is a classy and welcome addition to Celia Rees's successful oeuvre, that of novels with a historical background, such as the phenomenally bestselling Witch Child
. Swashbuckling in the tradition of every pirate tale, from Treasure Island
to Pirates of the Caribbean
is truly gripping from first page to last and never fails to be totally entertaining throughout.
Nancy Kington and Minerva Sharp are two young women from very different backgrounds who, in time, become united in a common, pirating cause. Nancy, the daughter of a successful Bristol ship owner, had her life all planned out. She lived in comfort and hoped to marry her childhood sweetheart William. But disaster strikes and she is aghast to experience her circumstances turning upside down when her father dies. Soon she finds herself shipped out to land they own in the West Indies to marry for the good of the remaining family.
Minerva is part of the staff at her new plantation home and they immediately become friends--despite the delicate nature of their differing positions as merchant's daughter and slave. But Minerva has complications of her own--particularly from an abusive overseer. Nancy is eventually driven to murder him, and together they become fugitives. Joining a pirate ship comes naturally to both of them and a wild, wild life of seafaring and adventure begins.
With detailed research that leaps from every page, Rees's narrative is atmospheric but never heavy. She moves the story along at a jaunty pace, making it impossible for the reader to get bogged down. Rich and exciting, Pirates! is another triumph and unlikely to be bested by another pirate novel for some years to come. (Recommended for ages 12 and over.) --John McLay
--This text refers to an alternate
From School Library Journal
Grade 7 Up–Listeners will find oceans of adventure with a feminine twist in Celia Rees's Pirates!
(Bloomsbury, 2003). This vividly-recounted, first person tale is told by Nancy Kington, an English heiress who flees to the high seas to avoid a cruel, arranged marriage. She's accompanied by Minerva Sharpe, her mulatto maid turned confidante, and both young women dress and work as men on a pirate ship that is plundering the West Indies in the early 18th century. Encounters with other pirates, British authorities, slave dealers, and mutinous crew members provide plenty of action, and although these women are strong and capable, they don't lose their softer side. They have many loyal shipmates, but Kington continues to seek her lost love and Sharpe finds a new one. Treasures are won and lost, and a set of ruby jewels almost proves their undoing, but in the end each young woman returns to safer shores. When their paths must diverge, they are sustained by powerful bonds of friendship and family. Jennifer Wiltsie narrates with a light British accent that turns from flint to velvet as the story demands. The sturdy case has an intriguing cover, and both case and cassettes are well marked. Sound quality is good with appropriate music opening and closing the book's narration. Listeners who grew up with Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle
(HarperCollins, 1992) will find this occasionally violent story equally riveting. It is an exciting recording that will attract adventure-loving audiences in middle, high school, and public libraries.–Barbara Wysocki, Cora J. Belden Library, Rocky Hill, CT
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--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.