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Reader Reviews

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The Ransom of Dond
by Siobhan Dowd

Author: Siobhan Dowd
RRP: £5.99

The number thirteen is said to be unlucky for some. It is definitely unlucky for Darra, the thirteenth child born to her mother and so fated to be sacrificed on her thirteenth birthday to earn her community thirteen years of good fortune. We join her on the eve before this milestone birthday, living apart from her family under the care of Cail, the village elder, in remote Inniscaul. How can she come to terms with her destiny? And can she ever escape it?


This is an eerie and magical story that has all the qualities of a folk tale handed down through the generations. It takes you to an atmospheric mystical world, where animals can transform and nothing is as it seems. The whimsical and windswept illustrations by Pam Smy really help in giving the book a dreamlike quality. A short but satisfying read for imaginative thinkers aged 11 years and over.

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Lisa Adlam (Young Writers Editor)