I checked this book out from my public library in Minnesota as an eBook and read it on my computer. It's a fun pirate adventure that would be better in the Middle School Library versus the Lower School Library because of the content.
Jill is a fencer who is trying to win a tournament that would place her in the Junior World Championships. She loses and is so disappointed she can't even have fun on her family's vacation in the Bahamas. She finds the tip of a magical sword on the beach and puts it in her pocket. Later that day she falls off a tourist boat and finds herself 300 years back in time on a pirate ship. The pirate Captain, Marjory Cooper, makes Jill a crew member and takes the magical sword piece from Jill. The sword belongs to the pirate Edmund Blane who has poured dark magic into it and who is deeply hated by Captain Cooper. Blane wants the sword tip back and feels its magic calling him. When Jills path crosses Blanes on the high seas, she has to learn to use her fencing skills not just for sport but for life and death.
There is a gruesome twist in the plot regarding the sword, Cooper, and Blane. The pacing picks up after Jill ends up with the pirates. Jill has to learn to believe in herself and goes through internal conflicts as she lives the pirates life. I kept waiting for Jill to surprise people with some modern knowledge about herself but she doesn't say much. I also kept expecting her to protest more about where she was when she first ended up with the pirates - at least ask what year it was.Later, I expected her to share more with Henry since they were friends and had kissed, but she doesn't. I thought the doctor's character, Emory, could have been developed more as well. I kept waiting for Jill to talk about modern medicine but she only thought about it in her head. The character of Blane is one-sided and not that of a complex villian. We don't learn why he chose dark magic and acted evil. I wanted to know more about him.
The book is violent with battles, implied rape, and murders. In the beginning of the story, Jill gets drunk on rum and Henry is supposed to keep an eye on her. Later on Jill is quite sick of rum and would give anything for a Coke. There is the threat of Jill being raped when she is first captured by the pirates. The book is similar to Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy by L.A. Meyer and Graceling by Kristin Cashore.
:-) :-) :-) 3 Smileys