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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
34
4.3 out of 5 stars
Format: Kindle Edition|Change
Price:£4.99


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on 25 April 2014
I previously only knew of Susan Cooper from the wonderful Dark is Rising novels. This is quite different, a time travel back to Shakespeare's Globe theatre. I think it would very much appeal to YA or older children, particularly those who have ever done any acting.
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on 9 March 2017
Great historical novel with a lovely twist at the end. Good if teaching Tudor topic (two swear words in but just say it's Tudor language!)
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on 4 May 2017
Lovely book - movingly simple with deeply felt characterisation.
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on 22 May 2012
I must have read this book at least ten years ago, when it first came out, and I still rate it highly.

It's the story of Nat, a very normal American teenage boy who comes to London with his theatre troupe to perform A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Globe Theatre. However, he becomes suddenly very ill and awakes from a feverish dream... in Shakespeare's time.

By an eerie twist of fate he seems to have taken the place of a boy called Nate, who is also set to play the character of Puck in Shakespeare's Dream. Shakespeare himself is playing Oberon, and the relationship that Nat (who is still reeling from the death of his own father back in America) develops with the great man is incredibly moving.

What really makes this book stand out is the attention to detail - I learnt so much about how theatres of that time worked, the language they used and all the major characters who played a part , such as Shakespeare, Richard Burbage, and a brief appearance by Queen Elizabeth I. Cooper has obviously done her research into the era and it is bought vividly to life with the sounds and smells and sights of the city, from waste rotting in the streets, the ale and rough meaty pasties that they eat, bear-baiting, and the lush textures of the gorgeous costumes created for the play. It is these elements that ground the book in reality and make the somewhat fantastical time-travel aspect completely believable.

The book also explores the text of A Midsummer Night's Dream in a fascinating and accessible way, linking it to Shakespeare's life. If any book is going to make teenagers want to read Shakespeare, study Tudor history and visit the Globe, then I truly believe that this is it.
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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!
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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 8 March 2014
I did this for my hlp homework, however after I started reading I just couldn't stop! It was amazing! Cheesysideburns007
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on 2 February 2009
I was sad when I finished the book, like leaving a friend - it is a book to immerse youself in
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on 9 July 2003
I have always loved The Dark Is Rising Sequence by this author, counting it as one of my favourite reads. I was therefore delighted to find that she had written another book. However, I was disappointed by this attempt. Although I loved her portrayal of Shakespeare and his relations with Nat, I felt that not enough care was taken to ensure that the story was even halfway believable and I was disappointed by the rather rushed and predictable ending. I do feel that this book is worth reading though, as it shows flashes of the genius that ran through her earlier books.
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on 20 January 2008
One of the best Books I've read, and considering how many books I have read it is really really good!
I definitely recommend it!
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