Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout is an outstanding YA Historical Adventure set n the high seas The author has perfectly described the settings of the day 18 century England, The Realm and all the characters with loving attention for detail The language is spot on and behaviours of the time towards women are suitably used as the heart of this wonderful novel.15 year old Annie has always been blamed for her family troubles, so when her uncle dies in an accident she is found to be at fault To avoid a life of torture and abuse, young Annie runs away, ending up on the filthy streets of London She is reduced to begging for bread, but soon is starving to the point of no return Pure luck sees her attract the attention of Captain Hawke, a ruthless sea captain but honest.Annie disguises herself and is hired as cabin boy to Captain Hawke.Once on the ship the story races off with wondrous action, seafaring details of the time and tension as Annie must conceal her real identity Seafarers at the time thought it bad luck to have a female crew member and over the side was a distinct possibility But Annie is not only clever, well read and brave, she is also forthright and often outspoken even to the Captain And there are many adventures for Annie as The Realm s course crosses the vast oceans where pirates lurk.This beautifully written novel took me back to my childhood and reminded me of Mark Twain and I thank the author for writing such a masterpiece of historical fiction.FIVE STARS and very highly recommended. What a delightful read this is Young adults, preteens and adults will find this novel a must read.The story follows a girl who needs to escape an abusive situation She does so by dressing as a boy so that she can safely move about in society She ends up being hired as a cabin boy on a ship.What follows are adventures on the ship as she learns about her duties and a few adventures on land in different ports where they stop Along the way, she finds friends in the most unlikely places, and some of those friendships promise to last her entire life.There is also an element of mystery about some of her fellow mates The secrets and questions keep readers in suspense in a subtle way than the other, physical adventures So this book reads well on the action level as well as the psychological level I especially enjoyed the longer ending Other authors who aren t as adept might have ended the book when she returns to a life on dry land Stout, however, goes a step further and follows her new life just enough so readers can see the main character taking another step toward maturity This along with the strong writing and fresh story proves this author to be very well suited to her career Clearly this is a book that will be enjoyed by readers at many stages in their lives A great story you can t miss If you re a parent or teacher looking to enrich the lives around you, check out Seven Sisters Spiritual Messages from Aboriginal Australia, which contains timeless advice interpreted for the modern reader.If you want to learn the shocking truth behind the lack of diversity in publishing, as told in the humorous voice of a long time publishing professional, and what you can do to help, check out Writing While Female or Black or Gay Diverse Voices in Publishing. This is a wonderfully written book I found myself lost into a world of pirates and utter adventure I fell in love with the heroine Annie and couldn t help embrace her pain and sadness as an orphan having to endure abuse by a family member and finally finding herself living in the streets I just can t even imagine for someone having to endure that type of living I was delighted to find out that at age 14 she decided that the only way she could get out of London and dangerous streets was to hide the fact that she was girl and take a new identity as a boy in order to get a job on a ship After having to face a lot of difficulties she succeeded in securing a job on Captain Hawks ship the Realm as Andres de le Cruz a cabin boy Hiding her sex was the most problematic thing she had to face while living with a bunch of superstitious men Working on the ship was a lot harder than she ever dreamed of, but the friendships she created with her shipmates were incredible and much needed to keep her going The author did a superb job in taking the reader into a rollercoaster of adventures, bold fights among pirates and turbulent oceans This is the kind of story that you would think only kids could fall in love with, but I found myself really enjoying the book This is the kind of book that would create amazing dreams in young minds, and bring the kid into adult hearts Bev Stout you did a wonderful job with this book and I will recommend it to my friends and all that would love to spend some enjoyable time with a great book. Secrets of the Realm is a very well written novel The story captivates your interest from the moment you start reading This story is packed with lots of adventure and action with a little bit of romance The characters were very well developed which made me intrigued with the story You will simply love the protagonist Annie Moore I love how the author made Annie a strong, charismatic, stubborn at times female lead You couldn t help but to root for her from the beginning of the novel to the end I think this was a fantastic YA historical fiction read and would recommend it to anyone Hopefully the author writes a sequel to this When a book has the power to take you from the present and thrust you over 200 years into the past from its very first page, effectively blotting out the distractions around you until a hundred pages have breezed by, that book commands attention.Bev Stout s Realm is one such book With an 18th century canvas, this period piece has all the elements that make for a captivating adventure Stout s alluring cover, intriguing title, and beautifully crafted storytelling all conspire to draw the reader into the world of fifteen year old Annie Moore.The author paints her memorable characters, their dire circumstances and settings with equal precision Meticulous attention to detail is evident