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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Bond loses his innocence
With By Royal Command Charlie Higson brings the Young Bond series in for a picture perfect landing, touching down cleanly and evenly on every aspect of James Bond's past and future life. Within its own universe, By Royal Command is the equivalent of 2006's Casino Royale or this year's The Dark Knight -- a surprisingly profound, introspective, and ultimately tragic chapter...
Published on 5 Sept. 2008 by John Cox

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying end to a surprisingly good series
So we come to a close to the 'young bond' series, which i have to admit was far better than i expected it to be. Praise to Charlie Higson for handling the task emmensly well and for creating a very entertaining series. 'By Royal Command' is the final book in the series and this is the fifth time James Bond, a fourteen year old kid, has managed to get in to some mad far...
Published on 9 Oct. 2008 by Mr. D. J. Sutton


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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Young Bond loses his innocence, 5 Sept. 2008
By 
John Cox (Studio City, CA) - See all my reviews
With By Royal Command Charlie Higson brings the Young Bond series in for a picture perfect landing, touching down cleanly and evenly on every aspect of James Bond's past and future life. Within its own universe, By Royal Command is the equivalent of 2006's Casino Royale or this year's The Dark Knight -- a surprisingly profound, introspective, and ultimately tragic chapter that takes a leap in quality and maturity from all that has come before. At the same time, By Royal Command is a kinder and gentler Young Bond novel that doesn't have nearly the level of gruesome violence that has become a hallmark of the series, and even contains a love story! It's a surprising book in many ways. Of course, all the Young Bond books have been individualistic and, in their own ways, surprises, so By Royal Command fits perfectly into a series that has never repeated itself.

Structurally, By Royal Command is somewhat similar to Devil May Care (the celebrated Centenary adult Bond novel by Sebastian Faulks), particularly in its post-caper third act flight. But By Royal Command has an emotional depth that the adult Bond adventure didn't. There is a real sadness that permeates By Royal Command, a steady drip drip drip of Bond's innocence, of which Bond is all too aware. After the bloody events of the past four books, especially the relentless Hurricane Gold, this James Bond wants nothing more than to live a normal schoolboy's life. He's a 14-year-old with post traumatic stress. But Bond discovers he is fated to be a magnet for danger and death, and his reserves of stamina and strength in such situations have not gone unnoticed by leaders who soon need young men with such reserves. Not only does Bond lose what remained of his innocence in By Royal Command, it's made clear to him that the world will soon lose what remains of its innocence as well. The specter of World War II and the Cold War looms large over this novel and, in the end, Bond is resigned that his will never be a normal life. In time, he will become a number.

So where does By Royal Command stand among the other Young Bonds? For me, it's clearly the best -- which qualifies it as one of the very best James Bond continuation novels, period. For fans who still refuse to read the series based on the concept alone, it'll be hard to justify why they won't at least read By Royal Command, as it depicts a key event established by Fleming (the infamous "maid incident") and IS a spy novel. While it's preferable to have a knowledge of what came before (the book touches on all the past Young Bond novels with several returning characters), By Royal Command can still be read as a stand alone.

While there has been talk of more Young Bond adventures at some point in the future, Charlie makes it clear in his acknowledgments that By Royal Command is the end of a five book cycle started in 2005 with SilverFin.

What a spectacular end it was.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The best of the series, Higson really getting better., 18 Feb. 2009
By Royal Command was the final book in the Young Bond series. This is really a shame. Myself not being a particular fan of the series surprisingly, I am sad to see the last of our young soon to be 007. We started off with Young Bond in Silverfin. This was a dissapointing book, though it was not bad it didn't meet the high expectations that I had for it. The second was Blood Fever, which I did not like at all. It was a step back from Silverfin and I was angry at Higson, this is because I believed that he was turning a book series that should be up there with Alex Rider, CHERUB, Jimmy Coates, and Jason Steed as the best teen espionage series. Sadly at that point it was outclassed. Higson did not put the elements into the books that would make it feel quite like a Bond storyline. It lacked excitment, and the writting was very poor. Double or Die showed improvment, but still showed it was not at the point of being compared to the best of young adult teen espionage fiction. Hurricane Gold was a great book, it in my mind was a breakthrough for good old Charlie.

