Pirates cause the worst violence, boarding a random ship, killing the crew, and torturing the captain for information before killing him. Zavac, the pirate captain, even instructs his crew to torture the other captain for five more minutes after he says he'll talk. The pirates also overtake a town, killing any townspeople in their way, including Lydia's grandfather; Lydia barely escapes. Two main characters almost freeze to death in the water before they're picked up. The climactic battle includes many pirates dying via swordplay, arrows, fire, and splinters from exploding wood. Most gore is omitted, except when a Heron shipmate gets an arrow in his side and it has to be removed and bandaged. There's one fist fight that ends quickly.