Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure upon the High Seas

Piratica: Being a Daring Tale of a Singular Girl's Adventure upon the High Seas

by Tanith Lee, Carrie Rose
     
 

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Artemesia is the daughter of a pirate queen, and she's sick of practicing deportment at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens. Escaping from the school, she hunts up her mother's crew and breezily commands them out to sea in a leaky boat. Unfortunately, Art's memories of her early life may not be accurate-her seasick crew are actors, and Art's infamous mother was

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Overview

Artemesia is the daughter of a pirate queen, and she's sick of practicing deportment at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens. Escaping from the school, she hunts up her mother's crew and breezily commands them out to sea in a leaky boat. Unfortunately, Art's memories of her early life may not be accurate-her seasick crew are actors, and Art's infamous mother was the darling of the stage in a pirate drama. But fiery, pistol-proof Art soon shapes her men into the cleverest pirate crew afloat. And when they meet the dread ship Enemy and her beautiful, treacherous captain, Goldie Girl, Art is certain that her memories are real. The Seven Seas aren't large enough for two pirate queens: Art will have the battle of her life to win her mother's title—and the race for the most fabulous treasure in pirate lore. This gaudy, outrageous tale sparkles with swordplay, skullduggery, and salty language—not to mention over-the-top comedy!

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
In a "closely parallel" historical world, Miss Artemesia Fitz-Willoughby Weatherhouse, age sixteen, wakes up from a head injury one day at her finishing school in "Lundon" to remember her former life as the daughter of Molly Faith, the daring Piratica, captain of the pirate vessel Unwelcome Stranger. So Art escapes up a chimney and sets out to rejoin her dead mother's crew, now engaged in the unworthy—for pirates—work of advertising coffee on the Pirate Coffee and lead them back to search for treasure on the high seas. What follows is a lengthy series of piratical adventures in "Africay" and "Mad Agash Scar," as Art is pitted against her arch-rival, Little Goldie Girl. The gender roles seem too dutifully reversed, in 1970s feminist fashion: When a former shipmate tells Art, "Fear not, we'll take care of you," she replies haughtily, "I don't need taking care of. I will take care of you." And her reluctant love interest, Felix Phoenix, is a pale and weakly effeminate pacifist, sworn to oppose all things piratical. Art never becomes a character we can become close to or truly care about, and despite her "noble" creed of refusing to kill her enemies, a life of theft and pillage is as morally problematic as Felix recognizes it to be. But fans of Stevenson's Treasure Island should have fun with Piratica, too, and the ending is so gosh-darned satisfying that most readers will join in cheering in spite of themselves. 2004, Dutton, Ages 10 up.
—Claudia Mills, Ph.D.
VOYA
Sixteen-year-old Artemesia Fitz-Willoughby Weatherhouse has spent six years at the Angels Academy for Young Maidens, learning how to walk with good posture, act like a proper lady, and be an ornament to the female gender. That is until she falls down, hits her head, and remembers who she really is-the daughter of Molly Faith, pirate queen of the high seas. Six years earlier aboard Molly's ship Unwelcome Stranger, a cannon blew up, killing Molly, knocking Art senseless, and disbanding the pirates. Art is determined, however, to reassemble Molly's crew and take over where her mother left off, plundering ships but never taking a life. The only problem is that Molly was an actress who performed her adventures nightly on a stage ship with her troupe of made-up pirates. Or was she? As Art becomes Captain Blastside, commandeering a ship and reenlisting the crew that has been hawking Pirate Coffee, she seems to have knowledge of the pirate life that only the true Piratica could have imparted. Emboldened and determined, she leads her crew over the high seas in search of a great pirate treasure while in constant battle with her pirate rival, Goldie Girl. Lee's over-the-top storybook prose allows readers to enter the parallel world of a not-quite England of the early 1800s and to join an unlikely band of "pirates" on their adventures across the seas. Told in three acts, this swashbuckling tale follows Art's coming into her own as a pirate queen and a young woman. VOYA CODES: 3Q 4P M J S (Readable without serious defects; Broad general YA appeal; Middle School, defined as grades 6 to 8; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; Senior High, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Dutton, 320p., Ages 11 to18.
—Michele Winship
School Library Journal
Gr 6-9-This rollicking tale features 16-year-old Artemesia Fitz-Willoughby, alias Art Blastside, who seeks to recapture her deceased mother's piratical lifestyle. A blow to the head awakens in Art memories of storms at sea, a deadly cannon shot, sword fights, distant lands, and stolen riches. Escaping the school chosen by her unsympathetic, detached father, the teen heads for Lundon and adventure. Undaunted by the discovery that her vivid seafaring recollections were stage performances, that her infamous mother, nicknamed Piratica, was not a pirate but an actress, Art seeks to turn fantasy into reality. Through guile and bravado, she hijacks a seaworthy galleon; inspires devotion and toil among her mother's motley crew of actors; demonstrates instinctive skill for sailing, swordplay, and parley; and pursues the rumor of buried treasure. With melodramatic flair, heroes and rogues are introduced and the plot twists and turns. Handsome Felix Phoenix, fleeing mistaken identity as a highway robber, joins the crew and tantalizes Art with his inscrutable, aloof behavior. Little Goldie Girl, pirate captain of the Enemy, is her cutlass-wielding nemesis. Ultimately, the wit and antics of her thespian crew save Art from the hangman's noose. The lively, whimsical narration is filled with a concoction of puns, 18th-century British references and spellings, and a smattering of modern slang. Presented in three acts with multiple scenes, Piratica is a refreshing, tongue-in-cheek, tangled tale that will entice readers who crave adventure and fantasy.-Gerry Larson, Durham School of the Arts, NC Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A glorious roustabout of a tale, full of yummy set pieces and terrific adventures, unbelievable in a most satisfying way. Sixteen-year-old Artemesia (Art) escapes via chimney from the boarding school her dastardly father has shipped her to, and finds her mother's crew in the town of Lundon. Her mother was Molly Faith, a pirate queen, who never hurt a soul and won her booty by cleverness. The crew, however, reminds Art that her baby memories are of playing pirates onstage, not actually going to sea. Art whips them into shape anyway, gathers up a ship, and sets off for treasure in a parallel world similar to but different from our world circa 1802. There's a taste of Pirates of the Caribbean and Indiana Jones, along with a fabulous parrot, a mysterious freed slave, set pieces with lost islands, treasure maps, storms at sea, and stagecraft. There's even a boy with a silver tongue and shining hair who Art thinks is her enemy, but who is not. The language is rip-roaring or glides like a seagull, as needed. And the thrilling denouement is romantic as heck. (Fiction. YA)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525473244
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
09/23/2004
Series:
Piratica Series, #1
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.32(h) x 1.11(d)
Lexile:
760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

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