THE RING OF THE SLAVE PRINCE by Bjarne Reuter

THE RING OF THE SLAVE PRINCE

by & translated by
Age Range: 14 & up
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KIRKUS REVIEW

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 Ramón, and a young captive whom Ramón 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)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-525-47146-4
Page count: 376pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2003




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