Kidnapped (David Balfour #1) – Robert Louis Stevenson

Kidnapped is a young adult adventure story. The protagonist, the young David Balfour, having become an orphan, takes on a journey to find his uncle seeking support and fortune. Little does he know of the adventure that he is to embark on, upon meeting his uncle.

David is a likable hero. Throughout his adventurous journey, David’s courage, strength, and loyalty are tested, from which he emerges as a true winner. The supporting characters are chosen to suit the tone and pace of the story. Many, including the principal contributing character, David’s Jacobite friend Alan Breck Stewart are real people which made the story interesting and all the more real.

David’s adventurous journey takes the reader through the picturesque Scottish highlands acquainting the reader with its geography and a little of the culture of highlanders. The historical backdrop to the story is the aftermath of the Jacobite rising, where Jacobites were hunted, the Highland clans who supported the Jacobite movement were scattered – their powers surrendered, pride bruised, chiefs in exile. It is easy to comprehend that Stevenson was a sympathizer.

The story is well written with a mixture of English and Scottish Lowland dialog. And there was more warmth and feeling in the writing which was a pleasant contrast to the distant and detached writing I have so far observed in other Stevenson works.

Overall, coupled with true historical facts, picturesque highland setting, and beautiful writing, Kidnapped is a great adventure story. I enjoyed it very much. But young David’s story does not end here. I would certainly read the sequel to learn the rest of his story.

Rating: 4/5

About the author

Piyangie Jay Ediriwickrema is an Attorney-at-Law by profession. Her devotion to literature has taken shape in reading and reviewing books of various genres set in different periods of time. She dabs at a little poetry and fiction of her own and hopes to share her work with the readers in the future.

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