As you know, I’ve been wanting to read more middle grade this year. I’ve been doing pretty good with that. Today I’m on the blog tour of one as well, The Ship of Shadows. When The Write Reads mentioned this book, I had to sign up. Female pirates?!? Yes, please! Today I want to tell you what I thought about this book!
A big thanks to The Write Reads and Penguin for providing me with an e-arc to read and review.
Aleja whiles away her days in her family’s dusty tavern in Seville, dreaming of distant lands and believing in the kind of magic that she’s only ever read about in books. After all, she’s always being told that girls can’t be explorers.
But her life is changed forever when adventure comes for her in the form of a fabled vessel called the Ship of Shadows. Crewed by a band of ruthless women, with cabin walls dripping with secrets, the ship has sailed right out of a legend. And it wants Aleja.
Once on board its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew are desperately seeking something, and their path will take them through treacherous waters and force them to confront nightmare creatures and pitch-dark magic. It will take all of Aleja’s strength and courage to gain the trust of her fellow pirates – and discover what they are risking everything to find.
“Once you’re on the board the Ship of Shadows, you’re home.”
The Ship of Shadows was everything I was expecting and more! I really think this is such a special story. Everything from the writing to the illustrations at the beginning of each chapters fit together so perfectly. I’m really sad that I’m all done with this story and I would love more in this world.
Aleja loves everything books and has been reading about adventures since she was young. Who would’ve thought she’d end up being on a magical pirate ship with an all-female crew. I loved seeing this happen, because Aleja is told in the beginning that this is something girls can’t do. I really think this character is special. She loves having her nose in a book, but loves going on adventures just as much. It’s amazing to see Aleja get strong and become brave during the journey she goes on.
On top of an amazing main character, I loved our crew on the ship. They’re all unique, but fit together so well. They’ve all found their place on the ship and the captain keeps them together. It was interesting to see how they all had their own role and contributed in different ways. I would definitely would’ve loved to have been a crew member when I was younger (I wouldn’t say no to this adventure now either, haha).
The setting was also amazing. I loved that the setting wasn’t typical. I haven’t read many middle grade books with settings such as Spain and Morocco. It was so much fun to have these places in this adventure. And I can’t forget the ship of shadows itself. I mean, a library on board of a ship?!? The way it was described is amazing and I would live there if I could. Also, a ship that has magical rooms that tend to appear every once in awhile? I could live with that. It’s like a surprise each and every time.
Last, but not least, the story! It was really interesting that magic, history and even facts about the places they were got to be mixed together so well. It flowed really well. I loved that magic was attached to certain aspects of history and that our main character learned a lot along the way. Also, the legends and how magic works really had me interesting during the whole story. Add some puzzles and mysteries and this adventure was complete.
I really think The Ship of Shadows has made it to the list of one of my favorites of 2020 so far! I’ll definitely be rereading this one in the future. And talking about this book makes me want cake again (our characters always seem to be eating cake that sounds delicious), so I may just need to go bake now! If you love adventure, magic, history and lots of fun, I really recommend The Ship of Shadows!
Maria Kuzniar spent six years living in Spain, teaching English and travelling the world, which inspired her debut novel The Ship of Shadows. Now she lives in Nottingham with her husband, where she reads and writes as much as she can and bookstagrams at @cosyreads. She is always planning her next adventure.
I’m so happy I decided to sign up for this tour. The Ship of Shadows is definitely a book I’ll be getting physically to put on my shelf. If you love adventure and pirates, definitely pick up this book!