Saturday, April 30, 2011

Steel by Carrie Vaughn

Jill has been competing in fencing competitions for years. She knows she's good, but when she misses the chance to place third in a national competition by 1/2 second, she questions whether she's good enough to qualify in other tournaments.

On vacation with her family in the Bahamas, she finds a dull rusted tip of a rapier. Not sure why, she picks it up and puts it in her pocket. On a tour boat the next day, she falls overboard and is rescued by pirates. Early 18th century pirates. In the early 18th century.

Pirate life is hard and it takes Jill some time to get use to what's going on. According to Captain Cooper, the rapier tip she found is trying to find it's way back to its sword. The owner of that sword is Captain Blane, and Captain Cooper hates him with a passion. It's her mission to bring him down. Jill's main concern is how to get back to her time, since no one would believe that she doesn't belong in the 18th century. Until then, she joins the crew, learns about life on a pirate ship and how to fight with real rapiers.

Realistic fantasy all the way. Life aboard a ship is rough, but not as bad as it could be. The author did some research before writing the novel, and it really shows. There's action, adventure, and drama, and Jill's story is believable. There are a couple of spots that are a bit unbelievable, but on the whole, it's well done.

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