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STEEL by Carrie Vaughn

STEEL

By Carrie Vaughn

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: March 15th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-154791-1
Publisher: HarperTeen

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)