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Young Bond: By Royal Command Hardcover – 3 Sep 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 65 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; First Edition edition (3 Sept. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0141384514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141384511
  • Product Dimensions: 14.1 x 3.4 x 22.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 319,654 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Young Bond:

'Charlie Higson's Young Bond books get an A*' – GQ

'Would have made Ian Fleming proud' – Daily Telegraph

'More action, more demented crime and more flesh-crawling deaths than ever before' – Observer

About the Author

Several authors were approached by Ian Fleming Publications to write the Young Bond series. They were gathered in a secret mountain hideaway and sat around a huge marble-topped table. Charlie Higson pulled a lever and the other authors disappeared into a shark-infested tank. So Charlie got the job and the Young Bond series is a phenomenal No. 1 bestselling success. Charlie Higson is also a well-known writer of screenplays and novels, as well as a performer and co-creator of The Fast Show.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book isn't as good as the other four books in the series because the beginning is quite boring, apart from that it's a O.K book.
I think the bit in the castle at the end is concluded too quickly and there isn't that much action and fighting in the book.
I don't think Charlie Higson needed to write that doctor friend was going to skin James alive then take his skin, a bit too gory maybe something else.
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Format: Hardcover
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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