A Review of: The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee (Montague Siblings #2)
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Length: 442 pages Rating: 5 stars
This novel is a sequel to The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and follows one of the main trio from the first novel, Felicity Montague. The novel is about Felicity’s attempts to find work as a female in the medical field, reuniting with an estranged friend from childhood, and discovering an unknown species of sea dragon.
The novel has a huge focus on sisterhood/female friendships. The three main characters are Felicity Montague (ambitious, determined, intelligent), her childhood friend Johanna Hoffman (sweet, an animal lover, intelligent) and the pirate Sim (brave, strong, loyal). Several characters from Gentleman’s Guide, including Monty (Felicity’s brother) and Percy (Monty’s lover and Felicity’s friend) return as secondary characters.
The novel is told from the first person perspective of Felicity. This allows the reader to intimately feel the wounds of her rejection, the hardening of her determination, and the awkwardness and warmth of reuniting with an old friend.
The novel gets off to a bit of a slow start, but once it picks up momentum (after Felicity meets Sim) it keeps excellent pacing that straddles the fine line between not boring you while also not overwhelming you.
The novel takes place sometime after the events of Gentleman’s Guide, meaning it is still the 18th century. A recurring theme of the novel is women’s rights (or lack thereof) at the time and women rebelling against the limited spaces society tried to shove them into. The events of the novel take place in a variety of locations including: Edinburgh (Scotland), London (England), Stuttgart (Germany), Zurich (Switzerland), Algiers (Algeria), and Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory in Spain).
I loved the emphasis on female friendships and feminism in this novel. I also loved the sense of adventure in the novel. Overall, it was just as good as the first book. While the books have similarities, they are have different emphasis. The first one is more romance heavy, so if that's what you loved about the first book then you may not enjoy this one as much. Otherwise, however, everything solid about the first book is in this one as well.
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