from her deft employment of nautical terms to her use of distinctive and identifiable dialogue, each uniquely suited to the individual character From the outset, the confluence of these critical components were destined to hold its reader captive Stout infused her words with a color palette that popped into vivid reality Annie, Hawke, Doc, and Symington were not simply names on a page, but living breathing entities whose presence materialized in front the reader No riptide could steer you from the perfect course Stout charted in this swashbuckling adventure. I received this book in exchange for an honest review, but after reading the book, I would have gladly picked this up myself Normally I m not a huge fan of stories set at sea, but there was something about the synopsis of this book that caught my attention I had decided to read a few chapters a night until I finished the book, but I wasn t expecting to finish the book over a weekend, I simply could not put the book down.The story started simply enough, a young girl starting out on an adventure, but the you read about Annie, the you love her, root for her, and want to see her saved Annie is everything you want a strong female character to be, plucky, smart and full of life, she doesn t back down, from anything or anyone As the story progressed, I started to long for a little romance, but the story teller knew better, everything was exactly as it should be No rushing, no overt scenes, just simple and a natural progression to the action.I admit that when the story ended, I was sad I wanted I can t wait to see what happens next to Annie, Capt Hawke, Mr Montgomery and Abigail Annie made me long for the sea, and for an indoor kind of girl, that s an accomplishment I look forward to following this authors work, she s opened my mind to new experiences and I can t wait to read. Secrets of the Realm by Bev Stout was an enjoyable book to read Well written, intriguing story and interesting characters capture readers attention and make an exciting, fun, and easy reading.The adventures of the young heroine Annie disguised as a cabin boy, aboard the sail ship, take us full circle from the London Harbor, across the ocean to the American coast and back In the process, as the story is unfolding, we learn that Annie is not the only crew member with the secret The characters of the Captain, Doc, First Mate, and others are just enough developed to allow young readers to believe, imagine, and identify.By the conclusion of the story, readers, completely caught up in the world of the sea man, are brought back to the land to witness Annie s past catching up with her, and the happy end promising adventures.Bev Stout s novel is a real page turner I hope that the Secrets of the Realm is the first book in a series That would make much sense It is must read even if you are YA only in the heart. Blamed For Her Uncle S Death, Fifteen Year Old Annie Is On The Run Knowing The Perils She Will Face On The Streets Of Eighteenth Century London, She Disguises Herself As A Boy Her Life On The Streets Is Cut Short When She Becomes Captain Hawke S Cabin Boy Not Only Must Annie Work Alongside The Realm S Motley Crew Of Outcasts And Gentlemen, She Must Also Keep Her Superstitious Shipmates From Discovering She Is A Girl Annie Vows She Will Never Leave The Realm, Where Dreams Are Chased, Shattered Lives Can Mend, And Secrets Are Stowed Like Keepsakes In An Old Desk Drawer But When Her Past Catches Up With Her, Can She Return To The Realm More Importantly, Will She Have A Choice This is a wonderful story about a young girl who disguises herself as a boy and becomes the cabin boy on an 18th century English merchant ship Annie Moore is a character that you can t help but fall in love with I would recommend this book for all teens through seniors. Being a fan of the sea and boats myself there is no better feeling in the world than being out on the water I was immediately intrigued with the idea of Secrets of the Realm Although the plot point of a girl disguising herself as a man seems to be used quite often, it is usually in excellent stories Also a fan of historical fiction, I had high expectations for this novel Fortunately, they were all met, if not exceeded.I believe that Annie is a great voice for the story and an excellent character to connect to She is spirited, knows what she wants, and is not afraid to speak exactly what is on her mind Although she may sometimes make decisions that are not agreeable, it just adds to her charm, and makes her a realistic character After all, I am sure everyone can say that they have acted without thinking quite the amount of times One of the things that I look for most in a novel is the characters, and if you read my reviews, I believe I mention them quite often Stout did an excellent job with her characterization Captain Hawke is one of my favorites There are so many different layers to him, and even after the book is finished, I want to know so much about him Being intimidating and commanding at times, he is also able to show a softer side of him, without losing his air of authority He holds a very interesting story that will have readers consumed with his character.Another thing that I enjoyed with Secrets of the Realm also makes it stand out as a YA novel Most books in the genre seem to emphasize male characters and a strong central romance, which unfortunately causes for a lack of development within the female lead Stout strays away from this, and although given the nature of the story not too many strong female characters can be around, the female characters that are present, Annie in particular, than make up for it Along with that, there are many hints of romance without the subject taking over the entire plot.Dealing with love, loss, determination, the bond between crewmates, standing up for what you believe in, and many other topics that can hit home, Secrets of the Realm is brilliant, entertaining, and a fantastic read for all ages Those who enjoy a great sailing story and historical fiction in general will devour the novel Even for those who normally don t, I would recommend giving the book a try.