Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Peril on the Sea by Michael Cadnum

It is the summer of 1588 and a pair of unlikely shipmates is traveling on the Vixen, a privateer that will soon be drafted to join a flotilla of English ships bound for a fiery clash with the Spanish Armada. Seventeen-year-old Sherwin is aboard to repay a debt he owes to the ship's roguish captain, Brandon Fletcher. Sixteen-year-old Katharine is sailing with them in a desperate bid to save her noble family's fortune. The fight will be harrowing and bloody, and the unfolding tumult will challenge the character of Sherwin and of Katharine, who are about to discover the deeper meaning of both strife and honor.

This fascinating tale affords an unusual view of one of the most important naval encounters in history, as a kindling romance between two young people takes place amidst a reluctant race to battle. (Once again, this summary was taken from the book.)

It's been awhile since I've read this book, so I'm not sure how much I'll be able to say. It was long enough ago that I couldn't write my own summary, since I don't remember too much. I was supposed to review this book a few days ago, because it was released yesterday. But alas, school, work, and a Coldplay concert got in the way. Anyway, I liked this book. Well, it was okay. I remember the writing style was distinctly different than other historical fiction I've read. It read more like a textbook so it was hard to get into. I could tell that this novel was intended for history buffs who read historical fiction. It felt like something my dad (a former history teacher) might like. So, if you're not a big fan of historical fiction you might not like this, seeing how it's really historical. But in a good way. I could tell that most of the facts were accurate, and the author even stated that some of the characters were real people. I also liked the subject the book was about - the defeat of the Spanish Armada. I learned about this is class last year, so it was neat to read something that went more into detail. Overall, Peril on the Sea is a good book if you like history. If not, you might want to skip it.

6 out of 10.

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