Sunday, June 5, 2011

Book 43: Steel

Steel by Carrie Vaughn was a great read. I just adored it. Everything from the premise (a fencer who gets transported into the Golden Age of pirates where she learns more about herself, pirate life and fighting), the atmosphere, and the writing itself. It was just a fun read.

As a way to try out my new toy, the Kindle app on my new phone, I decided to treat myself to Steel. A book that I’ve been wanting to read for a quite a while-I try to avoid paying for the increased price of a hardcover. While I got a bunch of free books from, I knew for my first book I wanted it to be special so why not start on a good page by reading your favorite author. Let me say, that while I missed the feel of flicking the pages, it was easy to read the book using the Kindle app. It actually made things pretty easy to carry a book with me to various places without worrying about how to hide the book.

Steel surprised me. It was so richly written in both the fields of fencing and the historical side to it. I wouldn’t call Steel a true historical fiction but it has so much research to it. It’s not the research that smacks you in the face, but the kind that is just interwoven into the tale with just a subtle detail after subtle detail. It was neat to see her integrate real pirates with her fictional ones. It even made me dive into the history pages to see which names were true and which ones came from Carrie.

Steel made me want to get back into fencing. I studied it at one point at school after years of being intrigued by the sport. So it was fantastic to see the same terms and mantras from my teachers and even me inside of Jill (the main character). Plus I love how each chapter title used a fencing term that indicated the flow to the story. It was a great little touch. Now if only she would have used my favorite counterattack, the unicorn headbutt, although you don’t tend to use it too often since you don’t really want to let your opponent to get that close to your upper torso.

Now I only have one slight misgiving about this book. Now the ending I wanted with Henry and Jill just won’t work out with any great logic but it would have been romantic. Instead the story ending as it should, if she had an eighteen century pirate come into today’s time with Jill would have been a little too unbelievable. But that doesn’t stop me from wanting it. I really liked how those two went from enemies to more then just friends.

It was great to have this book that would suck me in. So get sucked into Steel liked I was.

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