Secrets of the Realm

Secrets of the Realm

by Bev Stout


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Blamed for her uncle's death, fifteen-year-old Annie is on the run. Knowing the perils she will face on the streets of eighteenth century London, she disguises herself as a boy.

Her life on the streets is cut short when she becomes Captain Hawke's cabin boy. Not only must Annie work alongside the Realm's motley crew of outcasts and gentlemen, she must also keep her superstitious shipmates from discovering she is a girl.

Annie vows she will never leave the Realm, where dreams are chased, shattered lives can mend, and secrets are stowed like keepsakes in an old desk drawer. But when her past catches up with her, can she return to the Realm? More importantly, will she have a choice?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781484832288
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 05/04/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 981,785
Product dimensions: 5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.75(d)

About the Author

Bev Stout began her love of the sea growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, and continues it with visits and vacations to Cambria on the California coast.

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Secrets Of The Realm 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
LAWonder More than 1 year ago
Who can resist a fun, historical story involving ships and the ocean? Secrets of the Realm was a very well written historical novel. It starts out briefly with an orphaned girl given to the care of a cruel aunt. Her slightly older cousin fears for her safety so helps her escape to the city where she might be able to find work. She soon fears she will die of starvation and exposure.  If somehow she could be hired at the  docks…she so loves the sea! This is a cute tale with action, adventure, intrigue and some romance. The reader’s interest is captured with the first paragraph and from that point on it is very hard to put the book down for anything.  Oh, and grab a box of Kleenex to have on hand towards the end of the story. There is never a dull moment. The heroine is a sassy, determined young woman.  So many in that time of history had to be in order to survive in a man’s world. I do hope this is only the beginning of other sequels. Although the ending was complete, the reader was  left with so many questions concerning the future of various characters. They seemed so real. The author sent me a copy for an honest review. The cover on the book was not nearly as good as the final cover. This new cover is so much more appropriate to the story line. This is definitely a strong Five Stars rating per my review of this book. It was sent for an honest review, of which I have given.
JalynEly More than 1 year ago
I saw the title of this book, and the word “realm” immediately made me think of magic realms. So I skimmed the synopsis – girl, sailing ship, magic realm, sounds good – and said, “I’ll take it!” Then I actually started reading it and discovered there were actually no magic realms involved – the ship was called the Realm. So after getting over my surprise that SECRETS OF THE REALM was actually historical, I was actually glad of my mistake. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up otherwise. Annie was super fun. She wasn’t the kick-butt character I’d expected, but she was stubborn and could hold her own, if not physically, at least mentally and emotionally. I loved watching her navigate being a cabin boy. I feel like I should mention other characters, but the rest of them were minor. Sailors, the captain, her friend/mistress Abigail…they were in and out of the story, enough to be important to the story, but not enough to warrant their own paragraph. With a fifteen-year-old girl on a ship full of men – some of them not too much older than her – there was a lot of potential for romance. And there was some hinted at, but it was more of a one-sided crush than anything. That was nice, because even though it would have been a little unrealistic if the potential had been ignored, the middle grade tone of the story couldn’t have handled a full-blown romance. The plot itself – Annie trying to hide her gender while living on a ship – doesn’t seem like it should have enough plot to keep me interested, but it did. I think part of it was the sailor that had it in for Annie, and part of it was just that I liked Annie. But I was interested the whole way through. I have to say I wasn’t as big a fan of the ending as I was of the rest of the book. I know it makes sense, but it’s really not what I wanted to happen. Overall, I’m glad I picked up SECRETS OF THE REALM. I might venture to say it’s like a middle grade version of Avi’s awesome THE TRUE CONFESSIONS OF CHARLOTTE DOYLE. I think a sequel would drag a good story on too far, but I wouldn’t mind reading something else by Bev Stout. I received a free review copy of SECRETS OF THE REALM from the author. Her generosity in no way influenced, or sought to influence, this review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful YA historical fiction adventure story about Annie Moore, a fifteen-year-old, 18th century girl. Annie is blamed for her uncle's death and runs away to London where, disguised as a boy, she is hired as the cabin boy on the Realm, a British merchant ship. The book follows her adventures aboard ship during a voyage to the American Colonies, and more adventures after the ships return to England. You will fall in love with Annie and her ship full of outcasts and gentlemen. I can't wait for a sequel to indulge myself with more of Annie's adventures. I highly recommend this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Will not disappoint.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Memorable characters, fast plot and witty dialogue. Was left hoping that this would be a series? 
