Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pirates! by Celia Rees

Nancy Kington, an heiress fleeing an arranged marriage, and Minerva Sharpe, a runway plantation slave, both find unlikely salvation on the pirate ship Deliverance. Life as a pirate is difficult enough, but can the two young women escape the cruel Captain Bartholome, who has pledged to follow them over the seven seas? And will Nancy's long-lost friend, a sailor in the Royal Navy, love the pirate she has become?
I am so very sorry I didn't pick up this book sooner and I'm glad I bought it instead of borrowing the ragged copy at my library–no wonder it was so well-worn. Pirates! is a thrilling high seas venture with jolly pirates, Navy officers, and the scourge of the sea.
Many "pirate" novels and movies are filled with fantasy pirate lore and fictional accounts of the way the high seas were. In reality, however, the open ocean wasn't as romantic as anyone thinks. It was filled with death, gruesome tortures usually by the hand of the British or Spanish Empire, and slave trade. The Caribbean was founded on slavery, but it strived for freedom. As the story of Nancy and Minerva unfolds, you see the true side of pirates as well as a cunningly crafted adventure of excitement and elements of the high seas that are very near reality.
Although I have to admit I'll probably come close to loving any pirate novel you place in my lap, what I like about Pirates! is that Rees is so very realistic about the way she presented Nancy's circumstances. Remember those stories about Davy Jones? (Yeah, the guy with the tentacles from Pirates of the Caribbean.) Instead of having some half-fish, half-man creature lurk in the dark blue waves trying to find Nancy, Davy Jones becomes something of a true form combined with a terrifying curse. As this cunning figure chases Nancy over the deep blue waters, a much grander tales is spun as Nancy continues to search for her true love.
Pirates! is told in third person. While this doesn't allow room for very many personal connections between Nancy and Minerva, it does encourage a lot of imagination use. How Rees incorporates legend with real life is the best thing this pirate themed novel can offer while still being just as exciting as floating islands, The Flying Dutchman, and Johnny De– er, Jack Sparrow. I read Pirates! in one day and, even though its been several weeks since I put it down, I can still taste salt water.
Recommendation: Highly recommend. Have some extra pocket money to purchase it? Don't hesitate, it's a darn good story. For ages 14+.

This Book is For: Teens who enjoy pirates, adventure, history, or a real page-turner
This Book is Not For: Those weary of heart or sailers who don't have sea legs

Content: Graphic images of death and a few sexual remarks; PG-13

The Last Straw: A passage from the prologue:
If our story seems a little extravagant, to have something of the air of a novel, I may assure you that this is not fiction. Our adventures need no added invention, rather I find myself forced to leave out certain details in order not to shock. You will read of many things, both strange and terrible.....

|Pages: 379|Published: 2003|Publisher: Bloomsbury|Price: Soft. $8.99|
|Genre: Adventure, pirates, historical fiction, 1700s|
|Age Group: YA, ages 14+|Content: PG-13|
|Enjoyed It: 5/5|Content Rating: 3/5|Cover: 4/5|
|Overall: 5/5|


1 comment:

Nina said...

Glad to hear that you liked it, it does sounds great. A book about Pirates, I haven't read about that in a long while. Thanks for the great review. :)

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