Now to the book I'm suppose to be reviewing. I was scared that he would not keep it up with By Royal Command. I didn't believe he could do it, I thought this because Hurrican Gold resembled Skeleton Key, the third Alex Rider adventure. I heard about the plot and was scared that Charlie may not be able to come out with a book, with mainly his own idea. I am glad to say he proved me wrong. By Royal Command was by far the best of the series. It has all of the elements to make it a Bond adventure. This book had it everything you would expect the girl, the sinister villin, the action, and finally Charlie showed us how Bond was carved into our favorite MI6 agent. Was it a little formulated sure, but isn't that what we all want? This was the perfect formula for a Bond adventre, and it is a shame that Charlie is done with this series. Is it in the same discussion as our other favorite teen spys yes. It never reached the point of the others but, as a long time critic of Higson I have to say on this one good job mate!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for all ages., 8 July 2009
By 
D. Durke "galaxian95" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Bond: By Royal Command (Paperback)
I bought this book for my 13 year old son. He always has been reluctant to read, though he did enjoy this book. He found it very exciting to read and he found it pretty hard to put down. From his prespective, the book starts off pretty boring but gets better after some pages. It also involves a very clever plot and gives you some surprises along the way. Overall, this book is a neccesity to all teen age boys. Credits to Charlie Higson for creating this book aswell as a full series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting book, 1 Mar. 2013
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This review is from: Young Bond: By Royal Command (Paperback)
Gutted in a couple of sleepless nights under the covers by my ten year old son. Well at least he's reading!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Nobody Does It Better, 31 Aug. 2010
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Mr. G. Lawrence (West Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Young Bond: By Royal Command (Paperback)
Anybody who likes thrillers - but not necessarily the modern tendency to fill them with swear words and brutality and serial killers - is not doing themselves a favour by looking the other way at "teen fiction" as "only for kids". Anyone who knows their Fleming Bond is unlikely to imagine that anyone other than Charlie Higson could possibly have done a better or more authentic "Young Bond". The entire series has been a masterwork in its own right as well as a brilliant tribute to its origins, and I would recommend it unreservedly, unless you just have a personal aversion to the concept of a competent 14- or 15-year old hero as "spoiling" your preferred "adult" thrillers. Your loss, I venture to say.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Higson bridges the gap to Casino Royale., 3 Sept. 2008
By 
Mr. S. P. Drake (Farnborough, Hants United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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Having just read By Royal Command in about seven hours, it's clear it's a page turner. Whilst not as lean and thrilling as Double or Die, or as action packed as Hurricane Gold, BRC is a more complex beast but just as good, and a fitting end (sadly) to the Young Bond series (at least for now).
The edges of enemy sides are blurred as Bond discovers people are far greyer than he originally thought. The whole book has the ominous presence of the upcoming war. People are paranoid, violence starts to become a way of life, loyalties are questioned. It's a dangerous time.

The book is very well written, with no easy answers for who's right in war or fighting. Bond is a more angry, conflicted character, very much in the mold of Fleming's novels.

My only minor gripes were some of the characterisations of the villains and henchmen weren't as well developed as some of the previous books. There were some nice links to previous books, but i felt they weren't as explored as much as i'd like (and occasionally smacked of plot contrievence) and a few of the later action set pieces have a slight over familiarity to previous Young Bond books...

But it's still a cracking read, and links the character to the older Bond nicely (unlike say the Star Wars prequels did with Darth Vader).

So another belter from Mr Higson, and given the success of the series, i can only hope to see him follow them up with Bond at Fettes... and then lying about his age to join World War 2 for further adventures.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Action packed, fun with a great twist!, 3 Nov. 2011
This review is from: Young Bond: By Royal Command (Paperback)
it's such an amazing book not least because of its excellent description but also due to the outstanding plot, which I absolutely loved! a high-octane, action-packed finale to the fantastic series of young James Bond with a misleading plot! superb book! a must-read! for all who enjoy Jason steed, alex rider, or any spy stories for about 10-15 years:) read it!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Satisfying end to a surprisingly good series, 9 Oct. 2008
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Mr. D. J. Sutton "reader-review" (reader-review) - See all my reviews
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So we come to a close to the 'young bond' series, which i have to admit was far better than i expected it to be. Praise to Charlie Higson for handling the task emmensly well and for creating a very entertaining series. 'By Royal Command' is the final book in the series and this is the fifth time James Bond, a fourteen year old kid, has managed to get in to some mad far fetched adventure invovlving spies and this time round the prince of whales. So you have to completly abondon any plausability factor and by that i mean it's difficult to beleive that one boy can get mixed up in so many adventures, but still these books are entertaining and if you have read the others the chances are you won't be dissapointed with this. All the right ingrediants are there - the action, the locations, the girls, the allies and of course a larger than life villian, in fact in this story it's difficult to tell who's a friend or an enermy of our hero. There are some nice plot twists, even though the plot does waver in places. Compared to Hurricane Gold there is a lot less action, but there is still ample to keep younger readers fixed. Roan - the love interest is the strongest female friend to appear in the series so far, as her character is given more depth than anyone previously. This makes her the ownly believable thing in the book, but makes for a good love interest for Bond. Considering this is for children i'd have to say Higson over steps the mark on violence throughout the climax. It even made me feel sick let alone a thirteen year old. I wouldn't say that it is the best of the bunch, but it is still a entertaining read and is a satisfying close to a good series. well done Mr Higson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Please Mr Higson, can we have some more?, 14 July 2012
By 
David (London, England) - See all my reviews
A superb finish to this series. During the books we have seen James developing and this open-ending, really cements the character we meet in the Fleming books of old.

I hope sincerely that they make these in to high budget films, faithful to the plots and characters that Charlie Higson has worked so hard to create.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good, but beware!, 19 Sept. 2008
By 
Ok...here it is. Im gonna make this review short and sweet, just like the book. If you have read the previous titles in the Young Bond series, you know what to expect. A great plot, thrilling action scenes and diabolical villains. If you havent, you are in for a pleasant surprise...however I would read the other books in the series before reading this one, as the plot may confuse you. Now, onto the actual book...
This is a fantastic read. It has a complicated plot, unlike Hurricane Gold, and involves SOME thinking. Great fighting sequences, and scenes described so well it is as if you are in the room with the characters themselves. However, the characters themselves are getting a little (see the word LITTLE) repetive. For instance, the flesh crawling villain, the tomboy bond girl, and the sideline allies and enemies. All very well, you may think, all the bond books, young bond books, and countless films all have these as well. BUT this makes the plot slightly predictable. Another reviewer put "Higson bridges the gap to Casino Royale...". "Higson bridges the gap to Alex Rider", more like. MANY simalarites are clear in this series, and the series of Anthony Horowitz. Though not enough to spoil the book, thank God. Worth a buy, especially at Amazons exeptional price! ( I bought this in WH Smith for 12.99!!) Buy it now!
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Young Bond: By Royal  Command
Young Bond: By Royal Command by Charlie Higson (Paperback - 28 May 2009)
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