Pirates! by Celia Rees

May 25, 2011
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Nancy Kingston, age 15, was the daughter of a rich British merchant in the early 1700’s, until her father died and her brother tried to force her into an arranged marriage with a wealthy Brazilian to pay off his gambling debts. Problem is, Nancy’s already in love with a sailor—and, besides, Bartholome is really creepy. So, of course, with her new best friend Minerva Sharpe, a slave girl on her father’s Jamaican plantation, she runs away to become a pirate.

What follows is a swashbuckling pirate adventure starring the two strong-willed girls and a whole cast of supporting characters to help them along. The girls sail all over the Atlantic in search of William, from the Bahamas to Madagascar, hunted all the while by the Brazilian. They experience all kinds of piratical escapades—and a dose of romance, too.

Pirates! is a genuinely good pirate book, with likable characters, exciting adventures, and, surprisingly enough, passable historical accuracy depicting the lifestyle during the golden age of piracy. There is also an undercurrent of tension to the whole book, driven by genuine voodoo and superstition common at that time period, which makes sure it’s never boring. The start might be a little slow, but once you take to the high seas, you won’t be looking back.





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