Jacky Faber is a tough, resourceful urchin on the streets of London, capable of really anything you can imagine. Although Jacky's life as a member of Rooster Charlie's Gang is all right considering the circumstances, it's not enough—the sea calls with promises of fortune and high adventure, and Jacky has always wanted to see the Bombay Rat, the Cathay Cat, and the Kangaroo.There's only one problem: Jacky's a girl.When an unexpected tragedy forces to leave her old gang, Mary Faber dons boys' clothes, renames herself "Jack," and signs on to a British warship in 1803 as a ship's boy. From there, she goes on numerous adventures all over Europe, America, and the open sea, makes unlikely friends, and falls in love... but even when everything seems perfect, trouble always manages to find her.Bloody Jack is a series of nine young adult novels by L.A. Meyer. They are as follows:
Curse of the Blue Tattoo
Under the Jolly Roger
In the Belly of the Bloodhound
My Bonny Light Horseman
Rapture of the Deep
The Wake of the Lorelei Lee
The Mark of the Golden Dragon
The series is a must-read for anyone who likes historical fiction, adventure, pirates, and genuine plucky heroines. The story is fast-paced and fun to read, but not simplistic in the least—to fully describe the plot would make this page longer than Crowning Moment of Awesome. But feel free to break the cast down by trope with the Character SheetThis series provides examples of:
Accidental Hero: Jacky "leads" a cavalry charge screaming in terror on a runaway horse in My Bonny Light Horseman.
Action Girl: Jacky, of course. Also, all of the Lawson Peabody girls become Action Girls out of necessity when they are taken aboard the Bloodhound to be sold into slavery.
Have a Gay Old Time: Jacky's fellow ship's boys temporarily kick her out of their group because "they think [she's] queer," a line that, under the circumstances, could be (and is) interpreted all kinds of ways.
Historical Domain Character: Enough to populate a wiki of their own, including Napoleon, Tecumseh and Sacajawea, the LaFitte brothers, Lord Dundas, the Duke of Clarence, and Cheng Shih. Many other contemporary figures such as Marshal Ney,John Adams, Lord Nelson and the romantic poets are discussed or make cameo appearances without rising to the level of true characters.
Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jacky is a little less than five feet as of The Wake Of The Lorelei Lee, and her constant companion Higgins is only described as "large."
I Should Write a Book About This: When Jacky tells Amy her story, the opening lines sound exactly like those of the first book. Later on, we find out that Amy has published Jacky's adventures—maybe the very books we are reading.
Married At Sea: Most of the crew and passengers of the Lorelei Lee, including Jacky and Higgins, temporarily.
Mistaken for Gay: Jacky and the female crew of the Belle of the Golden West in Mississippi Jack.
Mushroom Samba: Ensues in Viva Jacquelina after Jacky, alone and starving in the Spanish countryside, eats a strange orange fungus, and culminates in a long conversation with a bullfrog.
My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "'Tis me, Arthur Mc Bride, who's killing you. I want you to know on your way to hell that it was me who sent you there, you worthless piece of British crap."
Napoleon Bonaparte: is a character and an important part of the plot, the books being set during the Napoleonic wars and all.
Not Quite Dead: In Book 6, Jacky's friends watch her get dragged out from their prison cell and guillotined- only it turns out they decapitated a girl who looked like her, instead. They don't find out till much later, though...
Official Couples: Jacky & Jaimy, despite her recurring slip-ups; Davy and Annie; Amy and Ezra; Mairead and Ian; and Katy and Lightfoot among others.
Out with a Bang: Captain Scroggs has a heart attack and dies before being able to rape Jacky.
Panty Shot: Jacky and Poseidon seem to have a... 'special' relationship, much to her embarrassment, as an inevitable result of wearing a skirt on a windy deck.
The Social Expert: Jackie gradually becomes an expert at identifying key people and winning their sympathy. Put her aboard any ship, even in chains, and she'll soon have the whole lower decks rooting for her. She also learns when to play the Double Standard to her advantage.
Spank the Cutie: In Mississippi Jack, Jaimy gives serious contemplation to bending his errant fiancée over his knee for all the troubles she's caused...
Star-Crossed Lovers: …How many times now have Jacky and Jaimy come within hours of getting married, only to have their doorway to wedded bliss shut in their face, usually by Her Majesty's soldiers?
Street Urchin: Jacky. A healthy number of side characters start out this way as well - Jim Tanner, Ravi, all but one of the ship's boys on the Dolphin, and Joannie, who is said to be very similar to Jacky in her Cheapside days.
Sweet on Polly Oliver: Jaimy wonders why he is so attracted to Jack Faber and considers leaving the Navy (because he believes himself to be a "sodomite"), until said Jack Faber reveals herself to be a girl.