Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Raiders' Ransom

Raiders' Ransom

Emily Diamand
Fiction  Series
For ages 10 and up
Scholastic, 2009   ISBN: 0545142970

Lilly lives in a small fishing village on the coast of England with her grandmother, Granny, and Cat, the seacat who chose Lilly to be his person. One day Cat and Lilly come home from a fishing trip and they find out that raiders have been in the village. The raiders were apparently seeking a seacat that they had heard about, and while they looked for the cat they hit Granny and killed her.

As if this isn’t bad enough, Prime Minister Randall turns up at the village soon after the raid, and when he finds out that his little daughter was kidnapped by the raiders he gets enraged. To punish the people of the village the Prime Minster imprisons or press gangs the men and boys. Lilly’s special friend Andy is marched away to fight for the Prime Minister – very much against his will.

Determined to save Andy and the others, Lilly steals a precious jewel, which she hopes she can use to ransom back the Prime Minister’s daughter. Then she sails off to London, the mostly drowned city with its streets of mud and its dangers. Surely in the city she will find someone who will be able to help her get back the President’s little child.

This is the first book in what promises to be a very exciting and original new series. The story is set in England in the twenty-second century, a time when global warming has caused widespread flooding and catastrophes. Readers will be intrigued to see how the survivors of “the collapse” manage to survive in different ways. The author switches her narrative between Lily and Zeph, the son of a raider Boss, and the resulting story is utterly compelling.