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The Left-Handed Fate Hardcover – August 23, 2016
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Return to Nagspeake for a new fantasy adventure from the bestselling author of National Book Award nominee Greenglass House.
Lucy Bluecrowne and Maxwell Ault are on a mission: find the three pieces of a strange and arcane engine they believe can stop the endless war raging between their home country of England and Napoleon Bonaparte’s France. During the search, however, their ship, the famous privateer the Left-Handed Fate, is taken by the Americans, who have just declared war on England, too. The Fate (and with it, Lucy and Max) is put under the command of new midshipman Oliver Dexter . . . who’s only just turned twelve.
But Lucy and Max aren’t the only ones trying to assemble the engine; the French are after it, as well as the crew of a mysterious vessel that seems able to appear out of thin air. When Oliver discovers what his prisoners are really up to―and how dangerous the device could be if it falls into the wrong hands―he is faced with a choice: Help Lucy and Max even if it makes him a traitor to his own country? Or follow orders and risk endangering countless lives, including those of the enemies who have somehow become his friends?
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From School Library Journal
"This world has a seductive, fairytale quality – Patrick O’Brian’s Captain Aubrey series as seen through the lens of Hayao Miyazaki. . . It's impossible not to admire The Left-Handed Fate for its epic scope, joyful evocation of life on the high seas and suspenseful mystery." ―The New York Times Book Review
"Rich and strange of place and premise; suspenseful and thought-provoking." ―Kirkus Reviews, starred review, on The Left-Handed Fate
"Beautifully written, with careful attention to historical details . . . An unusually rigorous romp for lovers of steampunk, mystery, and swashbuckling adventure." ―School Library Journal on The Left-Handed Fate
"the story teems with lively characters and a captivating sense of place, all driven along by the engrossing puzzle of the mysterious contraption. . . . A colorful, swashbuckling caper full of heart." ―Booklist on The Left-Handed Fate
"The idea of achieving peace through superior firepower is effectively questioned over the course of the narrative, but it is the human questions of honor, courage, and generosity―embodied in decisive Lucy, philosophical Max, impish Liao, and dutiful Oliver―that will leave readers cheering by the book’s rousing close." ―The Horn Book on The Left-Handed Fate
National Book Award Longlist
"An enchanting, empowering, and cozy read." -Booklist, starred review
"An abundantly diverting mystery." -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"Give this one to fans of Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society." -School Library Journal
- Publisher : Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (August 23, 2016)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0805098003
- ISBN-13 : 978-0805098006
- Reading age : 10 - 14 years
- Lexile measure : 810L
- Grade level : 4 - 6
- Item Weight : 1.06 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.76 x 1.21 x 8.38 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,049,735 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the authors
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2021
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The Left-Handed Fate is a ship like no other; rumored to be faster than any other ship on the seas, and carrying a crew of the best seamen on the planet. Captain Bluecrowne, his crew, and his ship have been hired by Max Ault to help him locate the pieces of an ancient weapon; a weapon to end all wars. Unfortunately, Max isn’t the only one on the hunt for the artifact, and some of his competition seems to have the ability to appear out of nowhere. How does one evade an opponent who can show up without warning?
The Left-Handed Fate started out a little slow, and a little confusing, but the longer I read, the more I appreciated the story’s creativity and complex characters. At first, it appeared that maybe I had missed reading another book in the series, but it turns out this is not the case. In order to keep the book from being prohibitively long, Ms. Milford has chosen to condense certain events from the past and presents the beginning of the quest as something that occurred several years previous. The reader is caught up through memory flashes and dialogue between Lucy Bluecrowne, her father, and Max Ault. The book’s main characters are all children who have been pressed into situations that their ages should have dictated were impossible. However, the author has created characters who are not only capable of handling situations far outside what children their age should have been able to withstand, but she does it in such a way that it doesn’t seem strange or out of place. It is very obvious that Ms. Milford did her due diligence when it came to researching the customs and rules of seafaring folk from the Revolutionary War period. The sense of honor and duty she expresses through Lucy Bluecrowne and Oliver Dexter doesn’t come across as contrived, but rather seems like exactly what one would expect from children with their backgrounds and circumstances. I enjoyed this book, and would consider reading other books set in Ms. Milford’s Nagspeake (she has written a number of books with this setting, however this book is intended to be read as a standalone). I would recommend this book for kiddos 11 and older who enjoy historical fiction set on a boat with a steampunk vibe.
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2021