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Ransom for a Knight: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

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To Alys de Renneville alone did the stranger knight give the message that her father and brother were being held prisoner by the Scots. Because no one else would believe the story, Alys set off secretly, accompanied by Hugh, a servant, to travel the length of England on horseback, carrying the bag of jewels which would serve as ransom.  An absorbing story of adventure and To Alys de Renneville alone did the stranger knight give the message that her father and brother were being held prisoner by the Scots. Because no one else would believe the story, Alys set off secretly, accompanied by Hugh, a servant, to travel the length of England on horseback, carrying the bag of jewels which would serve as ransom.  An absorbing story of adventure and hardships, set against the background of medieval England, brilliantly evoking the way of life in a country manor, city dwelling, convent, and meanest hovel.  With this her first historic novel, Barbara Leonie Picard proves herself a writer of distinction in this field. She has already gained a notable reputation as an author of original fairy stories and for her retelling of traditional tales.  “...a fine, authentic, historical tale, valuable for its picture of medieval times.” New York Herald Tribune. 


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To Alys de Renneville alone did the stranger knight give the message that her father and brother were being held prisoner by the Scots. Because no one else would believe the story, Alys set off secretly, accompanied by Hugh, a servant, to travel the length of England on horseback, carrying the bag of jewels which would serve as ransom.  An absorbing story of adventure and To Alys de Renneville alone did the stranger knight give the message that her father and brother were being held prisoner by the Scots. Because no one else would believe the story, Alys set off secretly, accompanied by Hugh, a servant, to travel the length of England on horseback, carrying the bag of jewels which would serve as ransom.  An absorbing story of adventure and hardships, set against the background of medieval England, brilliantly evoking the way of life in a country manor, city dwelling, convent, and meanest hovel.  With this her first historic novel, Barbara Leonie Picard proves herself a writer of distinction in this field. She has already gained a notable reputation as an author of original fairy stories and for her retelling of traditional tales.  “...a fine, authentic, historical tale, valuable for its picture of medieval times.” New York Herald Tribune. 

30 review for Ransom for a Knight: Illustrated Historical Fiction for Teens

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sophie

    Completely charming children's story about 10 year-old Alys de Renneville who travels from Sussex to Scotland with her friend Hugh to ransom her father and brother who were captured during the Battle of Bannockburn in the fourteenth century. Completely charming children's story about 10 year-old Alys de Renneville who travels from Sussex to Scotland with her friend Hugh to ransom her father and brother who were captured during the Battle of Bannockburn in the fourteenth century.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Bruce

    My sister gave me this for my family's jólabókaflóð this past Christmas. It's a typical children's journey tale in many ways, but I was attracted to it because it is filled with historical details from the early fourteenth century—a period that has long been interesting to me—and because the route is similar to a trip I took last summer. The story describes how young Alys de Renneville travels to Scotland with her servant Hugh to ransom her father, an English knight who was captured at the B My sister gave me this for my family's jólabókaflóð this past Christmas. It's a typical children's journey tale in many ways, but I was attracted to it because it is filled with historical details from the early fourteenth century—a period that has long been interesting to me—and because the route is similar to a trip I took last summer. The story describes how young Alys de Renneville travels to Scotland with her servant Hugh to ransom her father, an English knight who was captured at the Battle of Bannockburn. Picard rather convincingly portrays the hardships that two children traveling alone would encounter on their long journey north, though one imagines that the dangers would have been even more severe. Some episodes in the plot are more appealing than others; the story of a embittered but helpful witch was particularly interesting.

  3. 4 out of 5

    John

    If i were to rate this by how much i enjoyed it, then it would have been given 2 stars. However, it was written for teen readers. For them , it was very good in that it tricked them into learning a bit of history while reading an easy engaging novel.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Adrienne

    My favorite book from my childhood reading. Strong and adventurous young heroine read in the 1960s when such books were not commonplace. Loved it.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Emma Brown

    I have a weakness for medieval-setting stories, so I picked out this book to read without looking between the covers. If I had peered inside for a sample before committing to reading it, I never would have finished the book. The writing was too simple to interest me (and Picard has a horrible grasp of the purpose of semicolons), and I quickly realized that this book was devised as a manner of relating historical facts. Don't get me wrong — I love historical fiction. I just prefer to read the type I have a weakness for medieval-setting stories, so I picked out this book to read without looking between the covers. If I had peered inside for a sample before committing to reading it, I never would have finished the book. The writing was too simple to interest me (and Picard has a horrible grasp of the purpose of semicolons), and I quickly realized that this book was devised as a manner of relating historical facts. Don't get me wrong — I love historical fiction. I just prefer to read the type of historical fiction that feels as if it transports me back in time rather than the type that sounds like a chapter of a history book trying to play dress-up as an adventure novel. Ten-year-old Alys de Renneville plays tour guide to the audience: Thanks to a knight suffering from a case of coincidental amnesia telling Alys alone that her father and older brother are alive, she sets off to save her family from the Scots who captured them at the battle of Bannockburn, accompanied on her journey only by her brother’s best friend, the slow and loyal Hugh (who is no more than a fourteen-year-old serf). They face many an adventure, all perfectly snipped into simple chapters with ready-made solutions to free them from every difficulty before they get into too much trouble. Each chapter seems to have had its purpose in revealing some aspect, geographical or cultural, about England in the 1300s. For children who learn best by reading a story filled with facts, this book will certainly be useful as well as entertaining (and, to some, endearing), but it's too centered on depicting the mode of life to actually focus on the characters or even on the made-up parts of the tale. In this book's defense, however, I will approvingly declare that it is free of romance: Alys was given no love interest, not even for a passing moment, and Hugh was interested only in protecting his best friend's little sister and achieving the rescue of the two hostages. Whatever people want to surmise about the children's hearts, they will have to invent for themselves, and that gave me no small degree of relief upon concluding the book — relief that I needed, because the end is sickeningly, sappily sweet.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Batool

    So nice, just so good!!!! At times I felt as if Alys an Hugh were in-love!!

  7. 5 out of 5

    Paul Dry Books

  8. 5 out of 5

    Marie Swanson

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara A

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sue Bridgwater

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mimdala

  12. 4 out of 5

    Violet Arenburg

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sue

  14. 4 out of 5

    Swandaughter

  15. 5 out of 5

    Christine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Richard Wise

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chelsea Scott

  18. 5 out of 5

    Laurie Schnebly

  19. 4 out of 5

    Car01ynne

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Bowman

  21. 4 out of 5

    Libby Shepherd

  22. 5 out of 5

    monica

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kerrie Hollihan

  24. 5 out of 5

    Emily

  25. 4 out of 5

    Helena

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tim

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara

  28. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kerilyn

  30. 4 out of 5

    Sue Law

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