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young adult book reviews & more

Raiders’ Ransom by Emily Diamand

Raiders' RansomAt first glance, Lilly Melkun appears an ordinary girl from an ordinary fishing village in the Last Ten Counties of England. But her spunk and trusty seacat set her apart as someone special. When Lilly’s village is attacked by raiders and the prime minister’s daughter is kidnapped, Lilly takes it upon herself to save the poor girl. She feels it’s the least she can do to help since the prime minister blames her village for the disappearance of his daughter and has forced all able bodied men and boys into his militia as punishment, including Lilly’s friend Andy. With little left for her at home, Lilly disguises herself as a boy and sets off sailing—but not before “borrowing” a beautiful jewel that happens to talk as a ransom for the prime minister’s daughter. But Lilly’s heroic act turns out to be more difficult and dangerous than she anticipated. War between the English and the raiders is brewing among other plots, and Lilly finds that she may have to rely on a sticky and surprising friendship with a young raider boy if she’s to survive.

Raiders’ Ransom is a story that spirits readers away to the hypothetical future of the 23rd century where much of England has been reclaimed by rising water levels. Three imaginative nations that exist on the remaining solid ground with very different lifestyles make for a fantastic backdrop for this unique story. I’m not usually one to go gaga over the classics, but I felt this novel was a synergy of cherished old childhood adventure stories, present day cultural differences, and future possibilities for the state of the world. There’s something so endearing about this story with its tricky marauders, cats who seem to like water, and the strangeness of a society largely without technology. The characters as well are wonderfully developed and realistic within their situations. Everything about Raiders’ Ransom sets it up to be a tale all readers will love, and Diamand does not disappoint. This futuristic fantasy tale is a creative and thrilling adventure after every reader’s heart.

This jewel of a story will appeal to those nostalgic for Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens as well as fans of Sovay by Celia Rees and The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. I eagerly look forward to a sequel for Raiders’ Ransom from this skilled new writer.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from publisher Scholastic

3 munch(es) :

Kelsey said...

Great review! I've heard awesome things about this book, I definitely want to get a copy.

:)

Heather Zundel said...

I think it is your last paragraph that snagged me. I'll be looking out for this one.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I enjoyed this book a lot.

I really can't wait for the sequel.

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