A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy
By: Mackenzi Lee
My Rating: 4/5 Stars
Genre: Historical fiction, Adventure
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Page Count: 512
Synopsis: Felicity Montague is through with pretending she prefers society parties to books about bone setting—or that she’s not smarter than most people she knows, or that she cares about anything more than her dream of becoming a doctor.
A year after an accidentally whirlwind tour of Europe, which she spent evading highwaymen and pirates with her brother Monty, Felicity has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of Callum Doyle, a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh; and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.
But then a small window of hope opens. Doctor Alexander Platt, an eccentric physician that Felicity idolizes, is looking for research assistants, and Felicity is sure that someone as forward thinking as her hero would be willing to take her on. However, Platt is in Germany, preparing to wed Felicity’s estranged childhood friend Johanna. Not only is Felicity reluctant to opening old wounds, she also has no money to make the trip.
Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid. In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that will lead her from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.
This Review will be spoiler free
Hey bookworms, it’s that time of the week again where all of you tune in to read my bookish ramblings! First I want to thank Harper Collins for sending me an ARC (advanced reader copy) of this book in exchange for an honest review. I loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and so I was super excited to read this second instalment. For those of you that are fans of the first book but are concerned that this one follows Felicity (Monty’s sister) instead of Monty, don’t worry we get some adorable Percy and Monty moments that honestly gave me life.
This book is as engaging as the first one in the series. Again, I am not a huge fan of historical fiction so I am surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It started off a little slow as we kind of find out what all the characters have been doing for the year between the two books. But then about a fourth of the way in it really picked up and I found myself once again getting sucked into Mackenzi Lee’s world.
There are three awesome female characters that lead this story, each unique and complex. It was nice to see a group of women that didn’t just fill the usual stereotypical archetypes (i.e. girly girl, the tom boy, the smart one, etc.). I found that the secondary characters were well developed, and were given time to stand on their own two feet, alongside the main cast. The characters are definitely where this series shines, they are all dynamic and strong, and work hard to defy the gender norms of their time. The LGBTQ+ representation in the book is nice to see as well, seeing as it is still not as common as it should be in YA series.
You don’t have to have read A Gentleman’s Guide to read this book, though there are fun easter eggs for people that have read both. If you like historical fiction, or even if you usually don’t but are looking to dip your toes in the genre, this is a great book to start with. It doesn’t overwhelm you with a barrage of names and dates and historical backdrops, it eases you into the setting, adding fun twists along the way.
*no spoiler section today guys, seeing as this book isn’t released yet I wanted to keep the details secret for now! wouldn’t want to ruin the story for any of you.
Have you read A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue? if not what are some historical fiction novels you enjoyed? let me know in the comments.