Linda Ash's Reviews > Steel

Steel by Carrie Vaughn
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May 04, 11

Recommended for: middle grade and early young adult girls who have imaginative, adventurous souls

I really liked this book. I dabbled in fencing in high school and college, and I think that if I had encountered this book as a middle grade or early young adult reader, it would have been a favorite and really sparked my imagination.

Carrie Vaughn takes her modern-day character, Jill, and plops her right in the middle of life on a pirate ship 300 years ago. Jill has to decide whether to sign articles and turn pirate, or be locked away as a prisoner on the ship which has scooped her from the sea. She also must figure out how she got where (and when) she is, and how to get back to her family in her own time. Everything revolves around the rusted, weathered tip of a very old sword she found on the beach while vacationing in the Bahamas with her parents.

Jill is no newbie when it comes to swords. She's a top notch fencer. She's still moping about her fourth place finish in a national fencing tournament when she suddenly finds that fighting with a sword where she is now is not meant to add points to a scoreboard, but to defend her life, or take someone else's. She knows that a slip of a fraction of a second can cost her a tournament bout, but here, it could cost her her life.

Being thrown back in time to encounter pirates, black magic, high seas adventure, a helpful young pirate lad, and the regard of a pirate queen, adds up to a swashbuckling good tale. If you know a young girl who has an adventurous heart, give her this book to read. I think she'll love it.
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