Kirkus Reviews QR Code
THE ROGUES by Jane Yolen


by Jane Yolen & Robert J. Harris

Age Range: 11 - 13

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-399-23898-7
Publisher: Philomel

Yolen and Harris conclude their planned quartet of Scottish novels with this tale of the 18th-century Highland Clearances. When the Macallans are suddenly harried off their rented farmstead by their new Laird’s cruel factor to make way for herds of English sheep, teenaged Roddy sneaks back to the burned-out croft in search of a brooch given to the family generations ago by Bonnie Prince Charlie. Just as he finds it, the Laird happens by, seizes the treasure and orders Roddy’s murder—but along comes bootlegger and ex-soldier Alan Dunbar to the rescue. With the help of the old Laird’s canny daughter Josie, they contrive to steal the brooch back—killing the factor in the process and setting off a breathless chase over the rugged hills. As in some of the previous volumes, the plot relies heavily on coincidences, and the characters (some of whom are tenuously based on historical figures) often come across as mouthpieces to explain the historical situation or rail at the unjustness of it all. Still, the authors weave strong feelings and a clear sense of setting into a story that gains momentum as it progresses and also ends happily. A good finish to the quartet, with echoes of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped to savor. (Fiction. 11-13)