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Reviewed by Petra Verbeek DP Hamilton Christian School Waikato
Opening sentence
I will save as many as I can. We all will.
'Compass and Blade' by Rachel Greenlaw is a young adult fantasy novel.

Mira has grown up on the remote island of Rosevear, where she has learned to be just like her mother and is one of seven who are sent out to shipwrecks to plunder them, but it’s Mira’s job to rescue any survivors. In a turn of events, she is forced to team up with a survivor to save her father before he is executed.

I felt the pacing of this story was a little slow, as well as predictable to the point where I almost feel the author underestimated our young readers’ intelligence. The book was written using simple language, and readers have to make few inferences. I did enjoy the characters and how they showcased loyalty to each other.
The pirate stuff was fun, like the plundering, wrecking, and fights, which made up for the at times highly predictable Mira and cliché dark, handsome love interests who have a darker side but are capable of being redeemed by love. On the whole, Mira is likable – I could understand why she did things and what motivated her, yet she bases all her decisions on a “sixth” sense, which is her “feelings”, however, the origins are never explored. For an independent young girl, she does seem to be taken in by a handsome face at the drop of a hat, which made her annoying. In a nutshell, I loved the high adventure but was left disappointed that the heroine did not show more backbone and better judgment.
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-00-864244-0
Format: Paperback
Publication: 2024
Ages: 11+
Themes: Courage Friendship Loyalty