi and children’s author, but also a journalist and videogame translator. In 2018, Red Stars, one of his internationally successful books, won In Other Words – BookTrust’s Book in Translation Award in London. In 2017, he won the Italian Andersen Award with The Pocket Watch Gang, the adventure he dreams of having lived as a child. Then, in 2018, he was a finalist at Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis in Germany. In 2019, he won the Prix des Bouquineurs en Seine in France and the Vlag and Wimpel in the Netherlands.