Published in: 2010
Edition read: E-book
Series: Book 5 in the Stravaganza series
The new instalment in the critically acclaimed Stravaganza series transports readers to a world much like our own — but where magic and piracy come to life in the Italian town of Classe. The new Stravagante is Isabel, a visitor from our world who befriends Flavia, a successful female merchant of spices, silks, and tapestries. But Flavia soon finds herself an outcast and a pirate, while Isabel learns that Classe is under threat of attack by the fierce Gate people. What can she do to help save the city?
I really enjoyed this book in the Stravaganza series. Isabel is a sad shy girl in her own world, but in Talia, she is strong and independent and kick-ass. She comes out of her shell and from under the shadow of her twin brother, she gains new friends, and she also ends up befriending a pirate, participating in a naval battle, and learning to swim.
There is a lot of travel in this book, as Isabel works out that the Stravangati are able to actually go to any city they choose, which opens up a whole new level of stravagating (I think that’s the term?) and options. She’s smart and strong and such a good role-model for young kids, because she basically shows that just because she isn’t like someone else (i.e. her brother) doesn’t mean she isn’t special, or fun, or amazing, or smart.
I also liked that the other kids from the prior books have started to stravagate again, as they seemed to have stopped doing that which is just madness. If I had the ability to travel to a 16th century Italy, I would totally take that because that just sounds amazing.
City of Ships rating: 8.5/10
Would I re-read it? Yes
Who would I recommend it to? Fans of the series, young adults, fans of historical fiction, alternative history, action and adventure.
Book depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/City-Ships-Mary-Hoffman/9780747592532