Synopses & Reviews
Winner of the inaugural Chicken House/London Times Children's Fiction Competition, which called it "a funny, clever, towering adventure."
It's the 22nd century and, because of climate change, much of England is underwater. Poor Lilly is out fishing with her trusty sea-cat when greedy raiders pillage the town--and kidnap the prime minister's daughter. Her village blamed, Lilly decides to find the girl. Off she sails, in secret. And with a ransom: a mysterious talking jewel. "If I save his daughter," Lilly reasons, "the prime minister's sure to reward me." Little does Lilly know that it will take more than grit to outwit the tricky, treacherous piratical tribes!
"This watery and watertight adventure, winner of the Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition in the U.K., takes place in the 23rd century after 'the Collapse,' which survivors interpret as 'punishment for the greed of the olden times.' Inhabitants of villages, the waterlogged city of 'Lunden,' and marshes controlled by raiders survive by fishing or by searching ancient landfills for 'stuff the olden-times folks thought was rubbish.' Two 13-year-old protagonists, Lilly, a fisher, and Zeph, a raider, narrate. After raiders attack Lilly's fishing village and kidnap Lexy, the prime minister's daughter, Lilly seeks to prevent war by disguising herself as a boy and attempting to offer a jewel for Lexy's ransom. Her plans go awry when her DNA activates the jewel, which is actually a computer that awakens with entertaining peevishness: 'Am I safe? Is someone going to smash me?' When Lilly and Zeph meet, an unlikely friendship develops due to their shared moral compass (both question their elders' supposed wisdom). Good-hearted, engaging protagonists, dramatic sea battles, a solid sense of humor, and a novel blend of medieval and futuristic technologies distinguish this notable debut. Ages 8 12." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
EMILY DIAMAND is a lifelong environmental activist, and her concern for the earth greatly influenced the story of RAIDERS' RANSOM, her debut novel and the winner of the inaugural London Times/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition. She lives with her husband and son in Yorkshire, England.