TITLE: The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy

AUTHOR: Mackenzi Lee

Rating: ★★★☆☆

PAGES: 450

PUBLISHER: Katherine Tegen Books


GENRE(S): Historical Fiction, Travel

The publisher kindly sent me a physical copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee - The Contented ReaderA year after an accidentally whirlwind grand tour with her brother Monty, Felicity Montague has returned to England with two goals in mind—avoid the marriage proposal of a lovestruck suitor from Edinburgh and enroll in medical school. However, her intellect and passion will never be enough in the eyes of the administrators, who see men as the sole guardians of science.

But then a window of opportunity opens—a doctor she idolizes is marrying an old friend of hers in Germany. Felicity believes if she could meet this man he could change her future, but she has no money of her own to make the trip. Luckily, a mysterious young woman is willing to pay Felicity’s way, so long as she’s allowed to travel with Felicity disguised as her maid.

In spite of her suspicions, Felicity agrees, but once the girl’s true motives are revealed, Felicity becomes part of a perilous quest that leads them from the German countryside to the promenades of Zurich to secrets lurking beneath the Atlantic.


Oh this book. I absolutely love Felicity and the adventure in the first book. But unfortunately, this book is a disappointment and it makes me so sad.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy it. There are a lot of aspects in this book that remind me of the first book – and the reasons why I love it in the first place. But, for reasons I’ll discuss in a bit, it falls flat.

Let’s talk about the things that are great about this book. First – the characters. I absolutely love and adore the characters that Mackenzi Lee creates. Felicity is just as good in this book as she is in the first. She’s intelligent and quirky, while also brave and strong. She’s unwavering in her dedication and desire, which I totally admire. I also really enjoy the lovely moments with Monty and Percy – who doesn’t love them?

The historical aspect of this book is also so enjoyable. I’m in awe at Mackenzi Lee’s ability to write stories that transport the reader into the past so well. Her writing is so vivid and you almost feel as though you’re on an adventure along with Felicity. This is something I really love about the first book, so I’m glad I love it just as much in this one.

Now, my biggest issue with this book is the ‘fantasy’ element. Since I don’t want to spoil things for those who haven’t read it, there is a search in this book for something that just does not fit in with this book, nor the heart of this historical fiction. It is completely unrealistic and something I really felt to be drawn out. It is almost like this book ended up being longer than it needed to be with this addition to the plot.

Because of this aspect, the first half of the book is what I really enjoyed. Towards the halfway point, the pacing slowed down and it transitioned into something more like a fantasy, which this book, in my opinion, should not be.

Overall, it’s an enjoyable book. I think if you enjoyed The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue then you’ll definitely want to check this out. I just think for me, it was a let down in comparison to how much I enjoyed the first book. However, I do love Lee’s writing, so I will definitely be checking out her future books!

Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now, we will make more of them.

Favourite Quote

About The Author

Mackenzi Lee Author Photo - The Contented ReaderMackenzi Lee holds a BA in history and an MFA in writing for children and young adults from Simmons College. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the historical fantasy novels THIS MONSTROUS THING, THE GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO VICE AND VIRTUE, which won a 2018 Stonewall Honor Award and the New England Book Award, and its sequel, THE LADY’S GUIDE TO PETTICOATS AND PIRACY, which debuted at #3 on the New York Times bestseller list. She is also the author of BYGONE BADASS BROADS (Abrams, 2018), a collection of short biographies of amazing women from history you probably don’t know about but definitely should, based on her popular twitter series of the same name.

When not writing, she works as an independent bookseller, drinks too much Diet Coke, and romps with her St. Bernard, Queenie.

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The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy - The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!


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