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King Of Shadows
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on 5 March 2012
The King of Shadows by Susan Cooper
Reviewed by Heena Pala

"King of Shadows" is a skilfully-written book about Nathan Field. Nathan is an orphan who lives in America. There, he is part of a boys company of acting run by a man called Arby.
Nat is sent to England to play Puck at a performance of "A Midsummer Night's Dream" at the Globe theatre, London. Tragically, a few days before the performance, Nat goes into hospital with severe sickness and dizziness. He then finds that he has contracted...wait for it... the bubonic plague! When he wakes up, he awakes in Elizabethan hospital, living in Elizabethan England and living an Elizabethan life...
But if Nat has travelled back in time, who has taken Nat's place in present time? Enjoy this great book full of time travel and theatre both in Elizabethan and present time.

I loved every minute of this book. I think that it's very different; I haven't read many other books about time travel, and none quiet like this one. I like how some chapters in italic are about present time and some are about the Nat that has travelled back. I recommend it to anyone looking for a book that is fiction, but also informative as it tells you a lot about Elizabethan life. If there was a down side to this book, it would be that it ended a little quickly. It doesn't introduce the ending slowly as it finished in a couple of chapters.

RATING: 9/10
AGE RANGE: 10+
PULISHER: Puffin books
RRP: £6.99
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on 1 September 2013
She is a school teacher and it is what she requested, so I cannot comment other than to say delivery was efficient.
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on 22 June 2001
Nat Field, a young American orphan traumatized by the death of his father, comes to England to play Puck at The Globe. Somewhat bizarrely, he contracts Bubonic Plague and is rushed to Guy's. The next morning he wakes up in the house of Richard Burbage in 1599 and is raced off to The Globe to play (you've guessed it!) Puck in 'A Midsummer Night's Dream.' Naturally, he meets Shakespeare and Gloriana and....I won't ruin any more of this fabulous story.
Susan Cooper has written a novel of genuine historical interest ( I have been researching the life of the real Nathaniel Field ever since) and powerful emotional impact - the end is breathtaking. I cried. Both times I read it. And I'm a 31 year old man!
READ THIS BOOK!
26 people found this helpful
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on 21 October 2008
This book has not matched or even come close to the success of her other books. That said it is still a very readable and enjoyable book. It starts off in modern times where Nat Field has caught the plague. But it's not him the real Nat Field has switched into Shakespeare's time. He goes there acting alongside Shakespeare doing a famous play. Why is he there? Well that's pretty much the whole storyline. There are a few twists towards the end but the rest of it is just as you'd expect. It's not as fun as books like the Dark is Rising and has not got as good a plot. The story gets is a little slow at times and I found the best bits were where she was writing about the plague. Overall it's OK to read if you like her, but if you want to enjoy her storytelling at its best read the Dark is Rising series.
2 people found this helpful
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on 24 January 2013
I loved The Dark is Rising as a child, and came across this later book only recently. Susan Cooper' s language and imagery are as enchanting as ever, and although this book is for teenagers, I found it absorbing. It conveys a wealth of historical detail along with a compelling story, bringing the world of Elizabethan London vividly to life. I recommend it for both adults and children.
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on 3 December 2001
This is an excellent book by Cooper and is a book that can be enjoyed by all. Though the rushed ending lets the book down a lot (Making it 3* rather than 5*)this book is imagenative and interesting. It is just the book to spring a persons mind into action. The book is easy to pick-up and understand, after reading it in school and missing C. 5 chapters I still understood the book. This book is a MUST for anyone wanting to read an superb story by an exellent author.
6 people found this helpful
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on 8 January 2009
This book has not matched or even come close to the success of her other books. That said it is still a very readable and enjoyable book. It starts off in modern times where Nat Field has caught the plague. But it's not him the real Nat Field has switched into Shakespeare's time. He goes there acting alongside Shakespeare doing a famous play. Why is he there? Well that's pretty much the whole storyline. There are a few twists towards the end but the rest of it is just as you'd expect. It's not as fun as books like the Dark is Rising and has not got as good a plot. The story gets is a little slow at times and I found the best bits were where she was writing about the plague. Overall it's OK to read if you like her, but if you want to enjoy her storytelling at its best read the Dark is Rising series.
One person found this helpful
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on 10 December 2011
A fabulous book that really brings Shakespearean London to life. Nat Field travels back in time and meets the great man himself and gets to perform Puck at The Globe! This is a great introduction to Shakespeare and would link perfectly into A Midsummer Night's Dream. I am looking to including it in our year 9 scheme of work alongside Midsummer Night as a comparative piece. Excellent.
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on 15 June 2000
This is a relly exciting book. I am very keen on acting so it made the book exciting. The founder of my school was even mentioned- Edward Alleyn! I would reccommend this book for people who know a bit about acting and the Elizibethan times!
2 people found this helpful
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on 31 December 2010
this book is absoloutly amazing! we read this book in english at school and no one had a bad word to say about it.
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