Hello! It’s my stop on TheWriteReads Book Tour for The Ship of Shadows!!!!!!!!
I have to extend my thanks to TheWriteReads and Puffin Books for making this book available via Netgalley. I welcome you to my stop on this blog tour and I hope you check out other bloggers who are also on this tour. I will include purchase links for you to check out the book if you are interested and believe me you will be.
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Title: The Ship of Shadows
Author: Maria Kuzniar
Publication Date: July 9th, 2020
Aleja while 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 legend. And it wants Aleja. Once onboard its shadowy deck, she begins to realize that the sea holds more secrets than she ever could have imagined. The crew is 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 to find.
The Ship of Shadows has rekindled my love for Middle-grade books. Honestly, after reading so many young adult and adult fantasy, this is a breath of fresh air. Here we follow thirsty-for-adventure Aleja who is caught between her love for exploration and her family after she finds herself on board of the whispered about “Ship of Shadows”. Accidently finding counterfeit coins which is a punishable crime, the counterfeiters are bend on catching her and making such she doesn’t talk. She is rescued by an English woman she met earlier in the market. Aleja’s thirst for adventure made her learn new languages and English was one that came easily to her. Taken on board in hopes to hide out from the people after her but what she doesn’t expect is to wake on with the ship in the middle of the ocean far away from her home.
She wakes up panicked and she searches for the book she found earlier which had sparked the interest of the captain, Elizabeth. Aleja later finds an inkling that the book might be a key to the secrets of the ship. Along with other members of the crew, she tries to find out what they were seeking and the secrets they hide on this ship that is ghosted by pirates of the past. She is drawn between staying as the crew’s linguist or returning home to her family’s tavern. I appreciate the diversity that was in this book. I rarely see that a lot in middle grade except recently with the Rick Riordan Present where there is a lot of books from different cultures.
The Ship of Shadows reveals a seaside Spanish city and you can also feel how bustling the city was, the writing was really simple and easy to read (I guess that part of what makes it a good middle grade read). She joins the crew and they travel across the seas, from the docking city to the Sahara desert to disappearing stairs and to the cave of wonders where a piece of their treasure map lay. This is a journey that Aleja couldn’t miss.
I am trying so hard not to spoil this book but I loved reading from Aleja’s perspective, she was such a strong character who understood that giving up wasn’t an option and she was willing to work hard to get whatever she wanted. Aleja learned languages that she couldn’t speak to anyone until Elizabeth came and she found out that she was actually immaculate in her speaking. Sometimes you just have to keep doing something even when you don’t know how profitable it will be. She was talked down to, especially growing up in a dock city where she saw a lot of sailors who were males. However, that didn’t stop her from saying that one day, she was going to be an explorer and she was going to travel the world with her own crew.
I really enjoyed this book and I plan to read more of Maria Kuzniar’s books in the future. I hope you check it out and let me know what you think
I gave this book 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Thanks for reading