The Ring of the Slave Prince

The Ring of the Slave Prince

3.9 (414 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

From one of Denmark's foremost writers, here is his most impressive book to date-a roguishly fantastic adventure story of piracy, slave owners, witch burning, shipwrecks, desert islands, and larger-than-life characters-the largest of which is fourteen-year-old Tom O'Connor, a poor, adventurous, charming liar who lives with his mother and half sister at a tavern on the island of Nevis in 1639. Good and evil, truth and lies, right and wrong tug at this unlikely hero when he rescues a slave from drowning, learns he is prince, loses him, travels the Southern Hemisphere in search of him, and finally brings him home to Cape Verde, hoping for a grand reward. But by the time Tom discovers that the prince is really a fisherman's son, the loss of reward doesn't matter-his adventures have brought him no use for greed, and as he says, "a reckless regard for other people's life and well-being." Translated from Danish by Tiina Nunnally.show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Hardback | 372 pages
  • 163.1 x 234.7 x 30mm | 530.71g
  • Penguin Putnam Inc
  • E P Dutton & Co Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0525471464
  • 9780525471462

Review Text

An ambitious 18th-century bildungsroman, set largely among slaves and pirates in the Caribbean, but still unlikely to carry many child readers through to the end. Certain that his fortune is made after he rescues two survivors of a slave ship's wreck-glib Ram-n, and a young captive whom Ram-n claims to be the easily ransomed son of a Cape Verdean king-Tom O'Connor leaves his poor but familiar life behind when the two suddenly disappear. His pursuit takes him to both sides of the Atlantic, from the stews of Port Royal to the horrors of a sugar plantation, through encounters with pirates, a hurricane, and changes of fortune both numerous and breathtakingly rapid. A yarnspinner extraordinaire, innocent but not above the occasional murder, Tom makes a memorable protagonist-but the author's (or translator's) wry, slightly detached tone leaves his reactions and inner changes largely between the lines, perceptible only to more sensitive, experienced readers. And though rich in complex, love-hate friendships, plus unexpected shafts of humor that illuminate many darker moments, the tale's wearisome length and episodic structure-not to mention abrupt changes of tense and odd, third-person dialogue-make this less a robust, involving story than a "literary experience." (Fiction. YA) (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

414 ratings
3.9 out of 5 stars
5 29% (122)
4 39% (160)
3 26% (108)
2 5% (19)
1 1% (5)
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