Celia Rees is a new author for me. Not surprising since a book about pirates is so out of my range of interest. But, the tag was England and being the YA fan I am, I looked for something I could get through. I can't remember how I actually came upon the title, but once it matched up with enough tags for a reading challenge, I'm participating in, I looked past the number of pages (almost 400 which is a huge commitment for something I normally wouldn't read) I told myself to lighten up and go with it. I'm still not crazy about pirates but this works for me. For starters and most importantly for me, Rees provides strong female leads. Huge on my criteria. Nancy is a wealthy merchant's daughter (no draw here; stories involving class aren't endearing to me) and Minerva is her slave (you can imagine I'm not too thrilled to find out where this is going) at her inherited Jamaican plantation. Nancy is in love with a boy below her station (Yawn. No surprise here. Still I keep going.) Boy takes off to make his fortune and station so he can come back and profess his love for a girl he knows he can't have until he can take care of her(I'm annoyed, but I keep going.)
Yes, I'm being a smart#%& and that is my point. I normally don't want to spend hours reading this kind of story. But, Rees can write, and Nancy is good mix of independent thinking, loving who she pleases and defines herself. So I kept going. Minerva is sketched well, too. Rees does well to fill out this character. She, too, is independent, a helluva sailor and fighter, and she even finds time to fall in love and choose for herself to give up the seas for a place among people where she finally feels she fits.
_Pirates!_ is a good mix of fantasy, adventure, history and realism. Over time, I got past my prejudices and found myself plowing on to see how the duo escapes an arranged marriage, capture, killed by rivals and hanging (It's against the law to be a pirate, you know). The novel takes me to places and experiences I don't know well and that's another notch on interest scale. So if you're into pirates, adventure and fantasy, this is an easy sale. If you're like me, a raving feminist who is opinionated and firmly grounded in realistic fiction, you might find this gives you plenty of what you like in a place you assumed unlikely.
Loretta C. (Reader-in-Beverly) - , reviewed Pirates!: The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates (Large Print) on
Helpful Score: 1
Picked this book up at a used bookstore as I was searching for books by L.A. Meyer, in the Jacky Faber series. As the subject matter is similar: young female teen in the late 1700s/early 1800s dresses as a male to take to the sea - in both books she does it to escape dire circumstances and possibly death - I decided to read Pirates! However, my opinion of this book was very influenced by the aforementioned books about Jacky Faber - stories which sparkled and came alive, the heroine being very likeable and a bit more lively than this main character named Nancy Kington. Perhaps Nancy is truer to a female of the actual times, and so behaves in more moderate lady like fashion, except for when she decides to kill a man or two. The bad guys are a little too obvious in Pirates! - an alcoholic brother and an evil neighboring land owner who seems to have bargained with the devil to appear almost legendary & who Nancy spends the second half of the book fleeing to avoid marriage to him. The story line of the slave Phillis and her daughter Minerva were nicely done, and made the book more interesting to me. At times the story slowed but overall, if you have finished all 8 of the Jacky Faber YA fiction books, then this book will satisfy cravings for similar tales of historical pirates until L.A. Meyer writes another Jacky Faber book!
I picked it on the recommendation of a friend that lives too far for us to trade much and I really didn't know what to expect--when I received it, it looked suspiciously like a book fair book and I was a little concerned...
I will say I think that it probably WAS intended for young adult reading (hey, but so was Twilight) so it doesn't go TOO deeply into the real dark side of actual pirate history, but I can't really say that it "glosses over it" really either.
I think it IS much in vhe vein of Twilight in the following factors:
1) depth of character development (NOT that deep, but you're invested all the same)
2) a serious subject--love, survival, etc--that isn't necessarily handled lightly but isn't so heavy that it's depressing
3) there's a sense of adventure, of boundaries crossed, etc.
BY no means am I saying you'll love it if you loved Twilight--I'm simply saying it's about the same level of reading --not too serious, not too light, just enough to keep one entertained. I don't recall when it was published, without getting the book out of the other room anyway, but I was surprised that I'd never heard of it before, meaning that it wasn't a bigger hit. Maybe with it being a UK author it didn't catch on over here?
Anyway, it's ALL-ages appropriate and alot of fun to read.
Melissa B. reviewed Pirates!: The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates (Large Print) on + 2 more book reviews
I read this book as a favor of the school librarian, who wanted a preview in order to decide the ages allowed to check it out. I thought it would be slow, but it was actually a really good book. Written for pre-teen to teens, it is interesting and well-written for adults.
I picked up this book because I had be seeing it on shelves for ages and was curious. It ended up being a pretty darn good book.
This book tells the story of a young girl, Nancy, who is the daughter to a sugar plantation owner. When Nancy's father dies. Nancy is spirited away by her brothers to live on their sugar plantation in Jamaica. Upon her arrival she finds that she has been promised to a horrible man for marriage. Certain circumstances come about and Nancy ends up fleeing for her life and signing up to be serve as a pirate on a pirate ship. The majority of the book is spent on her adventures.
This was a very good book. The writing style is very straight forward, the whole book is from Nancy's perspective. The plot moves slowly at the beginning with the the first third of the book telling about how Nancy and Minerva got onto the pirate ship. The pace picks up from there and hurtles from adventure to adventure. It was a thoroughly enjoyable read.
I have one small complaint about the book and that was that it dealt with pirates from a very romantic point of view; the violence of a pirate's lifestyle is somewhat muted. I think young girls would have been hard pressed to serve as women on a pirate ship in reality. Of course, this isn't reality, it's just a very good story that definitely sways toward fantasy. It reminded me a lot of the Pirates of the Caribbean movie. It is a very solid young adult novel.
I liked the book and will be checking out more books by this author.
Dayna E. reviewed Pirates!: The True and Remarkable Adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pirates (Large Print) on + 3 more book reviews
I wish I could give this book a sixth star! It is a great fictional tale that will keep you reading and reading! Rees does an excellent job here in depicting the adventure in the life of pirates! I want more like this!!