Raiders tide by Maggie Prince

by

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Set in the north of England in the late 16th century, against a backdrop of invasion from the Scottish enemy, Raider’s tide is a story of violence, love, treason and duty.  Told in the first person by Beatrice, a 16-year-old girl who lives in an English border community, the reader comes to terms with life during the reign of Queen Elizabeth.  For Beatrice and for her community, life is dangerous.  Annual raids by the Scots have meant that they must keep a constant watch, live in fortified housing or risk losing everything.   It is during the latest raid that Beatrice injures a young Scot, who has climbed the extremities of her family’s tower fort.  Although he escapes, she later discovers him nearby, near death.  To help him would be treason, to leave him to die would be cruel.  And so Beatrice makes a decision that will endanger her life and those of her family. 

 In the time it takes Robert’s wounds to heal, Beatrice falls in love with him – the sworn enemy.  But will she agree to Robert’s plan to escape to Scotland together, or will she refuse him and stay in England and face the violent wrath of her drunken highway robber father?  

 To read Raider’s tide is to be immersed in Elizabethan England.  The detail of the book is evident and obviously well researched.   The reader receives an in-depth lesson in 16th century life, while all the while being absorbed in Beatrice’s struggle.  The language should be accessible to students as it is modern without losing the feel for the period in which the story is set.  There are a only a few terms with which students may not be familiar but perhaps a brief glossary would have been beneficial.

 The cover is very attractive and the presentation of the novel adds to its historical feel.  Raider’s tide is a most enjoyable and enlightening book.  I can’t think of a better way to learn about such an interesting era in history.  A real page-turner!

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