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A sumptuous, glittering and exciting read, 'The Ship of Shadows' by Maria Kuzniar is a brilliant summer read. Sit back and set sail on an adventure filled with magic and wonder with a crew of incredible female pirates!

Aleja lives in Sevilla and dreams of setting off to explore the world. When a strange ship enters harbour, smoking and masked by shadows, Aleja can't help but investigate. Soon, after being accused of thievery, she finds herself on the run only to be helped by female pirates who take her aboard the legendary Ship of Shadows. But Aleja soon discovers she is destined to be part of the legend too, setting sail with the determined and courageous female crew to speak with ghosts, battle Kraken, escape pirate hunters and the jinn - all to find something very important that could change everything...

This is such a captivating and gorgeous read. Maria Kuzniar's writing dazzles as if her words have been written on gold. Everything is luminously vivid; a sensual treat for the imagination. From the hot, dusty streets of Sevilla to the magical, shadowy hull of the ship. From the cinnamon-smelling souks of Morocco to the enchanting vistas of lost desert cities. Kuzniar delights us and it is irresistible. In some ways, 'The Ship of Shadows' is reminiscent of many sand and sandal, swashbuckling adventures that fill the heart with joy and wonder. Think 'Pirates of the Caribbean' meets 'Sinbad' meets 'The Mummy' meets 'Indiana Jones'. But Kuzniar has created something that feels new for MG. Like 'Orphans of the Tide' (another Puffin book published this year), 'The Ship of Shadows' seems to push the boundaries of imaginative children's fiction: providing something thrilling and richly imaginative. The cover is stunning and really is illustrative of the wonder of treasures found in inside.

My only caveat is that this feels like only just the beginning - an introduction to Aleja, the Ship of Shadows and this world. By the end I was itching to continue the adventure. I cannot wait to find out what the sequel will be!

With many unable to escape on holiday this summer, 'The Ship of Shadows' can help you set off in your imagination to climates warm and to places full of mystery and adventure! Set sail NOW!

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