Raiders Ransom by Emily Diamand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
23rd-Century England is much different from the England we know today; much of the land has been flooded, Scotland’s lands have been extended, and technology is something no one knows about anymore. Raiders looking for more wealth and power come to Lilly’s village and kidnap the Prime Minister’s daughter Lexy as a ransom. When the Prime Minister learns this, he blames the people of the village; he rounds up all able-bodied men to fight for him, leaving the young and old men in prison. Lilly thinks she could get Lexy back by trading a “jewel” Lexy’s aunt has for Lexy’s freedom. With no one else in her village able to go, Lilly and her cat sneak off after the raiders with the jewel.
While Lilly heads in the direction to where she thinks Lexy might be held, she meets a boy named Zeph. Lilly (who’s dressed like a boy) tricks Zeph into helping her into raider territory after she learns that he is the raider boss’s son, and along the way they become friends. Unfortunately for Lilly, Zeph isn’t as naive as she thinks, as Zeph knows about her tricks. He has some tough decisions to make about his loyalty to his father and to his new tricky friend.
This story is told in the alternating points of view of Lilly and Zeph, so readers get to see through both the eyes of a poor fishergirl and the son of a well-to-do raider boss. It’s fascinating to think that humanity could regress so far after a devastating environmental attack; Lilly and Zeph’s descriptions of how they live without any technology remind me of how people of today think of people living hundreds of years ago. There is also a hint of a sequel coming. For a similar read, try The Faerie Door by Bruce Maxwell.
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