Sunday, July 10, 2011


by Carrie Vaughn

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain. (description from

I'm very conflicted about this book. While I loved the story and characters, I wasn't fond of the writing style itself. I was also left with some major questions unanswered and so felt a little unsatisfied when I finished.

Jill was a very believable heroine. She's tough and trained in swordplay, but she's also thrown into a scary and unbelievable situation, to which she's never quite sure how to act. I loved the blend of her bravado and sheer terror at certain moments.

I really enjoyed reading about Captain Marjory Cooper, a woman that ran her ship based on respect, not fear. It was really interesting to read about the other female pirates, too. I know that there actually were some in history, same as female soldiers before it was allowed, and it was really cool to see how Vaughn showed different types of female pirates and what may have driven them to that life. In fact, all of the pirate lifestyle that was represented was interesting and realistic.

While I loved the time travel aspect of this book, I didn't really understand how it happened or worked. There was sort of an explanation towards the end, but I didn't really feel that it was at all believable or well told. That was one of the things that I really just didn't connect to, and as such a large part of the story, that made it hard to truly love this book.

I felt like there were several things that just didn't click for me on this one. Lots of other readers out there have loved this book, though, so if you like pirates, time travel, romance and adventure, you may still want to give it a shot.

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