The Ransom of Dond by Siobhan Dowd Review

Reviewed by Karen Curson

My 8 year old daughter loves reading, and so when she heard there was a book for her age range to review, she was excited to read it. It was also exciting as this book was set in Ireland, where her family are from.

This book is for ages 9 years and above and is in hard back. The front cover is a lovely colour with simple illustration. The writing inside is a nice size to read with more pretty illustrations.

I decided to let Niamh read the book first so that I couldn’t influence her review. She went to bed that night and read it all. In the morning I asked her about the story. Some of the themes in the book made her feel a bit sad and she thought that I should read it too. The next evening, this is exactly what I did.

I found the writing itself was suitable for the age, however the concept of the book was quite deep for a child. The story is set in a village where there is a curse put on the thirteenth child of a family. When that child turns 13, they must give themselves up as a human sacrifice to appease a dark God. Our daughter struggled with the concept of somebody essentially committing suicide. The story did have a bitter-sweet ending, but again, I think at 9 years old, a child generally believes stories have happy endings. However, my 34 year old husband and I found it a powerful, thought provoking read as parents, bordering on a parable/fable.

This was the final book written by Siobhan Dowd before she lost her battle with cancer.  We do wonder whether this may have had some impact on the theme of the book, however, having not read any of her other material, we cannot comment for certain.

Marks out of 5, my daughter gives it a 3, we give it a 4½.

Rating: 4.5/5

RRP: £7.99 (Paperback) / £3.99 (Kindle)

Available to buy from Amazon here.

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