Thursday, June 2, 2011

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Jill loses a major fencing tournament by half a second, and it completely throws her. She goes on vacation to the Bahamas with her family and spends a lot of time trying to figure out if she wants to continue fencing, whether she can handle not winning and if it's worth it. Then she finds a broken piece of a sword, which transports her back in time to Captain Cooper's ship and becomes a member of her pirate crew who is currently embroiled in a feud over the very sword Jill found.

This book was much slower then I thought it would be. I expected that since this was a fantasy/pirate adventure it would mile a minute action, however that wasn't how it was at all, and honestly it worked. There were definitely pockets of adventure but a lot of time was spent on everyday maintenance of the ship and being in Jill's head while she tried to figure out what to do. I would say that this was a historical fiction book with a light touch of magic/fantasy.

I am a sucker for historical detail so I was very interested to learn about Jill's adjustment to being on ship. The kinds of chores that she had to do and how pirate law worked and how pirate raids could actually be kind of nothing sometimes were all really interesting to me. I was glad to find out in the afterward that she did a ton of research.

There was a light romance here as well and I was super excited that a.) it was not a triangle and b.) it wasn't the focus of the story. It was never all about the guy and the romance aspect I think it was more about showing that Jill was more a part of the crew then she thought she was. It's been a while since I've read any YA novel in any genre where the romantic aspects didn't feel like they were taking over the story.

The curse and the supernatural elements of the story were definitely interesting and the story regarding the swords creation and how it seemed to end were also aspects of the story that I really enjoyed. The story of the swords original forging was creepy. The idea of what some people are willing to do for power and to get ahead is generally terrifying to me though so I don't know how much of the credit goes to the story and how much goes to my own mind.

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