THE BLOOD STONE by Jamila Gavin


Age Range: 12 - 15
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Rich prose punctuated by changes of tense and person create a dreamlike atmosphere for this tale of a lad who travels from Renaissance Venice to the India of Shah Jahan to ransom his errant father. The news that Geronimo Veroneo is still alive, though captive, after 12 years away, comes just in time, for his loving wife and children are beset by a ruthless merchant out to take over the family business. Off hies youngest son Filippo, bearing a huge diamond—surgically embedded into his scalp for safekeeping!—for the demanded ransom and accompanied or pursued by several men of uncertain intent. Along the way Filippo discovers that the diamond gives him a visionary Third Eye, allowing him to follow not only the battles of his family back home and the struggles of his seagoing best friend Andrea to survive pirates and other hazards, but to see futures for many of the people he meets. The story unravels toward the end, as Geronimo is rescued but anticlimactically dies on the way back, and Andrea suddenly disappears—but Filippo’s journey takes him over seas and deserts, from filthy dungeons to the glorious Taj Mahal, and the plot’s multiple strands introduce a faintly Dickensian flavor that may absorb readers. (Fantasy. 12-15)

Pub Date: Nov. 10th, 2005
ISBN: 0-374-30846-2
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1st, 2005


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