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Third book in the Montague Sibling series
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THE NOBLEMAN’S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS is a YA adventure tale by Mackenzi Lee and the third installment in her Montague Siblings series. In this book, we meet the young Adrian Montague after his mom passed away. He’s very concerned about his mental state, which he inherited from her, and when he comes into possession of her spyglass, an object she obsessed over, he becomes convinced her death was more than an accident, and if he wants to save himself from the same fate, he must figure out what actually happened to her. His search takes him all over the world and in the process, he finds his two older siblings he never knew he had.

While two other books precede Adrian’s saga, this novel can also be read as a standalone, which is how I read it. Of course, there are probably some elements I would’ve appreciated more had I known the backstory, but in terms of comprehension, I was able to follow everything that happens as the author sets up each book to feature a different sibling. That being said, for me, Adrian’s story gets off to a slow start, which is partly because I had to adjust to the worldbuilding. It’s very anachronistic to the time, which threw me off, but once I was able to accept that it was intentional, I was able to move past that. Initially, it also didn’t make sense to me that no one in the Montague’s family circle ever mentioned Adrian’s lost siblings, but perhaps that’s covered in the earlier books.

Another element that made it harder for me to get into was reading about Adrian’s anxious thoughts. As someone who also has anxiety, I often find reading about it can be very difficult, so I would just flag that as a potential trigger warning. That being said, once I got past the first one hundred and fifty pages, the book took off. When they get to Rabat, the story takes a big turn and becomes dangerous, daring, and fun à la Pirates of the Caribbean. I loved getting to visit places I’ve never been to, meeting all of the different characters, and traveling aboard the Eleftheria. My favorite, though, was witnessing the sibling dynamics as they unfolded and shifted. Henry’s journey to outwardly accepting his brother was the most rewarding, and he was probably my favorite character—so I’m looking forward to reading his and Felicity’s books as well.

Overall, THE NOBLEMAN’S GUIDE TO SCANDAL AND SHIPWRECKS will take you both on a literal and spiritual journey, complete with swashbuckling pirates, British aristocracy, and the legend of the Flying Dutchman. It’s the perfect read if you want some escapism with a lot of heart.
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