Book Review: The Lady’s Guide To Petticoats And Piracy

It’s so feminist and so funny – I’m in love with this series.

I thought I’d celebrate the near release of the third book in the Montague Siblings series by reviewing the second one! This series is fast becoming a firm favourite of mine.

Name: Lady’s Guide To Petticoats And Piracy (Montague Siblings 2)

Author: Mackenzie Lee

Published: 2018

A 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.

The Montague Siblings Series is fast becoming one of my favourite YA series. Last month, I read The Gentleman’s Guide To Vice and Virtue… and then immediately bought the sequel! I had thought that Monty and Percy would be with Felicity the entire time but I think it let her grow as a character. I loved Felicity in the first book, and even more in this one as I learned more about her. (Plus, her narration is impeccable.) It was the type of predictable character development I can stand, where I’m waiting for Felicity to see where she’s going wrong. However, the plot was anything but predictable – clever, funny and very difficult to foresee.

“Everyone has heard stories of women like us—cautionary tales, morality plays, warnings of what will befall you if you are a girl too wild for the world, a girl who asks too many questions or wants too much. If you set off into the world alone. Everyone has heard stories of women like us, and now we will make more of them.”


The entire cast of characters are so interesting. While the book built on people we met in the last book (read them in order!) and reintroduced characters at critical points that genuinely made me laugh out loud; Felicity meets a whole host of new faces. Each female character is different, but each show the challenges faced by 18th Century women ‘in a world where even the staircases are made for men’. I can’t praise it enough.

I wrote this note so many times that it needs to be said verbatim: ‘AHH ITS SO FUNNY!’ I wanted to tab so many quips but I fully think I’d deplete the worlds stickers. The dialogue is so quippy and clever and (you’ve guessed it) funny. The message is stronger than all the concoctions needed to keep Georgian Lady’s wigs afloat (which is quite significant). In other words, this book is a gem.

“You’re trying to play a game designed by men. You’ll never win, because the deck is stacked and marked, and also you’ve been blindfolded and set on fire. You can work hard and believe in yourself and be the smartest person in the room and you’ll still get beat by the boys who haven’t two cents to rub together. So if you can’t win the game, you have to cheat. You operate outside the walls they’ve built to fence you in. You rob them in the dark, while they’re drunk on spirits you offered them. Poison their waters and drink only wine.” 


So, if you enjoy historical YA books about gripping adventure and pirates and fiery teenage girls, this book is for you. Or if you want a (wait for it…) funny, empowering read, try The Lady’s Guide To Petticaots and Piracy. You won’t regret it.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read any of the Montague Siblings books? Do they look like the sort of thing you’d be interested in? What are some of your favourite historical YA books? Let me know in the comments!

Published by Hundreds&Thousands

I’m a teenager (and a Hufflepuff) from Manchester. I like oversized jumpers, music that isn't on the radio anymore and books. Pretty much any book I can get my hands on but my favourites are Young Adult, fantasy and science fiction. One day, I decided to share some of my opinions on some great - and not so great - books to people around the world. And here it is! I really enjoy it and I hope you do too. The aim is hundreds and thousands of book reviews (see what I did there?) but I’m not quite up to that. Yet.

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