I am so sorry that this post is late, first of all! The first month of school was very hectic. Let’s get right to my post for A Clash of Steel by C.B. Lee for Colored Pages Blog Tours.
First of all, Lee’s writing style is so engrossing and makes me feel like I’m instantly drawn into the world of the characters of ACOS. The fact that this series remixes classics, in this case, Treasure Island, makes me very happy as a high school reader who did not enjoy books such as Little Women (also read So Many Beginnings by Bethany C. Morrow!!!!).
Second of all, I love the fact that this book is written in first person POV – Xiang is such an interesting character and I love her POV – seeing how she interacts with her mother, Anh, and her mentor. Even from the first page, I knew that this book would be one of my favorites of the year.
Thirdly, I can confidently say that you do not have to read Treasure Island to understand ACOS – they’re called Remixed Classics for a reason, and Lee definitely smashed my expectations. This series is one to read again and again and again, and I hope any teachers reading this will consider adding this series into their curriculum.
[to be updated – I have to set the table for dinner.]
Title: A Clash of Steel
Author: C.B Lee
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Publication Date: September 7th, 2021
Genres: Young Adult, Historical Fiction
Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island.
1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.
But the pendant’s true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang’s father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool’s journey.
Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.
CB Lee is a Lambda Literary Award nominated writer of young adult science fiction and fantasy. Her works include the Sidekick Squad series (Duet Books), Ben 10 (Boom!), and All Out Now (HarperTeen). CB loves to write about queer teens, magic, superheroes, and the power of friendship.
Lee’s work has been featured in Teen Vogue, Wired Magazine, and Hypable. Lee’s first novel in the Sidekick Squad series, Not Your Sidekick was a 2017 Lambda Literary Awards Finalist in YA/Children’s Fiction and a 2017 Bisexual Book Awards Finalist in Speculative Fiction. Seven Tears at High Tide was the recipient of a Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Fantasy Romance and also a finalist for the 2016 Bisexual Book Awards in the YA and Speculative Fiction categories.