Journey to Dragon Island (The Accidental Pirates) by Claire Fayers
|Journey to Dragon Island (The Accidental Pirates) by Claire Fayers
|Category: Confident Readers
|Reviewer: Linda Lawlor
|Summary: More loopy adventures with our favourite pirates. Punch-ups, monsters, mortal danger and loads of daft humour – brilliant.
|Date: May 2017
|Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books
|External links: Author's website
Two quests. Can the crew of the good ship Onion (don't ask) help their young friend Brine to find her home? And does the legendary island of dragons really exist or – a rather important point, this – if the ship keeps sailing west, will it just topple off the edge of the world? Of course, if you think a little thing like terrible peril and near-certain death should stop Captain Cassie and her shipmates from going wherever they fancy, then you're reading the wrong series.
A book full of zany adventures, heart-stopping dangers and madly magical creatures sounds like a lot of fun. But hold on - there's more to this book than that, and it's the characters that makes it really stand out on the shelf. The pirates on the Onion demonstrate practically every possible cliché you could hope for: they love nothing more than leaping into battle, no matter how big or fierce or downright weird the opponent is, they steal and brawl and wouldn't think twice about selling their granny if they could get a decent price for her. They sail the seas in search of treasure, and don't care if the things they plunder actually belong to someone else. Their fault for leaving it around where someone could, er, find it, eh? But they're also kind and generous (well, to their friends: everyone else had better scarper), one of them is writing a cookbook, and they're totally, fanatically loyal to their captain. In fact, it might just be possible that one of them even has a teensy little crush on her, but don't worry: pirates don't go in for mushy stuff.
And then there are the three young companions who found their way onto the ship in book one and who now form part of the crew. Brine, who was practically a slave, escaped in the hope of finding her long-lost family. Tom, who joins her on her travels, is, of all things, a junior librarian, and loves nothing more than reading or researching. Captain Cassie is the kind of leader who spots a good thing when she sees it, so puts him in charge of planning things. It'll make a change from just dashing into a situation and finding out what happens when it's all over, she reasons. And then there's Peter, a magician in training. The crew are very careful not to upset him – they've all seen his power – but that very ability terrifies him. What if he uses it for the wrong reason? How does he know he can control himself? And so we have a ship full of interesting characters with their own histories who are willing to band together to follow Cassie on whatever madcap scheme she chooses. Oh, and there's one more person on board – no spoilers, but just remember, simply being dead doesn't stop some folks from interfering, making snarky comments and generally being a complete pain.
If you haven't read the first book in this series, put this book down immediately and go find it. You can follow the plot of book two perfectly easily without it, but the story's so funny that it would be a real shame. And if you want another utterly silly story about adventures and quests and unusual – not to say highly dubious – friends, try The Deadly Seven by Garth Jennings. Believe it or not, the companions in this book are even less likely to be chosen as Friends I would Take to Tea with my Maiden Aunt than our beloved pirates. But if by some terrible miscalculation you do invite them, remember to keep the windows open. All of them. Better out than in is not always a good rule for life. You might also enjoy The Deathless Pirate King (Dragon Blood Pirates) by Dan Jerris.
You can read more book reviews or buy Journey to Dragon Island (The Accidental Pirates) by Claire Fayers at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Journey to Dragon Island (The Accidental Pirates) by Claire Fayers at Amazon.com.
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