Bloody Jack

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Jacky Faber is a tough, resourceful urchin on the streets of London, capable of really anything you can imagine. Although Jacky's life as a member of Rooster Charlie's Gang is all right considering the circumstances, it's not enough--the sea calls with promises of fortune and high adventure, and Jacky has always wanted to see the Bombay Rat, the Cathay Cat, and the Kangaroo.

The only problem is, Jacky's a girl.

When an unexpected tragedy forces to leave her old gang, Mary Faber dons boys' clothes, renames herself "Jack," and signs on to a British warship in 1803 as a ship's boy. From there, she goes on numerous adventures all over Europe, America, and the open sea, makes unlikely friends, and falls in love... but even when everything seems perfect, trouble always manages to find her.

Bloody Jack is a series of nine young adult novels by L.A. Meyer. They are as follows:

  • Bloody Jack
  • Curse of the Blue Tattoo
  • Under the Jolly Roger
  • In the Belly of the Bloodhound
  • Mississippi Jack
  • My Bonny Light Horseman
  • Rapture of the Deep
  • The Wake of the Lorelei Lee
  • The Mark of the Golden Dragon
  • Viva Jacquelina! (Forthcoming)

The series is a must-read for anyone who likes historical fiction, adventure, pirates, and genuine plucky heroines. The story is fast-paced and fun to read, but not simplistic in the least--to fully describe the plot would make this page longer than Crowning Moment of Awesome. But feel free to break the cast down by trope with the Character Sheet


