Previous Installment: Magic Marks the Spot
Hilary Westfield is a pirate. In fact, she’s the Terror of the Southlands! She’s daring, brave, fearless, and . . . in a rut. Maybe she hasn’t found any treasure lately. And maybe she isn’t fighting off as many scallywags as she’d like. But does that mean she and her loyal crew (including a magical gargoyle) deserve to be kicked out of the ranks of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates?
There is only one thing to do—find a daring mission worthy of her fearless reputation. With the help of first mate Charlie, finishing-school friend Claire, and the self-proclaimed intrepid gargoyle, Hilary sets sail on a swashbuckling expedition that may or may not involve a kidnapped Enchantress, bumbling inspectors, a mysterious group called the Mutineers, and—the most terrifying thing of all—a High Society ball.
I was a huge fan of the first book in Caroline Carson’s delightful middle grade pirate series, so was definitely looking forward to the second one. I am happy to report that The Terror of the Southlands is just as fun, with lots of action and adventure. Hilary is a fabulous main character who is all about smashing gender roles and doing what she wants instead of what’s expected, and I loved watching her slowly figure things out and make decisions. She isn’t perfect – she makes mistakes – but she’s so fun and full of life that you can’t help but love her. The book also features the same supporting cast – Miss Grayson, Charlie, Claire and her beloved gargoyle – while also introducing even more delightfully absurd pirates that help – and hinder – her along the way.
This book was a bit different from the first, because Hilary has established herself as a pirate and member of the VNHLP, although she finds herself in a bit of trouble with the League’s president. See, she’s being rather unpiratical, and is told to go find a quest to go on to prove her pirate status. The quest she winds up choosing, however – rescuing the Enchantress, who has mysteriously gone missing – is not quite what the president has in mind, and Hilary finds herself getting a second and third warning for her choice throughout the book. This doesn’t dissuade her, though, because the Enchantress is a friend, and Hilary suspects something bad is afoot and won’t stop until she’s figured things out. Her determination to do what she knows is right regardless of the consequences was completely endearing, and I couldn’t help but cheer her on.
If you’re looking for a fun, extremely entertaining new series to try, do give The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates a try. Hilary is all kinds of fun, and the book has a delightful setting, full of pirate terms, lots of “arr”-ing, and threats of being run through by cutlasses or walking the plank. Hilary and her crew get up to all sorts of entertaining hijinks, which lead to a thoroughly enjoyable read with a light and fun touch. Even adults can find something to love in this series’ pages, which is the mark of a good series. Do give this one a shot! I’m positive you won’t be disappointed.
An e-galley was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.