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The Smugglers (High Seas Trilogy) Paperback – October 10, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
Book 2 of 3 in the High Seas Trilogy Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In the wake of Lawrence's The Wreckers comes this companion novel, a second riveting high-sea adventure featuring swashbuckling characters, salty dialogue and a taut succession of cliffhangers. The author successfully conjures an aura of mystery and tension around The Dragon, a schooner once used to smuggle goods (and men) between England and France. Now John Spencer and his merchant father want to use the boat for honest trade, but as soon as they purchase The Dragon, they seem to be touched by its curse: someone murders the captain they've hired before the ship sets sail; his replacement, blustery Captain Crowe, turns out to be a scoundrel who hires a crew of criminals. During the first leg of the voyage, John receives a cryptic warning to "beware the one who seems least likely" to harm him. But which man could it be? Wrought in the tradition of a 19th-century serial, this novel moves along at a clip via brief episodic chapters and complicated twists. Naive to the ways of experienced con men, John has his work cut out for him, but his bravery and high morals earn him the rank of hero. Ages 10-14.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Gr 5-9-In Iain Lawrences's The Smugglers (Delacorte, 1999), set in Cornwell, England at the beginning of the 19th century, 16-year-old John Spencer and his father continue their adventures that began in The Wreckers (Delacorte, 1998). This time they are buying a new trading vessel, the Dragon, and hiring a crew who lead them into danger. Reminiscent of Robert Louis Stevenson's Kidnapped, the main characters are caught in deception and intrigue. Encountering piracy aboard their ship, they use both wit and muscle to outmaneuver the deadly attempts on their lives. British actor Ron Keith uses differing tones of inflection to create suspense. His pronunciation is clear, and the reading is well-paced. Listeners will enjoy this dramatic tale of the high seas.-Tina Hudak, Takoma Park Maryland Library, MD

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 640 (What's this?)
  • Series: High Seas Trilogy (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Yearling; First Edition edition (October 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440415969
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440415961
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 7.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
The Wreckers (Book 1)

I didn't expect to like the book. I did. How's that for a review in one sentence? ;-)

But seriously, Iain does a great job of keeping you guessing about what's REALLY going on with the wreckers. You sympathize with John's lack of trust and hesitate with him in making decisions. Some things I expected, but others were a surprise. The writing is easy to read, being appropriate for its intended audience, and while this isn't a story or series to get super wrapped up in, it's still an engaging, nice story.

Yes, there are nautical terms, but this doesn't detract from the story. Either you love nautical books and will be able to follow with no issue, or you can accept that they are talking about different parts of the ship - either you'll care and look them up, or you won't and you'll keep reading. Regardless, the story moves along fine without getting caught up in the terms, especially since this story largely takes place on land.

4 stars

The Smugglers (Book 2)

Even though this is book 2 in the High Seas Trilogy, it can absolutely stand alone. Actually, every book in the series stands alone. There may be a thing or two that ties over from a previous work, but nothing that affects the ease of reading the story or would cause confusion.

I didn't find this story as engaging as The Wreckers. Again, parts were obvious, but even what wasn't guess-able just wasn't as well executed. Still enjoyable and appropriate for the target audience.

3.5 stars

The Buccaneers (Book 3)

This is definitely my least favorite in the trilogy. The first book definitely feels like it could be a true story, the second book feels more like fiction, but this one seems almost fanciful.
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Format: Paperback
The Smugglers
Book review
This book is about a boy named John. John had a father who bought a ship called the dragon. This dragon caused a lot of trouble to John and his father. Also, his captain was a very evil man that used to smuggle other people and products like brandy. He also tried to kill John on the way to London. Luckily, Dasher helped save Johns life several times.
I chose this book because my friend had told me that it was fun. The cover was also very interesting. The designs and the boat looked very detailed in the huge storm. The smugglers sounded like a very fun and exciting book. Once I read the first few chapters, it felt as if I had to read the rest of the book. I liked this book because it had many exciting parts and lots of action.
My favorite part of the book is when John gets shot from dasher. He got shot twice and was very scared. He talked about getting flashbacks right before you die. The reason why I liked this part is because it was very funny. A few pages after this event, it explains that the gun he used had no real bullets and just made a hole on his clothes.
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A Kid's Review on March 7, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is about a little adventurous boy named John Spencer. Johns father has bought a new ship called the Dragon. Rumor has it that the Dragon is cursed and should bring misfortune to the owner. A evil ship should be towed by an evil man, a smuggler in fact, smuggling from every port this side of London. Now this ship in the hands of John and his father, what fortune should become of them?

If you like adventure books this is the book for you. There is'nt a moment when there isn't a dilema for little John Spencer. A must read for lovers of any adventure books, or any boat books.
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A Kid's Review on August 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed this book very much. If you like action packed, can't-put-down kind of books about sailing and the sea, I recommend getting this book. I gave it 4 stars because the author didn't describe alot of detail of how things looked. Enough to get a picture but not all that clear. He was wonderful at describing death scenes or gruesome killings. (i.e, man torn in two, a few hangings described, dead body floating, following in the sea, etc.) But it didn't bother me that much, just thought I'd give a head's up to other readers interested in this book.
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By A Customer on November 14, 1999
Format: Paperback
A wonderful companion to The Wreckers, The Smugglers followsJohn Spencer, a young teenager and finds a world of mystery and ofcourse smuggling on his new ship, The Dragon. A must read for all fans of Treasure Island, The Wreckers or any other books about Historical Boat runs.
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