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‘We need the literature of other countries to expand our
horizons and stimulate our ideas. Without it, we are not only
diminished, we are starved’
(The Times, Magnus Linklater 29/06/05)
Ring of the Slave Prince (The)
by Bjarne Reuter
Age Range: 12+
It is 1639 and a storm is howling around the Caribbean island of Nevis where 14-
year-old Tom O’Connor lives. Tom is determined to set his mother and half sister
free from their life of servitude and every day he goes down to the sea in the hope
that he will find some treasure. When he saves the lives of a shipwrecked
Spaniard, Ramón the Pious, and a slave boy, Boto, who is an African prince,
Ramón promises to give Tom half of the fortune that they will receive when they
return the boy to his father. After Ramón tricks him, disappearing with the slave
prince, Tom sets out on a journey that will change his life forever. As he travels
over land and sea, working as a blacksmith, a slave overseer and a cabin boy, he
experiences many kinds of adventure.
This is a well-developed, thought-provoking novel with a plot full of twists and turns, action and indirect moral questions. Tom has to make a very personal journey as he develops from child to man through the knowledge he acquires – that love and friendship are more valuable than any material fortune.
(Outside In: Children’s Books in Translation, Milet, 2005)