Book Review: Clash of Steel by C.B Lee

Title: Clash of Steel: A Treasure Island Remix
Author: C.B. Lee
Source/Format: BookishFirst and Macmillan; Hardcover
More Details: YA; Remixed Classic
Publisher/ Release date: Feiwel and Friends; Sep 7, 2021

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Synopsis From Goodreads:
Two intrepid girls hunt for a legendary treasure on the deadly high seas in this YA remix of the classic adventure novel Treasure Island.

1826. The sun is setting on the golden age of piracy, and the legendary Dragon Fleet, the scourge of the South China Sea, is no more. Xiang has grown up with stories about the Dragon Fleet and its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Dragon Queen, all her life. Xiang desperately wants to set sail and explore—mainly to find her father, a presumed dead crew member of the Dragon Fleet. Her only memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.
(Read the rest on Goodreads.)

What I Thought:

I had previously read, reviewed, and liked Treasure Island (that review is here). So, I did not wait to spend my points on BookishFirst when I read the preview of Clash of Steel.  

There are hallmarks of it being a Treasure Island retelling, but Clash of Steel is its own story. The prologue sucked me in as the reader meets a young Anh and the tale of the legendary Zheng Yi Sao and her Dragon Fleet. This, along with the first few chapters set the backdrop of the rest of the story. Like Treasure Island, the relationships between characters are shown before getting off to the adventure at sea. There is somewhat of a juxtaposition between Xiang and Anh –not only as characters, but also in terms of their lives and families. For example, Xiang vies for her mother’s attention and approval with attempts of formality. Whereas both Anh and her mother, Captain Hoa, have a more familial air between each other and the crew of the Huyen Vu. A familial air that becomes especially clear after Xiang hangs around Anh more. There are many other relationship portrayals that I’d want to get into, but no spoilers from me.  There were some things that I hadn’t predicted, and others that I had. Nonetheless, the end still got me very emotional. The pacing was perfect, and I found it to be a page turner.

Over all, Clash of Steel was an exciting read that I had to peel out of my hands. I recommend it if you like Treasure Island and are looking for a YA retelling.

I received this book from BookishFirst and Macmillan for this review.

Thanks for reading!