Pirates! by Celia Rees

I’ll be working this Halloween night, and I will be in the kids’ department, which means my costume (because of course I’m dressing up!) can’t be too scary. I think I’m going to be a pirate. Which of course means the book of the moment is…

Pirates by Celia Rees
When fifteen-year old Nancy Kington’s Bristol merchant father dies, her brothers sell her into slavery. The British lass isn’t destined for the fields of her family’s Jamaican plantation, home of slave girl Minerva Sharpe. Instead, she’s been engaged to Bartholome, the sinister–and wealthy–Brazilian. Nancy has her own plans, that don’t involved paying off her brother’s gambling debts. She’s madly in love with her childhood sweetheart William, who’s currently in the navy, hunting down pirates. This is problematic, as Nancy and Minerva, who are now as close as sisters, escape together and take up a career of piracy. They travel across the high seas on the run from the Brazilian, searching for William. Their adventures culminate in a harrowing final confrontation that ultimately ends in swift, if bloody, justice for the wicked, and fulfilled romance for our heroines.

Nancy and Minerva are strong, capable protagonists supported by a wealth of colourful secondary characters, and Rees skilfully incorporates details of a bygone age without bogging down the reader with unecessary exposition. Certain plot points are a little too convenient, like the pirate captain who just happens to be the officer who befriended Nancy on the voyage from England. As well, Nancy is remarkably enlightened in her views of slavery and women’s rights. But the fast-moving plot and engaging characters more than make up for the relatively minor shortcomings. This novel should appeal to teen readers of historical fiction and action alike. Fun!


23 responses to “Pirates! by Celia Rees

  1. WARNING: May be spoiler

    Was anyone else as dissapointed in the end as I was? I thought the whole book was AMAZING!!!! but it seemed like Celia decided that she just didn’t want to write it anymore and just ended it. I mean if she were to make a sequal the end would be fine but if not sorry I didn’t find it that great.

    • Can you please explain to me the ending!??!

    • I personaly like the ending, it lets you make up what you think happens. What Nancy and Captain Broom mean though is that, with the amount of money they have, they can not only track down William but everyone aboard might not be heading towards a noose.

  2. Totally agree! My english class had to read the book for assesment. As i was reading it I began to think finally an english book that I enjoy, then I got to the end and it was a bit of a flop. My whole class agrees. Maybe on Seeing this Rees will write a sequel, which would fisnish off the book properly!

  3. My favorite book. So romantic! i love it!

  4. as for the ending- i hated it! i threw the book to the ground and was almost in tears! rees really disappointed me… but then i read the book for a second time and i came to peace with the ending

  5. i believe that, though i was furious about the ending, any other ending would be too cheesy. i am almost in tears at this moment thinking that she wont make a sequel!

  6. i believe that, though i was furious about ending, any other ending would be too cheesy. i am almost in tears at this moment thinking that she wont make a sequel!

  7. excuse me about the last two words..im sorry i didnt write that someone MUST have changed my comment…i apologize for how uncomfortable people are too read taht

  8. I read the book for a book report project and really enjoyied it i wish the ending would be better or another book would be made to finish the story And will she ever find William

  9. Well, in the summary up there it says that she was sold into slavery?? Thats not true… Why would she be sold into slavery but inheret Fountain Head? Note to the author; Revise.

  10. I’ve not read it but i’m contemplating buying it. Do you think i should read/buy it?

    • You should read it. It’s a great book. But personally, I do not think you should go to the extremes to buy it.

  11. ei that’s right what an ending but should i read it again?

  12. for god sake please make a great sequel of it.

  13. This book was artfully done and i enjoyed it very much. The ending allows readers to make they’re own predictions, which is a good thing to some and not so good to others. I personally dont mind, but i think it would be nice for Rees to come out with a sequel. In her website she claims “A sequel to Pirates! I have not ruled out the possibility – I want to know what happens to them, too! But I can’t do it right now as I have other books I’m already committed to write.”

  14. I think Rees needs to write a sequel, I mean I’m no profetional but I do not think that the ending was for a book without a sequel. I mean what happens with the characters does Nancy ever find William, we may never know.

  15. This book is amazing. I want to find more books like it. I hope Celia Rees can write a sequel. I loathe the depression I feel after finishing a good book. Now I want to read something else. This book was incredible though and is definitely in my favorites.


  17. I absolutely hated this book! Rees put too much detail into details i didn’t care at all about and left details i wanted to know. i had to read this book for 8th grade English and i felt it is more of a 4th grade book. over all i really hated this book!

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