on 3 August 2007
I just bought this book yesterday, and I have already finished it! I stayed up until about 2 in the morning to finish it, it is soooooooo amazing! I can't wait fot the next one to come out. It is definitely the best in the series so far, though I haven't yet read 'cat among pigeons'...but i will soon. I'm practically busting a gut waiting for the 'chimeras' curse' to come out, because I just love Julia Golding's books sooooo much. Ah well. No fear. There shall be no spilt hydrochloric acid where I am concerned. Anyway, READ THIS BOOK!!! And then read the companions quartet, because they are really good books as well. A bit younger than the Cat Royal series, but the fourth one hasn't come out yet so we shall see. Get reading people!
on 15 August 2007
I'd been waiting for this book ever since Den of Thieves came out, and was very glad to find out that all of the old characters are back (except Charlie Hengrave). This book is different in that it happens over a much longer period of time, and Cat travels much further. New characters are, of course, introduced. I was extra pleased with Cat's relationship with Kanawha. (I don't want to give too much away!) One of my main complaints with the series is that Cat doesn't seem to have many female friends at all. No wonder her love life is so complicated!
I would not advise newcomers to read this book first; the characters have developed a lot since the first books, so I think everyone should start at The Diamond of Drury Lane. One small complaint is that although it is good for Cat to travel, I want to see a bit more of theatre and London, as this is what interested me in the first place. I would also like to see her regain more independence again - I loved that in Den of Thieves, she was travelling as a job. These are small things though, and I have got to say that, though Cat among the Pigeons is still my favourite, this is a great addition to the `Cat' series. I give it 4.5 stars, rounded up to 5.
on 23 August 2010
This is the forth book in the Cat Royal series and I really enjoyed reading it. Yet again, Cat is off on some wild adventures, this time at sea heading for the West Indies on board a royal navy vessel. Press ganged on board, along with the other unlikely recruits of Pedro and Lord Frank, Cat is disguised as a boy again, and sets sail under the mean watch of Maclean, second in command to Captain Barton. Syd is also on board having been press ganged previously after his boxing tour. Cat faces many perils and dangers at the hands of evil Maclean, but thankfully, with her wits and a bit of luck, Cat manages to survive! When she decides to jump ship, she finds herself in the middle of an Indian tribe called the Wild Clan. Cat spends many more adventures here, with Maclean still chasing her tail, she faces many difficulties when trying to find help for her friends left on board. In the end, all is well when she arrives in Philadelphia to find Lizzy and Johnny as well as Pedro, Syd and Frank all safe and well. The person who was behind the scheme, from the very start is also revealed, as Mr Dixon, cousin of Frank, who wanted to steal his Dukedom!
This book draws parallels to Toby Alone, where Toby experiences a different culture and life with the grass people, much the same as Cat does with the Creeks. However, a difference with their characters is that Cat has many friends and connections with her old life and does not want a new life with the Creeks, whereas Toby thought that he had nothing left of his old life and wanted a new life with the grass people.
Genre: It is a fiction book based upon the character Cat Royal. However, it is set in the late 1700's and is based on real life historical events such as the Royal Navy and the structure of England. Also the characters resemble people who could have existed in that time period from all different classes and backgrounds. Therefore it is a Historical Fiction book.
Layout: This book does not have chapters; it has acts and scenes, as well as a prologue and an epilogue. There is also a letter addressed to the reader at the beginning, and a glossary of terms at the end.
Pattern of Content-Ideas and themes: Themes include wits, deception, good/evil, rich/poor, class structures, jealously, debts, friendship, love, travel, different cultures, history, ways of life, the sea, sailing, punishment.
Characters: Cat Royal - orphan, independent, headstrong, has great intelligence and wits, loves to write of her tales, well travelled, the main character and narrator of the book. Maclean - ex-priest turned evil, working for others, greedy, only wants good for himself, evil and mean, a character the reader should hate. Captain Barton - barmy and haunted by demons from his past! The Indian tribe - good and loyal, honest and trustworthy, family orientated and live by their own firm rules and are at harmony with the environment, before the white men of America came and ruined them. Syd Fletcher - boxing champion, strong but simple minded, he is a protector of Cat and he loves her. Pedro Hawkins - former slave but now a great friend of Cat, also a protector and good companion who can sympathise with her background. Lord Francis (Frank) - due to have his dukedom which his cousin bitterly wants to take from him to settle his own debts, he is also a great friend to Cat, who seeks to protect her, even though they have very different backgrounds. Billy Shepherd - surprising character, who has worked his way up to the top from nothing though thieving and scheming, he is now extremely rich, with all the upper class people in debt to him, he has a definite soft spot for Cat and he wants her to be his. William Dixon - deceived Frank and tried to steal his dukedom.
Narrative structure: The book is written in past tense and addresses the reader directly. It is written and narrated by Cat Royal herself so the story follows her adventures, and her thoughts and feelings along the way, including the internal dialogue that goes on inside her head.
Cultural elements: Set in the late 1700's there is the old English culture, in which the class system is explicitly discussed. There is also the culture on board the Royal Navy ship, and the Indian culture of the Wild Clan, and then in Philadelphia.
Setting: England - bath then Bristol. At sea travelling to the West Indies. The Indian Village of the Wild Clan. Philadelphia.