Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Review - Steel by Carrie Vaughn

16 year old Jill is a fencing fanatic who finds an old corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach whilst on holiday with her family. Recognising it as part of a rapier Jill decides to keep it. Whilst on a boat trip with her family Jill is thrown overboard and is transported back in time to the pirate ship Diana where swords are the weapon of choice. Jill is forced to sign up as a crew member by the female Captain Marjory Cooper who assigns the lovely Henry to look after her and has to very quickly learn how to be a crew member- scrubbing the decks, working the ropes and sails. Jill learns how to sword fight in a real duel and has to try to work out how to get back home with the help of the broken rapier. 

This is very much geared towards the young adult audience in that it's a nice fun read that isn't too taxing on the brain. I have to say I enjoyed it, especially the numerous rum references. Packed full of swashbuckling action I thought it was a really enjoyable fantasy adventure. One thing did bother me though, it hinted at a little romance between Jill and Henry but it never really materialised. Overall Carrie Vaughn provided a real sense of pirate history with the fantastic Pirate Queen Marjory Cooper (apparently there were real female pirates in the Caribbean, I had no idea, although I have to admit my knowledge of pirates is taken entirely from Johnny Depp in the Pirates of the Caribbean films!) and the descriptions of life on board a pirate ship with the back braking scraping a ship's hull, the constant fear of attack and the likelihood of a limb being chopped off to avoid infection setting in after a battle.

Overall I would give it three and a half- who would have know fencing could be that interesting?


  1. I really want to read this. I've had it for a while too :) GLad you enjoyed it. Donna :)


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