- Hardcover: 224 pages
- Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; First Edition, First Impression edition (2 Dec. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 000713777X
- ISBN-13: 978-0007137770
- Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 2.6 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,692,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Dungeon Hardcover – 2 Dec 2002
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More About the Author
From the Back Cover
The setting is medieval Scotland, a land dominated by skirmishes and battles on the borders, a land of fortresses and castles in Scotland, England and Wales. We meet Bruce McLennan, a Scottish laird, a man sorely-changed by a terrible family tragedy. He is a domineering master, an uncaring landlord, a cruel man, who has his heart set on building himself a castle and a Dungeon in which to punish his enemies in the future. But while the dungeon is being built, McLennan plans a trip to the far ends of the earth.
As we follow McLennan on his travels to China and beyond, we witness his buying of Peony, or Mudan, as her Chinese name is, a young girl who McLennan uses as a slave. He is uncaring, unsympathetic, as he drags her after him across the world. Gradually, knowing no other, Peony develops a kind of affection for her master.
In Scotland, Peony meets Fin, a stable lad and a loving friendship develops between them. McLennan, busy fighting off enemies, uses Peony in an horrific scene in one of his battles; he looses badly and subsequently blames her. He decides to punish her by throwing her in his dungeon… then unfolds a ghastly scene where Peony kills herself, at last in control of her own destiny. McLennan dies of guilt, shame and remorse. Fin lives on, and even Peony, perhaps, in his new baby sister.
About the Author
Lynne Reid Banks became famous in 1962 with the publication of her young adult novel, The L-Shaped Room. Since then she has written numerous books for children published by Penguin and Collins.
Top Customer Reviews
Hatred and a deisre for revenge drive McLennan off on a wild journey across to the other side of the world, following the Silk Road to China, whilst his tenants carry out his orders to build a strong and impressive castle fortress, with a terrifying dungeon for captives.
China is a dangerous place and this immediately appeals to the reckless McLennan. Ruled by the warring Mongols, skirmishes are a daily occurence. McLennan falls in with a band of private army soldiers and becomes renowned for his prowess on the battlefield. Along the way he buys himself a very young slave girl, Peony, to make and pour his tea and attend to his wounds and other needs. When he sees she has trouble walking and his comrades explain to him the practice of binding the feet of some girls to stunt their growth and make them attractive as ornaments to men, McLennan's heart is perhaps softened a notch or two... but this is something he hates to acknowledge even to himself. He also hates that something about her reminds him of what he has lost and cannot regain...
Peony proves pivotal to McLennan as he travels with the band of soldiers, and he decides to take his slave girl with him on the perilous journey back to Scotland. He begins to think of her as his lucky talisman, but when a bloody battle doesn't quite go according to plan his cruelty takes a new twist.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If ever I'm fortunate enough to be father to a little girl, I'll read this book with her when she's old enough. May I never be like that poor, foolish man! May I never forget that I love my child!
PS - being Chinese myself, I was emotionally attached to Small Eye's adventure throughout the entire story. She'll make you cry, seriously (or at least tear up a little).
I enjoy the Scottish speaking and the era in which this story was written in.
I highly recommend to anyone that likes reading about love, loss and hardship.