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A Reader of Fictions: Blood Ritual - Klaus Badelt

A Reader of Fictions

Book Reviews for Just About Every Kind of Book

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blood Ritual - Klaus Badelt

Steel

Author: Carrie Vaughn
Pages: 287
Publisher: HarperTeen

Brief Summary:
Jill loves fencing, but she is having trouble dealing with the pressure. She's good, but is she good enough? Her trainer wants her to try for the Olympics, but her confidence is pretty much shot after she lost a bout by just a fraction of a second. That tiny increment of time is seriously bringing her down, even though she's on a vacation to the Bahamas with her family. All she wants to do is mope alone in her room and walk sullenly on the beach, where she finds the tip to a rapier on the beach, but her parents make her go on a boat ride with them. When she falls off the boat in some unexpectedly bad weather, the piece of rapier transports her through time to the days when pirated ruled the seas...

Review:
I discovered Carrie Vaughn in Brave New Worlds, which I read and reviewed a couple months ago. Her story was one of my favorites, so I put her on my list of authors to watch for. Imagine my surprise and delight to see that she had two books coming out, both with beautiful covers: one adult, one teen.

The cover of Steel describes the novel as "a swashbuckling tale of magic, romance, and pirates." I was so there. The swashbuckling and pirates parts are most definitely true. Jill can be quite a strong lady, when she's not panicking herself into a frenzy. She definitely grows from a bit of an obnoxious whiner at the outset to a strong heroine, able to stand up to even the scariest of pirates.

The magic and the romance were a bit less present in the story. Certainly, magic is pervasive, but only in the rapier which brought Jill through time. Magic served that one purpose and no other. And it really didn't work for me. I think I would have preferred the more standard story where she disguises herself as a boy to run off and gets caught up with pirates. The journey through time just felt too contrived. There is romance of a sort, but it's not particularly romantic, nor is it long-lived or monumental. I did not ship her with anyone and think the romance, such as it was, did little to help the story.

Though I didn't love this one, it was a fairly interesting read. My favorite part was actually reading the acknowledgements, where the author acknowledges which parts of history she altered (knowingly). That is a section of historical fiction novels I have come to appreciate in recent years, nerd that I am. I still have high hopes for her adult fiction book, which I will be reading soon.

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