At 17, I'm older than the target audience for this book, but I firmly beleive that a good book should be readable to the young and old(er) alike. And Cat Among the Pigeons certainly meets this specification.
The best feature of this book, and the first 'The Diamond of Drury Lane' (read it before reading this) is the charecters. None of them are clean cut villains or perfectly holy and good heroes and heroines they're all somewhere in between. At times you want to scream at the charecters for being so mindless and stupid, whilst at other points you want to hug them for being so kind and good.
The best charecter in this, is probably Billy 'Boil' Sheperd, who gets a great deal of charecetr development here, he is clearly the villain in the first installment of the 'Den of Thieves' trilogy, but here the reader is totally in the dark with regards to his motivations and his alliances, his strange relationship with the books heroine Cat(herine) Royal, an orphan who is a ward of the theatre on Drury Lane, is very compelling, let me just say I cannot wait for the next installment in 2007!
The historical setting is well chosen and accurately portrayed, you really get a feel of how people lived back in the 18th century, although you may not realise it, you actually learn from the book, but this is overshadowed by how enjoyable the books are. I would say this book is a far betyter introduction to the period than any stuffy old history lesson.
I will not give you a synoposis of the book, for Amazon provides a very concise one, all I will say now is go out and buy a copy, for yourself, or for your children!
(Please note, I do not have my own acount, so I'm using my father's, I am certainly not a Mr Grant!)
This is a lovely read. I was skeptical upon seeing the cover, but this was recommended to me by a librarian whose taste I trust so I tried it. (btw, what's with the UK cover? How many times in the book does it refer to Cat's curly hair, and yet the girl on this cover, pretty as she is, has stick-straight hair!)
I found it engrossing from page one. I was interested in finding out what happens to Pedro and Cat all along. I love how the author winds the strands of the theatre and classics into Cat's time at Westminster - a clever way to introduce readers to Shakespeare and poetry. Unlike JK Rowling, I find Julia Golding a real writer - her plots aren't hackneyed or dependent on silly gimmicks.
Kudos also for managing the conversational style so artfully. Even though this book is set in 1790, the characters speak in a fairly modern, colloquial way. But it is rarely jarring. And I love the Glossary at the end of the book! The only quibbles I really have are that British Hussars weren't in existence yet in that period, and that the expression "hop the twig" is used here to mean "make a run for it", whereas I have only ever seen it used to mean "to die".
Really, really excellent - I am looking forward to reading the rest!
Plucky orphan Cat Royal finds herself caught up in the fight against the slave trade, exiled from her home in the Theatre Royal, enrolled as a pupil at Westminster School, and, finally, forced into an uneasy alliance with her arch-enemy Billy Shepherd. A more or less rollicking adventure, although I found that, for me, the tone sat uncomfortably with the seriousness of the subject matter. Still, I doubt that would bother the target audience overmuch and, on the whole, I'd rather see children reading this series than certain other, more popular, ones.
This book is amazing; it's witty, exiting, scary, funny, with twists and turns all the way. It hooks you from the first page and you HAVE to read on. The Cat Royal books are amazing, you cant help loving them. This book is a must-have, it is a great present and read. Even if you don't like reading you will love it. It is not too long, in fact the only problem is that it does end. it is a GREAT book.
The second book in the series and Cat is joined by some familiar faces: Pedro , Billy shepherded and Elizabeth and frank. Full of excitement and drama with yet another problem this book is perfect for fans of Julia Golding's work or fans of the first book .
I enjoyed the first book in this series greatly, but this book in my opinion is even greater. The history is great and Cat's famous attitude is back, can't wait to read the next book of the series. This is a must read!