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. Its ruthless leader, a woman known only as the Head of the Dragon, is now only a story, like the ones Xiang has grown up with all her life. She desperately wants to prove her worth, especially to her mother, a shrewd businesswoman who never seems to have enough time for Xiang. Her father is also only a story, dead at sea before Xiang was born. Her single memento of him is a pendant she always wears, a simple but plain piece of gold jewelry.
But the pendant's true nature is revealed when a mysterious girl named Anh steals it, only to return it to Xiang in exchange for her help in decoding the tiny map scroll hidden inside. The revelation that Xiang's father sailed with the Dragon Fleet and tucked away this secret changes everything. Rumor has it that the legendary Head of the Dragon had one last treasure—the plunder of a thousand ports—that for decades has only been a myth, a fool's journey.
Xiang is convinced this map could lead to the fabled treasure. Captivated with the thrill of adventure, she joins Anh and her motley crew off in pursuit of the island. But the girls soon find that the sea—and especially those who sail it—are far more dangerous than the legends led them to believe.
Praise for A Clash of Steel:
A Cosmopolitan Best YA Book of 2021
"This deeply immersive adventure features deftly interwoven Chinese and Vietnamese, luscious culinary descriptions, and well-rendered explorations of imperialism, treasure, found family, and love." —Publishers Weekly, starred review
"Vividly realized and brimming with romantic adventure. Rooted in the legend of Chinese pirate queen Ching Shih, C.B. Lee’s A Clash of Steel is richly imagined and thrilling to the end." —Malinda Lo, bestselling author of Last Night at the Telegraph Club
"Lavishly drawn and studded with jewels from the original, C.B. Lee has written a remix that delves deep into questions of family, love, and treasure. This is a book I wish I'd had as a young, queer teen and it deserves a spot in any collection." —Natalie C. Parker, author of the Seafire trilogy