Jacky Faber has got to be one of my all-time favorite fictional characters. She is jaw-droppingly resourceful and clever and a fiercely loyal friend. She has an unrepentant love of being in the spotlight, a fabulous sense of humor and the heart of an adventurer. When a new Jacky Faber novel comes out, I do the happy dance all around my library. No one is surprised - they roll their eyes and give each other a knowing look. They've gotten used to me over the years. :-)
This sixth installment of the series opens with Jacky sitting on the hatch of her lovely little schooner, relaxed and happy as a lark, chatting with her dear friend Higgins. Of course her time of peaceful pleasure is destined to be short, because Jacky tumbles from one adventure to another (and if she didn't, her readership would be sorely disappointed!). A set of sails appears over the horizon, and before we know it Jacky is in over her head once again. This time her adventures take her into the brig of a British naval ship, up the steps to the guillotine, on the stage of a ballet theater, and across battlefields with the troops of Napoleon's army. It's all in a day's work for Jacky, who finds herself in one tangled situation after another.
I thoroughly enjoyed this rollicking adventure novel, as I have every one of the Bloody Jack books. It was a nice change to see Jacky taken out of her element (aboard ships) and given some entirely new situations to challenge her abilities. Along with all the action, there are occasions of introspection - Jacky's adventures do not leave her unchanged; each one is a personal journey in a series of coming-of-age tales that leave her a stronger, wiser person. I did miss spending time with old favorite characters, but we are given many new ones to come to know and enjoy, and there are, as always, some characters from the past who show up to surprise Jacky and the reader - plus a dash of romance to keep things lively. This book could stand alone, as it has its own narrative arc and conclusion, but it is best read in the order of the series. It would be a shame to miss out on any of Jacky' past adventures, and this one gains greater depth in the context of preceding events. I highly recommend this book as well as the entire series. I just wish Meyer could write these books as quickly as I read them...
Books in the Bloody Jack series:
1. Bloody Jack: Being an Account of the Curious Adventures of "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy
2. Curse of the Blue Tattoo: Being an Account of the Misadventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman and Fine Lady
3. Under the Jolly Roger: Being an Account of the Further Nautical Adventures of Jacky Faber 4. In the Belly of the Bloodhound: Being an Account of a Particularly Peculiar Adventure in the Life of Jacky Faber
5. Mississippi Jack: Being an Account of the Further Waterborne Adventures of Jacky Faber, Midshipman, Fine Lady, and the Lily of the West
6. My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War
7. Rapture of the Deep: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, Soldier, Sailor, Mermaid, Spy
My Bonny Light Horseman: Being an Account of the Further Adventures of Jacky Faber, in Love and War (#6 in the Jacky Faber series) by L.A. Meyer (Harcourt, Inc., 2008)
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