AmandaMarie5187 More than 1 year ago
It’s been a long time since a Middle Grade (MG) historical fiction has caught my interest. Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout drew me in hook, line, and sinker and kept me interested and wanting more throughout the whole book. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect right off the bat with this one, I knew that it was historical fiction, but the title of the novel sounded somewhat mystical to me. While I was slightly surprised to see that it wasn’t, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed in the story. Secrets of the Realm is a gem of a book! Anne/Andres is a wonderful character who you are rooting for from the beginning to the end. I was constantly wondering if her crew mates were going to discover her secret— that the captain’s cabin boy is really a female in disguise. Annie was everything you could want in a young female protagonist. She was extremely independent and brave in an environment where many people thought women did not belong. It is easy for children and adults alike to connect with such a strong character. The supporting characters in this book were equally as intriguing. I found Doc to be one of my favorites. While he had a sad story, he was kind to Annie and took on such a wonderful fatherly role. Captain Hawke was an interesting man of many secrets, some of which I would still like to find out. The rest of the crew ranged from hilarious and endearing to unpredictable and somewhat frightening. I couldn’t help but fall in love with them all as well as the story. Secrets of the Realm was not only a wonderful, sea-faring voyage, but it was a rare look at a coming-of-age story. 5/5 Stars
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a wonderful YA historical fiction adventure story about Annie Moore, a fifteen-year-old, who disguises herself as a boy and is hired as a cabin boy on a British merchant called the Realm.   On board, there’s a cast of interesting characters and lots of action and adventure as they travel to America.   Annie is a wonderful character—strong, and determined and trying to figure out who she is and where she belongs.  A great coming of age story that combines a great historical setting and time with characters you want to cheer for. 
justine23 More than 1 year ago
 Being a fan of the sea and boats myself - there is no better feeling in the world than being out on the water - I was immediately intrigued with the idea of Secrets of the Realm. Although the plot point of a girl disguising herself as a man seems to be used quite often, it is usually in excellent stories. Also a fan of alternate history, I had high expectations for this novel. Fortunately, they were all met, if not succeeded. I believe that Annie is a great voice for the story and an excellent character to connect to. She is spirited, knows what she wants, and is not afraid to speak exactly what is on her mind. Although she may sometimes make decisions that are not agreeable, it just adds to her charm, and makes her a more realistic character. After all, I am sure everyone can say that they have acted without thinking quite the amount of times. One of the things that I look for most in a novel is the characters, and if you read my reviews, I believe I mention them quite often. Stout did an excellent job with her characterization. Captain Hawke is one of my favorites. There are so many different layers to him, and even after the book is finished, I want to know so much more about him. Being intimidating and commanding at times, he is also able to show a softer side of him, without losing his air of authority. He holds a very interesting story that will have readers consumed with his character. Another thing that I enjoyed with Secrets of the Realm also makes it stand out as a YA novel. Most books in the genre seem to emphasize male characters and a strong central romance, which unfortunately causes for a lack of development within the female lead. Stout strays away from this, and although - given the nature of the story - not too many strong female characters can be around, the female characters that are present, Annie in particular, more than make up for it. Along with that, there are many hints of romance without the subject taking over the entire plot. Dealing with love, loss, determination, the bond between crewmates, standing up for what you believe in, and many other topics that can hit home, Secrets of the Realm is brilliant, entertaining, and a fantastic read for all ages. Those who enjoy a great sailing story and alternate history will devour the novel. Even for those who normally don't, I would recommend giving the book a try.