Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Pirates!” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  9,694 ratings  ·  555 reviews
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 socie ...more
Hardcover, 340 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Pirates!, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Pirates!

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
I know that this is supposed to be a fun little book, and I think the audience might be aimed at younger ages, but in the end, it felt inconsistent on so many levels that I was just left feeling confused and/or disappointed, depending upon the chapter.

For one, Rees seems to have done a good amount of research for this book, yet I felt that she wasted it every time she turned a blind eye to conventions of the day. I don't care how accurately you can describe various ships if you don't also think
Cora Linn
5 Words: Swashbuckling adventure. Love, danger, life.

I always find it so difficult to review my favourite books. I just can't put my feelings into words. It's particularly hard when I have read that book so many times over the past decade that the pages are falling out and the cover's peeling off, because by now my love for the book has no reason, it just is.

Pirates! is such an adventure. It has so many twists and turns and shocks and some really sweet and poignant moments. It's a book that sets
Someone commented that the writing was weird and confusing. I don't find it confusing at all. I will admit listening to it on audio book might help with that, as I did the first time around. But this time I read it. We have the story of a girl who wants to be rebellious in a world that sees her a currency for land and wealth. She lives innocently and oblivious to the schemes of the men around her until one day she takes action against a man trying to hurt her best friend. They run away and becom ...more
4.5 stars but I'm rounding it up to 5 for this scene alone:

'That's why he beat you?'

'Yes. But ain't nothing you can do, Miss Nancy. Best not to interfere. Don't need to make trouble for yourself. You be married soon … ' Her voice faltered. Her gaze flickered away as if she could no longer look at me.

I left her staring at the steady flame of the candle. I still wore the pistol, stuck in my sash, and I almost smiled as I felt the carved wooden grip snug in my hand. Nothing I could do. How many peo
Nancy Kingdon is the daughter of a rich merchant. When her father’s fleet is lost in a terrible storm, he makes a bargain with a man known as The Brazilian. Nancy is unaware that her father has promised her hand in marriage to this man in exchange for gold. When her father dies suddenly, her brothers send her to her father’s plantation in Jamaica. She lives there for a time, unaware that she will soon be presented to The Brazilian, who lives on a neighboring plantation. Nancy and her house slave ...more
A young adult novel that I read exclusively because the teens in my book group had a serious hard-on for the Pirates of the Carribean movies. It’s a good story that seems backgrounded well with research, and it’s a quick read about two teenage girls -- one an English heiress, the other her slave -- who become pirates. It doesn’t gloss over what a pirate’s life entailed, but it refuses to linger on the more unsavory aspects of it, choosing to go a more light-hearted route. Considering that Rees’ ...more
Although I was fully prepared to like this book, as I am quite fond of seafaring stories, the book just did not hold up to my expectations (fixed high by the likes of London, Stevenson, Jacques and Luke). There is a wealth of potential, with good characters and conflicts, exotic settings, and a sense of historically accurate details, but the narration is slow: with full details of events that bring little interest, and skimming quickly over the most important climactic action. The reading is eas ...more
Perhaps it is because I am an adult and this book was written for a younger audience, but I was not impressed by this book at all! When you read the back of the book, the plot seems exciting and fast paced. This is not the case when you actually begin to read the book. The plot moves slowly, and Celia Rees has a HEAVY hand with foreshadowing. She tells her reader every twist and turn before it happens. This completely ruined the book for me. I also couldn't develop an attachment to either of the ...more
I kicked off my Cannonball Read endeavor with Pirates!, a young adult novel on girl pirates in the 18th century. It was a solid way to start the project - relatively short, somewhat frivolous, lesbian overtones, and only a couple mentions of scurvy (but no scurvy dogs). Nancy is fleeing an arranged marriage; Minerva, a life of slavery. They join up with a band of pirates, and yes, blood is shed, but hearts are also led to love. Like I said, girl pirates. They don't make out or anything, but they ...more
This story of two teenaged girls who choose to become pirates because of the desperateness of their lives is, as it claims to be, pretty exciting. When Nancy Kington's father dies soon after his shipping business is devastated by a storm (and his son's drinking and gambling addictions), it is expected that Nancy will solve the family's financial problems by marrying the wealthy, but mysterious and evil Bartholome. Despite her opposition to this plan, she isn't driven to join with pirates until s ...more
I did enjoy this one, though I probably won't reread it. I love pirate stories, and was satisfied that there was a good amount of swashbuckling at times. The majority of the book was kind of boring, though. I really didn't like the main character, but I did like Minerva and all her badassery. Minerva's mom was probably my favorite character. She was so strong in the face of adversity and abuse and did everything she could for her daughter. She was a great mother figure for Nancy, too. The villai ...more
Listened to the audio book.

