Tuesday, November 1

How to Be a Pirate by Cressida Cowell

Hiccup is one of the scrawniest Vikings in Berk. He is also the only son of Stoick the Vast, their chief.

Just when Hiccup is starting to show his qualities as a future leader, a coffin washes up with the promise of Grimbeard the Ghastly's treasure. It is said that the only one who can uncover Grimbeard's riches is his heir, who just happens to be Hiccup.

Soon the Vikings of Berk set out to find the treasure, with the help of Alvin the Poor-But-Honest-Farmer.

What happens if Hiccup can't find it? Will the title of Grimbeard's heir be given to another...and just how honest is this Alvin fellow?


Coincidence and an eye infection found me reading this book with one eye operable on Talk Like a Pirate Day.

After I had finished reading 'How to Train Your Dragon', I was itching for the next installment. So, when I was able, I purchased the next two books.

'How to Be a Pirate' is a fun, humourous and touching read. It really takes the underdog (Hiccup) and the reluctant hero (Toothless) and makes them even more interesting, real and relatable to the reader. You can't help but become captivated by their adventures.

This book was a real adventure - a series of situations, unfurling into a compelling journey. Much like the first installment in Hiccup's memoirs, the descriptions are so very striking. I don't mean hum-drum la-de-das of scenery when I say "description" but that things were written in such a way that I was propelled into storms and sword-fights, I was more than timid of the Skullions - dragons with so many hindrances and yet so primal and frightening - and I was 100% hungry for treasure.

The translator of Hiccup's memoirs, Cressida Cowell, has a strength with words and a way of handling stories. I look forward to reading the third installment, 'How to Speak Dragonese'.

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer purchased this book. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to her by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Little, Brown Books and is used solely as an aide to the review.

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