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4.5 out of 5 stars32
4.5 out of 5 stars
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on 22 September 2007
I really enjoyed this book, and since I bought it about six months ago I've read it about four times. I would also recommend the sequels: "Cat Amoung the Pigeons", "Den of Thieves", "Cat O'Nine Tails" and "Black Heart of Jamaica" (even though Black Heart of Jamaica isn't even out yet - they're really that good).
Cat lives in the theatre. She is like everyone's mascot, she knows everyone, every inch of the theatre, nothing goes on without her finding out. You will not survive in Drury Lane if Cat doesn't take a shine to you. And she's only thirteen!
The book starts with a new member of the Drury Lane family being introduced. A former slave, Pedro is the conductor's apprentice, first class vionlinist, and as you find out in the later books a brilliant actor too. After an accident with one of the props Cat ends up dangling from the platforms above the stage. Pedro saves her life but then runs off, Cat rushes to find him (under threat of a beating) and the gang rivalry is introdued.
Showing alot of teenage confusions, thrilling action, qwerky jokes, and something alot of people can relate to in some way or other: rivalry - beit chavs and emos at school, rival schools, or rival gangs as in the book.
Set out like the Acts and Scenes of a play this book is utterly unputdownable. There should be much more books like this. Julia Golding is an artist and you have my word whether you're buying it for yourself or someone else you/they will love it!
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on 3 November 2007
I was intrigued by the cover and the unusual blurb and so bought this book knowing nothing about the author, but was so pleasantly surprised. I am well above the target age range for this book, but was thoroughly gripped by the plot, the characters and the engaging atmosphere of eighteenth century theatreland. As an English teacher I read lots of children's books and I am usually disappointed by either plot, characters or the quality of the writing. I was not disappointed by any aspects of this book. I think this is a well researched, beautifully written, witty, clever, atmospheric book. Most importantly though; this book's a real page-turner.
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on 19 February 2012
this book is defenatly one of my favourites and the series is spectacular. i first got this book in waterstones as me and my family were about to go to london to watch oliver in drury lane theatre. my mum was actully the one who found this book for me and at first i wasn't intrested but when i started reading i was completely hooked. i alsokept getting told off for being late for school when i couldn't put the book down. The story is full of likable characters and i fell in love with the story. I've now read the the book about 10 times and am still not bored of it. I would defanatly recomend this book to any age above 8. Julia Golding is now my favourite author!

p.s i read the book when i was about 7 and still love it.
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on 21 February 2008
A brilliant read. I was quickly drawn into the story and had to force myself to put it down!Cat finds herself always in sticky situations, but manages to get out of them, one way or another. There is a great plot and I would highly recommend this book for boys and girls (11+).
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on 19 February 2013
The Diamond of Drury Lane follows Cat, a young girl growing up in the 1790s. Cat is fortunate as she tells us, she was left on the step of Drury Lane Theatre as a baby and Mr Sheridan took her in. While she has no idea of her heritage she has a home and fascinating one at that.

Unlike many of her peers Cat can read and write, taught to her by the previous prompt at Drury Lane. She is also street smart and knows how to handle herself when left on her own.

The story starts with a riot at the theatre because of a really bad play. That night Cat overhears Mr Sheridan talk about the Diamond of Drury Lane. When she's discovered hiding behind a curtain Mr Sheridan tasks her with protecting the diamond.

This book is beautifully written, exciting and full of interesting historical information and characters. It's also very funny, Cat's narration is excellent and vivid. Despite the adventure Julia Golding has not ignored the darker side to Cat's world which I think is great.

An excellent introduction to such a special girl, I'm really looking forward to reading Cat's next adventure.
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on 20 January 2014
I recently read this book for a school reading challenge. I searched this book up on Wikipedia, unfortunately, which ruined the surprise. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and it was a joy to find out that there are seven books in this particular series and I cannot wait to read the next book as I really would like to see what happens to Cat and her numerous friends. I would recommend this series to anybody who enjoys the theatre and a thrilling adventure, or several adventures, I assure you personally that you will feel the same way I do and will want to read the next book the very second I finish this book.

Yours Sincerely


p.s. I suggest when you reach the end of the story you continue to read the epilogue, glossary, and the beginning of the next book which is as thrilling in the first five pages as almost a whole book (this is situated at the very back of the book).

Best Wishes and Enjoy Reading
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on 15 March 2014
I am an avid Julia Golding fan, and a particular admirer of Cat Royal. I've read all the Cat books and she is my heroine. However, my favourite always must be The Diamond.
I pick a musty, dirty copy off the shelf in the library, thumbed through by hundreds. A girl wearing a mask on the cover. I am drawn to her. Turning the book over, I read the blurb, then decide, and check the book out.
Three hours later I let the book fall from my fingertips, still immersed in the eighteenth century, a world of highwaymen and hanging, thieves and, of course, theatre.
Cat's story is a must, an ingredient of life.
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on 26 May 2014
I loved this book and have read it over and over again. I read very fast and go through a lot of books but this has always been my firm favourite. It is about Miss Royal(cat) who was abandoned outside drury lane and grew up there with lords and pickpockets and hangs around with the gangs of london. In this book you can relate to the characters and you are with them every step of the way. I could not put this book down and every time I read it I enjoy it even more. I would recommend all the other books in the series. 11+
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on 6 July 2015
The first in the series full of adventure out on the wild rough streets of London . Cat Royal is rather headstrong and bold and gets up to all sorts.
Scrapes with her nemesis Billy Shepherd, disguise and lots more. Not my favourite book but a great read for those interested in Victorian London, the theatre and adventure stories this could be the perfect book for you .
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on 6 October 2008
Smartie Gold Award winner 2006. Okay for my 9 and 10 year olds but plot slightly too complicated, would be better for older children. Many words and phrases were too advanced for my children and, I would imagine, for many children of 11 too. This restricted their enjoyment of the story. However, it conjoured up a vivid and fascinating image of London past, and brought in some interesting themes which are still very relevant today. I'd give it a PG rating (rather than a U or a 12)... several 'fingers in the ears' bits for my youngest. Good book, but wish I'd left it for a year or two.
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