Steel by Carrie Vaughn | NOOK Book (eBook) | Barnes & Noble
Steel

Steel

3.6 71
by Carrie Vaughn
     
 

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It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade.

Overview

It was a slender length of rusted steel, tapered to a point at one end and jagged at the other, as if it had broken. A thousand people would step over it and think it trash, but not her.

This was the tip of a rapier.

Sixteen-year-old Jill has fought in dozens of fencing tournaments, but she has never held a sharpened blade. When she finds a corroded sword piece on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued and pockets it as her own personal treasure.

The broken tip holds secrets, though, and it transports Jill through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Stranded in the past and surrounded by strangers, she is forced to sign on as crew. But a pirate's life is bloody and brief, and as Jill learns about the dark magic that brought her there, she forms a desperate scheme to get home—one that risks everything in a duel to the death with a villainous pirate captain.

Time travel, swordplay, and romance combine in an original high-seas adventure from New York Times bestseller Carrie Vaughn.

Editorial Reviews

ALA Booklist
“Vivid period details add to the appeal of this unusual swashbuckler.”
VOYA - Nancy Wallace
Jill intends to win her final fencing tournament and qualify for the Junior World Fencing Championships, but at the last instant she hesitates, and the medal goes to her opponent instead. Even a trip to the Bahamas with her family does not ease her disappointment. Jill keeps to herself, reads, and walks the beach. One day she discovers the rusted tip of a rapier. She pockets it, imagining swashbuckling pirate duels. The next day, when Jill joins her family on an excursion boat, she is washed over the side during a freak storm. She is amazed to be yanked roughly out of the water and onto a real pirate ship. Alone in a violent historical past, Jill discovers that swordsmanship is not just a game—it can mean the difference between life and death. The author makes time travel believable by keeping Jill guessing. Familiar devices for such a transition, like a head injury or coma, are discarded as her life aboard the pirate ship stretches into weeks. The rapier tip, which allows her to be transported back in time, holds special significance to Jill's captain and ultimately provides Jill with a way home. Marjory Cooper, the female captain, provides an interesting variation to the traditional pirate crew. Historical details add a jarring, realistic touch to what might have been a predictable story as Jill discovers that daily life on a ship involves more drudgery than action. This unique story should have broad appeal among athletic girls, making it a good purchase for both school and public libraries. Reviewer: Nancy Wallace
School Library Journal
Gr 7–10—Jill has just lost a big fencing tournament, and now she's stuck on a Caribbean vacation with her parents, nursing her wounded ego. Walking along the beach, she picks up a broken, rusty rapier tip. The next day, she takes a boat trip with her family, falls into the ocean, and finds herself pulled out of the water and onto a pirate ship. Jill has a hard time accepting the fact that she's traveled 300 years into the past, but she eventually gets her sea legs and finds that her fencing skills come in handy in pirate life. But will she be able to save herself when it really counts? Details of shipboard life are well integrated into the narrative, with an emphasis on the endless hard work and real-life dangers of a pirate's existence. The Diana is captained by Marjory Cooper, a strong female character who wins Jill over with her courage and fairness. Magical elements, and the actions of an evil rival pirate captain determined to get his hands on the sword tip, enhance the time-travel premise, give the plot cohesion, and add suspense. Readers willing to suspend their disbelief will enjoy this swashbuckling adventure on the high seas.—Hayden Bass, Seattle Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews - Kikus Reviews

In a thoroughly enjoyable take on the historical time-travel tale, Jill Archer, vacationing in the Bahamas with her family and depressed at having just missed qualifying for the Junior World Fencing Championships, uncovers the rusty tip of an old sword in the sand. With it, she's transported back 300 years onto the pirate ship Diana, captained by Margery Cooper. Recognizing the sword, Cooper claims it for her own, knowing it will lead her and her mostly loyal crew to its owner and Cooper's enemy, pirate Edmund Blane. Stuck in the past, Jill signs onto the crew, which operates as a loose democracy. Learning the ropes, setting sail and standing watch, Jill grows fond of her shipmates, but as Cooper closes in on Blane, Jill senses that he represents her only way home. As her attractive shipmate Henry teaches her to fight with a real sword, onboard and on land, Jill acquires a new, deeper understanding of her sport. The same bad move that in competition would only lose her points, in battle very likely could end her life. Through her assertive, appealing protagonist and a satisfying plot that sheds light on lesser-known aspects of pirate life, Vaughn introduces readers to an intriguing sport with an ancient pedigree. (author's note, glossary of fencing terms) (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)

Kirkus Reviews

In a thoroughly enjoyable take on the historical time-travel tale, Jill Archer, vacationing in the Bahamas with her family and depressed at having just missed qualifying for the Junior World Fencing Championships, uncovers the rusty tip of an old sword in the sand. With it, she's transported back 300 years onto the pirate ship Diana, captained by Margery Cooper. Recognizing the sword, Cooper claims it for her own, knowing it will lead her and her mostly loyal crew to its owner and Cooper's enemy, pirate Edmund Blane. Stuck in the past, Jill signs onto the crew, which operates as a loose democracy. Learning the ropes, setting sail and standing watch, Jill grows fond of her shipmates, but as Cooper closes in on Blane, Jill senses that he represents her only way home. As her attractive shipmate Henry teaches her to fight with a real sword, onboard and on land, Jill acquires a new, deeper understanding of her sport. The same bad move that in competition would only lose her points, in battle very likely could end her life. Through her assertive, appealing protagonist and a satisfying plot that sheds light on lesser-known aspects of pirate life, Vaughn introduces readers to an intriguing sport with an ancient pedigree. (author's note, glossary of fencing terms) (Historical fantasy. 12 & up)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062069801
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
03/15/2011
Sold by:
HARPERCOLLINS
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
304
Sales rank:
306,427
File size:
565 KB
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Carrie Vaughn survived her air force brat childhood and managed to put down roots in Colorado. Her first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, launched a popular series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk-radio advice show. She is also the author of Voices of Dragons, her debut novel for teen readers. Ms. Vaughn lives in Colorado.

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