LOVED this story and the narrator was fantastic. I kept putting off doing things where I couldn't also listen to the book at the same time because I couldn't find a good stopping point to put down the iPod. I am sad that I waited so long to get to it as it's been on my list for a while and sitting on my shelf for a while as well.

For those that read SOVAY and thought it was too long and/or too heavy on the historical details, I think you would really enjoy this book. I
May 22, 2008 Jenni rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves a good adventure!
This is such a wonderful book! I just finished reading it a second time and loved it just the same! I nearly cried at the end because I felt I was leaving some great friends--the mark of an extraordinary book, in my opinion. I would give it 5 stars, but I felt that a few scenes were more rushed than they should have been, but still a great read all the same.
Still my absolute favourite book, even after almost ten years. I love it to the bone!
Oct 19, 2008 Sarah rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people that dislike veggies(only wierdos actually eat their vegatables)
I really liked this book!!!! I think it was reeeeeally good!!! I didnt get the whole blood rubies thing but overall i really liked it. You should totally read it!!!
i definatly recomend it!!!
Evan B.

⅘ stars! Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by Pirates!. I usually only read dystopians, so I didn’t really know what to expect. This book probably worked out well for me because there was lots of adventure and action. I also really enjoyed was the usage of maritime terms such as ‘schooner’ and ‘topsail’. One thing that I didn’t like was the excessive amount of foreshadowing that Celia Rees used. She used it every chapter or so. Overall, I would recommend this book for middle-schoolers be
So, Celia Rees is a strange writer. I have read two books by her now, and while the premise, the characters, and the details (often too many, though) have been lovely, her writing itself is confusing. Her pacing, word choice, plot, character development, and endings are hard to understand and make the book weird.

This is rather hard to explain, so you should read one of her books to really understand (I read Sovay and this one). Basically, her plot starts off and you think it’s going this way an
Michele Velthuizen
Interest level: 7th +
Reading level: medium
Genre: pirates, adventure, historical fiction, 18th century, Jamaica, sea stories, slaves, slavery
Read-alike: Bloody Jack series, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

When Nancy is sent off to Jamaica after her merchant father dies she discovers that her brothers have secretly arranged a marriage between her and a cruel Brazilian plantation owner, Bartholome. While awaiting her horrible fate, Nancy bonds with two slaves, Phillis and her daughter, Miner
Shanon Erickson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kimberly Smith
Great adventurous story, very easy reading. Yet again, I'm grateful to be a woman in this day and age, rather than in this time period where women are bought, sold, traded for lands and wealth, and have no say over their lives. I love this heroine, even though terrified, seeks after a forbidden life of terror and adventure rather than settling for a life decided on by her brothers and her evil, malevolent suitor.

Reading about the "slaver" ships made me sick. What a horrible blemish on the histo
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
I read this book a while ago because we were studying pirates in school, I was 12 when I read it and I've read it numerous times since. This book is one of the better books I've read in my time.
I have quite a few of Celia Rees' books but this is by far the best.
For one thing she writes beautifully, for another she spun this story like a spider spins a web.
She had my 12 year old self continuing the story at night before I went to sleep, because I never count sheep if I want to sleep instead I im
Full Review of Pirates! can be found at Mom-Musings


Pirates pulled me into the story through the narration of Nancy whose beautiful, rhythmic flow of language hooked and captured me. For the narrator took her time with ease and smoothness to tell us her story - this is truly what kept me reading.

