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2005, fluent reader, Key Stage 2, Key Stage 3, ages 9-11, ages 10-13, upper primary, lower secondary
There is a little romance and there is a marriage near the end of this story but this is very understated. This is mainly an adventure on the high seas and includes espionage, danger and risk-taking. It contains much of the drama that we would expect to see in works by Dickens or Shakespeare. We even have a girl dressed up as a man.
There is plenty of pace in this novel. The chapters are relatively short and each contains several exciting plot points.
This is a slight departure for Elizabeth Laird. Much of her work is set in different cultures in the modern world. This story however takes place in a past that is just as exotic in another way, and we have details about press gangs, battles with the French and the Empress Josephine. Laird demonstrates here that she is an excellent story-teller.
It is a long read – 351 pages of a point 12 point serif font with difficult ‘a’s and ‘g’s. The text is blocked. The book has a robust spine.