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Pirates!by Celia Rees
One of the best things about a good novel is that you can read about people having adventures you'd never in a million years want to have yourself. Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharpe are two of the bravest girls in young adult literature, joining a band of pirates in order to escape a worse fate. If you're in the mood for a suspenseful, thrilling tale (and, yes, a bit of a love story), this could be the right book for you.
Synopses & Reviews
It is the dawn of the eighteenth century, when girls stay home and sew while men sail the high seas finding adventure, danger, and gold. But two unusually adventurous girls — a rich merchant's daughter, Nancy Kington, and her former plantation slave, Minerva Sharpe — take to the high seas from Jamaica on a ship the crew renames Deliverance. Not just any trading ship, the Deliverance flies black flags from its mast, proclaiming to all that the newly named, hijacked ship is a pirate vessel, striking fear into the hearts of those she approaches. Or so they hope.
For Nancy, the Deliverance is her escape from an arranged betrothal to a controlling and devilish man. For Minerva, it is escape from slavery, as well as from the fearsome overseer on Nancy's family plantation. But in the end, the money, the adventure, the companionship, and the chance to see the world not as women, but as bold and daring pirates, is an opportunity neither can deny.
From the award-winning and best-selling author Celia Rees comes a powerful, thrilling, and ultimately inspiring journey of two women who break the bonds of gender, race, and position to find their own way to glory.
"[P]iracy is definitely in...Celia Rees is very good at reimagining the past in a way that doesn't reduce it but which at the same time is devoid of the pishtushery that sometimes blights historical novels. Her research is skilfully concealed so that the story reaches us clear and true, untarnished by any olde-worlde fustiness. Bartolome the Brazilian, who is a terrific baddy and worth his weight in gold as far as this narrative is concerned....Many adventures ensue, of the kind that fans of this genre will love to read about. The book ends with happiness, hope and a delightful revelation. Rees is good at both landscape and seascape, and her lovers are touching without being sentimental....This is as swashbuckling a yarn as anyone could wish for." Adele Geras, The Guardian
"Well-known for her ability to write gripping stories featuring strong, intelligent female characters, Celia Rees has yet another compelling read in Pirates! The relationship between the two gutsy girls is particularly well drawn and details of primitive amputation techniques, scurby-rotten gums and the Pirate Code give a vivid impression of life at the end of the golden age of piracy." Financial Times
"This is a brilliantly written adventure story, told in the first person, by the author of the highly original Witch Child and Sorceress. Once again, Rees uses a strong female lead to gain the reader's empathy right from the start, and she produces some truly memorable moments." Bookseller Teenage Reading Choice
"Rees draws on the lives of actual pirates to create a colourful masterpiece." Waterstone's Books Quarterly
"Swashbuckling in the tradition of every pirate tale, from Treasure Island to Pirates of the Caribbean, Pirates! is truly gripping from first page to last and never fails to be totally entertaining throughout." John McLay
"Author of the highly successful teenage historical novels Witch Child and Sorceress, Celia Rees has surpassed herself in this totally gripping new novel. The period details is wonderfully rich and never tedious. A gritty romantic thriller." Irish Post
Nancy Kington, daughter of a rich merchant, suddenly orphaned when her father dies, is sent to live on her family's plantation in Jamaica. Disgusted by the treatment of the slaves and her brother's willingness to marry her off, she and one of the slaves, Minerva, run away and join a band of pirates. For both girls the pirate life is their only chance for freedom in a society where both are treated like property, rather than individuals. Together they go in search of adventure, love, and a new life that breaks all restrictions of gender, race, and position. Told through Nancy's writings, their adventures will appeal to readers across the spectrum and around the world.
About the Author
Celia Rees is the author of many books for young readers including bestsellers Witch Child and Sorceress. Her first book was published in 1993, a thriller for teenagers. She now divides her time between writing, talking to readers in schools and libraries, and teaching creative writing. She gets her inspiration from the world around her: newspaper stories, people she meets, places she visits. Celia lives in Leamington Spa, England with her husband and teenage daughter, Catrin.
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