While I enjoyed Nancy' tale, at times I felt the pirate world was a bit too contrived, a bit too convenient, a bit too "G" rated. Yet, life portrayed on land was not “G” rated as there were some b
Sandra Strange
Victimized by father and brother who “sell” her to a notorious Caribbean magnate to become his bride in order to save her bankrupt family, Nancy Kington faces a life of virtual slavery and isolation. However, with the help of slaves, she is forced by a climactic, impulsive, but compassionate, action to escape her fate and join pirates on the ship Deliverance. Her story is every youngster’s dream: action, revenge, adventure as a pirate, leading to true love. This novel provides action and fun whi ...more
Alice Chimera
Nancy è la figlia di un mercante e proprietario terriero, cresce selvaggia e con lo spirito ribelle, ma la sua infanzia spensierata ha presto fine quando suo padre improvvisamente muore e lei viene promessa dai fratelli ad un uomo ricco quanto spietato. La sua vita non può piegarsi al meschino progetto di arricchimento dei suoi famigliari e decide di fuggire.
Celia Rees crea sempre eroine degli altri tempi con delle caratteristiche comuni: sono donne con un passato che le ha formate e fatte diven
Audio Book for me - I get things done while I listen - This is an awesome book. I've listened to it twice and even got Aaron to listen to it - I made him read along.

It's about a girl who has to marry some creepy guy to save her family's "rank" in life. Don't you just hate that. Anyway she really loves someone else so she takes off, pretends to be a boy and becomes a pirate. I didn't do the book justice. It really is good.
Pirates! was a beautiful tale of a young woman with a big heart. She didn't agree with the ways of her people, and decided to leave them, on a journey for a better life. Throughout her sailing as a pirate, she always carried her love for William, her long life friend and companion. All the while meeting a sister, with whom she never knew and having to dress as a boy, Nancy Kington is a strong and capable woman.

I picked this book up because Mr.Gould recommended it to me and I needed to read a his
This book wins most of its stars for strong characters, beautiful writing and interesting historical details. The plot, however, was a bit of a disappointment.

Pirates!, or to give it its full title, Pirates! - The true and remarkable adventures of Minerva Sharpe and Nancy Kington, Female Pyrates, is the story of two girls who escape their very different 17th century lives to live a life of piracy. Nancy is a rich girl from Bristol who goes to live on her father's plantation after his death and i
I listened to the first part of this book in audiobook format. It was plodding and slow and not very engaging. I found the characters thin and uninteresting. I made it a third of the way through the book before discarding it. It just wasn't worth the time investment.
I love this book, I couldn't put it down until I finished it and I still go back and re-read it. It is an excellent book with a brilliant plot line with adventure, love and of course some piracy thrown into the mix. It is well worth a read!
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Talk like a Pirate day 3 9 May 17, 2013 09:39PM  
Tottally loved it! 6 22 Nov 09, 2012 11:53AM  
  • In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber (Bloody Jack, #4)
  • Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure Upon the High Seas (Piratica, #1)
  • The Ransom of Mercy Carter
  • I Am Apache
  • The Wreckers (High Seas Adventures, #1)
  • Star-Crossed (Patricia MacPherson Nautical Adventures, #1)
  • The Ring of the Slave Prince
  • Hush: An Irish Princess' Tale
  • Boston Jane: An Adventure (Boston Jane, #1)
  • To Catch a Pirate
  • At the Sign of the Sugared Plum
  • Queen's Own Fool (Stuart Quartet, #1)
  • No Shame, No Fear (No Shame, No Fear #1)
  • A Ride into Morning: The Story of Tempe Wick
Celia Rees (born 1949) is an English author of children's literature, including some horror and fantasy books.

She was born in 1949 in Solihull, West Midlands but now lives in Leamington Spa with her husband and teenage daughter. Rees attended University of Warwick and earned a degree in History of Politics. After university, she taught English in Coventry secondary schools for seventeen years, dur
More about Celia Rees...
Witch Child (Witch Child, #1) Sorceress (Witch Child, #2) Sovay The Fool's Girl Blood Sinister

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »

“Don't fear tomorrow, till today's done with you.” 38 likes
“You may wish me luck, or curse me for a damnable pirate, but do not look for me. I will be gone to parts beyond the sea.” 4 likes
More quotes…