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REVIEW: Steel by Carrie Vaughn


When Jill finds a rusty sword tip on a Caribbean beach, she is instantly intrigued—and little expects it will transport her through time to the deck of a pirate ship. Will a dark enchantment, salty kisses, and a duel with an evil pirate captain leave her stranded in the eighteenth century forever?

Drawing on piratical lore and historical fact, Carrie Vaughn creates a vivid world of swaying masts and swelling seas, where blood magic overrules the laws of nature, romance is in the air, and death can come at the single slip of a sword.

About the Author

Carrie Vaughn survived her air force brat childhood and managed to put down roots in Colorado. Her first book, Kitty and the Midnight Hour, launched a popular series of novels about a werewolf named Kitty who hosts a talk-radio advice show. Ms. Vaughn has also written many short stories. This is her first work for young readers. Ms. Vaughn lives in Colorado.


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTeen (March 15, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061547913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061547911



Carrie Vaughn is one of my favorite authors, so when she started to write young adult novels, I was more than thrilled to get a sneek peek at this one.  Steel is just a fun and fabulous read that combines a bit of time travel with historical fiction.  It has great characters and a believable plot.  Well, as far as you can get with time travel and historical fiction. I found myself transported back in time and spent the afternoon googling the pirates named in the story.

Jill is an overachieving sixteen year old that wants to be a fencing national champion.  While on vacation in the Carribean, she stumbles upon a a piece of rusty steel and immediately knows that it is a sword.  She goes for a boat ride with her family and gets washed overboard.  When she comes up, Jill is rescued by a pirate ship in the eighteenth century.  Let's just say that it is a really good thing Jill knows about sword play.

There isn't much romance in this one and only one mention of a drunken situation where the pirates are more gentleman than today's teens could ever be.  There is alcohol consumption, but with the time era, it is acceptable.  I hope the author delves more into this type of story since I really enjoyed it.



  1. Now that sounds like the book for me, it has already been on my wishing to read list Mary but thanks to your review it just got put on top of it!

    jackie >_<

  2. i added this to my TBR pile and pre-orderd it on amazon, thanks for the review it only cemented my want for t his book!

  3. I'm glad you got a sneak peek at this too, it looks good! I think it's neat that Jill is a fencer and finds a sword, how perfect. I have added it to my list!

  4. I like the sound of this one!

  5. this sounds like a book that my daughter would like to read. Not necessarily me, since I'm not a very big fan of YA but she's getting into the age where something like this would definitely interest her.

  6. I have been hearing good things about this author. I have to check out her books.


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