Winner of the inaugural Chicken House/London Times Children's Fiction Competition, which called it "a funny, clever, towering adventure.
"Because of climate change, much of 23rd-century England is underwater. Poor Lilly is out fishing with her trusty first mate, Cat, when greedy raiders pillage the town--and kidnap the Prime Minister's daughter. Her village blamed, Lilly decides to find the girl. Off she sails, in secret. And with a ransom: a mysterious talking jewel. Along the way she forms a wary friendship with Zeph, a punky raider boy. "If I save the Prime Minister's daughter," Lilly reasons, "he's sure to reward me." Little does Lilly know that it will take more than grit to outwit the tricky, treacherous piratical tribes!