English / Great Britain

The ransom of Dond

Dowd, Siobhan (text)
Smy, Pam (illus.)
Oxford: David Fickling, 2013. – 83 p.
ISBN 978-0-857-56090-2

Island | Gods | Greed | Curse | Deceit | Love | Literary fairy tale

Before her untimely death in 2007, Irish author Siobhan Dowd published four award-winning novels for children. The last story she wrote is a haunting tale of greed, destiny, and the power of love.

Ages ago, Dond, the dark god of the underworld, cursed the tiny island of Inniscaul. He threatened to destroy the whole island unless he was granted a ransom – every child who was the thirteenth child of a family had to be sacrificed at age thirteen. In exchange for this gift , he promised the island people thirteen years of wealth and good fortune. On the night before the ceremony, Darra, destined to die on her thirteenth birthday, meets her older twin brother Bawn and is visited by a mysterious blackbird who takes the children on a journey to reveal some hidden truth.

Illustrator Pam Smy has created atmospheric two-colour drawings in black and blue that bring alive the awe-inspiring island landscape and the peculiar characters of the timeless story. (Age: 10+)