This series provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Jacky, of course. Also, all of the Lawson Peabody girls become Action Girls out of necessity when they are taken aboard the Bloodhound to be sold into white slavery.
  • The Alcoholic: Gully.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Higgins, although it's not so much ambiguous as heavily implied. Also, Mam'selle Claudelle day Bourbon.
    • Actors Mr. Fennel and Mr. Bean give this impression in the audiobook as well, though not in the printed novels.
  • The Archer: Katy Deere, and her Dianas.
  • Attempted Rape: Pretty much once a book, at the very least.
  • Author Appeal: Non-sexual example: the author is an artist and owns an art gallery with his wife. Thus, Jacky is a skilled artist and much detail goes into the techniques she uses.
  • Badass Bookworm: Amy.
  • The Beard: Jacky and Higgins get married in The Wake Of The Lorelei Lee, because others on the ship think it strange neither gets married. Leads to Sexless Marriage and Amicably Divorced.
  • Beta Couple: Several, but most notably Amy and Ezra.
  • Boarding School of Horrors: The Lawson Peabody School For Young Girls is less horrific and more sternly Puritan. However, Jacky's time there is made very unpleasant thanks to Clarissa.
  • Catch Phrase: "I'm a good girl... mostly."
    • Mike Fink's "I'm a ringtailed roarer!"
  • Chivalrous Pervert: Randall and Richard Allen.
  • Childhood Marriage Promise: Jacky and Jaimy.
    • Looks like Joany and Daniel have made one too.
  • Cliff Hanger: So far, all of the books, in one way or another, but most notably Under the Jolly Roger and In the Belly of the Bloodhound.
  • Clothing Damage: Seems to be the main attraction in Jacky's playlet "The Villain Pursues Constant Maiden: Or, Fair Virtue in Peril"
  • Crazy Prepared: Jacky and the items in her sea bag. She also has her shiv on her at all times, and it miraculously never gets lost.
  • Did Not Do the Research: Jacky's white wedding dress. In 1806.
  • Dies Wide Open: Benjy, though Jacky closes his eyes later.
  • Disguised in Drag: Used by the pirates in the beginning of My Bonny Light Horseman, and also by Jacky. All the time.
    • More so in the earlier books, when she had a more boyish figure.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Used by Clarissa when the girls escape the Bloodhound. Also used on occasion by Jacky when in Saucy Wench mode.
  • Double Standard: Jackie is often crashing headlong into it. Sometimes she tries to play it to her advantage.
  • Driven to Suicide: Elspeth, after going catatonic for revealing that Jacky led the girls against their captors in Book 4, which resulted in Jacky getting punished.
  • Fake-Out Make-Out: Clarissa and Jacky on the Bloodhound, which adds to the general feeling of...
  • Foe Yay
  • Frying Pan of Doom: Jemimah uses what is apparently the world's biggest frying pan to brain El Feo.
  • Genki Girl: Jacky. Amy expresses her dismay at Jacky's tireless enthusiasm more than once.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: Jacky ends up with two- one on her eyebrow and one on the outer edge of her opposite eye.
  • Groin Attack: Marshall Hilaire de Groote's wife shoots him in the crotch when she catches him with Jacky (who was pretending to be a prostitute at the time).
  • Handsome Lech: Randall Trevelyne, Joseph Jared, etc...
  • Hello, Sailor!: Although, characters like this are almost always portrayed as Depraved Homosexuals.
  • Hidden Depths: Clarissa in the fourth book
  • Historical Domain Character: Enough to populate a wiki of their own, including Napoleon, Tecumseh and Sacajawea, the LaFitte brothers, Lord Dundas, the Duke of Clarence, and Cheng Shih. Many other contemporary figures such as Marshal Ney,John Adams, Lord Nelson and the romantic poets are discussed or make cameo appearances without rising to the level of true characters.
  • Historical In-Joke: oodles and boodles worth
  • Honey Trap" Jacky is forced to be one of these by the British government as an alternative to being hanged for piracy. She keeps a stash of opium on hand to avoid being deflowered.
  • Hooker with a Heart of Gold: Mam'selle Claudelle day Bourbon, of the New Orleans day Bourbons
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: Jacky is a little less than five feet as of The Wake Of The Lorelei Lee, and her constant companion Higgins is only described as "large."
  • I Should Write a Book About This: When Jacky tells Amy her story, the opening lines sound exactly like those of the first book. Later on, we find out that Amy has published Jacky's adventures--maybe the very books we are reading.
  • Iron Lady: Mistress Pimm.
  • Large Ham: Jacky, Mike Fink, Captain Laughton. Jacky herself seems to write these roles...
  • Mama's Baby, Papa's Maybe: Almost in Under The Jolly Roger.
  • Married At Sea: Most of the crew and passengers of the Lorelei Lee, including Jacky and Higgins, temporarily.
  • Mistaken for Gay: Jacky and the female crew of the Belle of the Golden West in Mississippi Jack.
  • My Name Is Inigo Montoya: "'Tis me, Arthur McBride, who's killing you. I want you to know on your way to hell that it was me who sent you there, you worthless piece of British crap."
  • Napoleon Bonaparte: is a character and an important part of the plot, the books being set during the Napoleonic wars and all.
  • Not Quite Dead: In Book 6, Jacky's friends watch her get dragged out from their prison cell and guillotined- only it turns out they decapitated a girl who looked like her, instead. They don't find out till much later, though...
  • Official Couples: Jacky & Jaimy, despite her recurring slip-ups; Davy and Annie; Amy and Ezra; Mairead and Ian; and Katy and Lightfoot among others.
  • Out with a Bang: Captain Scroggs has a heart attack and dies before being able to rape Jacky.
  • Panty Shot: Jacky and Poseidon seem to have a... 'special' relationship, much to her embarrassment.
  • Peaceful in Death: Hughie.
  • Pirates: The Dolphin, Jacky's first assignment, is a pirate hunter. Later, Jacky becomes a privateer but is made a wanted criminal because her Letter of Marque was canceled.:
  • Plucky Middie: Jacky epitomizes this trope, even when she doesn't actually hold the rank.
  • Pirate Girl
  • Privateer: The Emerald, during the majority of Under the Jolly Roger.
  • Public Domain Character: Freely mixed with the Historical characters, most notably Mike Fink and the crew of the Pequod.
  • Puritan School Girls Rule: Jackie eventually learns to use "the look" of a Lawson Peabody girl to her advantage.
  • Rich Bitch: Clarissa
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Jacky convinces the crew of the Bloodhound that the ship is haunted.
  • Shout-Out: The Admiral Benbow Inn shows up on occasion.
  • The Social Expert: Jackie gradually becomes an expert at identifying key people and winning their sympathy. Put her aboard any ship, even in chains, and she'll soon have the whole lower decks rooting for her. She also learns when to play the Double Standard to her advantage.
  • Sinister Minister: Reverend Mather
  • Spank the Cutie: In Mississippi Jack, Jaimy gives serious contemplation to bending his errant fiancée over his knee for all the troubles she's caused...
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: …How many times now have Jacky and Jaimy come within hours of getting married, only to have their doorway to wedded bliss shut in their face, usually by Her Majesty's soldiers?
  • Street Urchin: What Jacky starts out as. Ravi, too.
  • Survival Mantra: Ravi's "Happy puppy, happy puppy, happy puppy..."
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: This how Jacky starts her adventures on the high seas.
  • Sweet on Polly Oliver: Jaimy wonders why he is so attracted to Jack Faber and considers leaving the Navy (because he believes himself to be a "sodomite"), until said Jack Faber reveals herself to be a girl.
  • A Taste of the Lash: Jacky, in book 4 and Jaimy in book 8.
  • Uncle Tomfoolery: "Jerome", until he turns out to be a slaver. His antics were to fool the girls into thinking he was harmless.
  • Virgin Power: Despite it all, Jackie has managed to retain her virginity, which proves an effective defense against those who try to cast aspersions against her character, particularly Flashby.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Elspeth, at first.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: Higgins used this to explain to Jacky why Singapore changed hands so many times, as opposed to anyone actually governing it for an extended period.
  • Wooden Ships and Iron Men: and one girl of pure brass!
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Luckily, that character disappeared quickly.