King of Shadows

by Susan Cooper

Paperback, 1999



Local notes

PB Coo




Aladdin (1999)


While in London as part of an all-boy acting company preparing to perform in a replica of the famous Globe Theatre, Nat Field suddenly finds himself transported back to 1599 and performing in the original theater under the tutelage of Shakespeare himself.

Original publication date


Physical description

7.6 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member pussreboots
King of Shadows is a quick read—something to be enjoyed in an afternoon. Cooper seems to work too hard to create enough tragedy to warrant present-day's Nat Field's attachment and devotion to Shakespeare. The story is told from present day Nat's point of view which at times works better than
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others. The narrative style goes from focused, erudite and detail oriented to abruptly chit-chatty, switching from first to second person. These transitions jar the narrative flow. The story is strongest in the middle act where Nat is back in time acting with Shakespeare. The story here reads like a j.v. version of Shakespeare in Love with of course the triumphant performance for Queen Elizabeth who has come in secret to the Globe. Acts one takes too long to set up the world and act three takes to long to wrap up the story. Anyone familiar with the play, the playwright and the Globe's history will appreciate Cooper's attention to detail. Others not as familiar may feel overwhelmed at first but won't mind once the story gets underway.
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LibraryThing member phoebesmum
I'm inclined to be supportive of Susan Cooper at the moment, after 'The Dark is Rising' got so thoroughly screwed over, movie-wise. In this, a present-day child actor trades places with his Shakespearian equivalent (how is never quite satisfactorily explained), in order to save Shakespeare from
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dying of the Plague, thus ensuring that he'll survive to write his great plays. You see the paradox there. If Shakespeare had originally died prior to writing his great plays … how would anyone know that if he had not died, they would have been written? Or does that sort of logic have no place in the world of fiction? Maybe it doesn't.
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LibraryThing member kcollett
American boy goes to England to act, finds himself in Shakespeare’s day.
LibraryThing member christophax
Another English lesson set texts. A wonderful story of 'time travel', where an innocent boy explores the world of shakesperean time. It gives a fantastical view of shakespeare (note that i don't mean as in fantastically bad, i meant fantastically creative and good)
LibraryThing member kraaivrouw
I'm immensely fond of Susan Cooper's The Dark is Rising Sequence and I also love and adore Shakespeare, particularly Midsummer Night's Dream so when I ran across this one in a recent visit to the children's room at my local library I had to grab it.

This is a very cool time travel book about a young
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boy who journeys back to Shakespeare's time and performs as Puck at The Globe Theatre. It is full of great period detail about theatre at the time and tells a lovely story of a boy who finds his escape there. A great read for kids 10 and up (including the grown-up kind).
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LibraryThing member TLHelen
This is a historical fantasy novel based on Shakespeare's time. The protaganist of the book is a young actor named Nathan Field who goes back in time. He experiences difficulties in adapting to the new environment and wants to return back to his own time period. This all changes as he meets William
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Shakespeare. He develops admiration and honour towards him and slowly changes his mind about wanting to go back. The book focuses on his adventures in old London and the secrets behind his time travel.
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LibraryThing member sageness
What a lovely version of Will.
LibraryThing member wealhtheowwylfing
This is a YA novel, but the characters are rich and the plot intriguing.
LibraryThing member themulhern
One of those time travel, but not really books, where a modern child ends up in a historical time. Seemed too shallow for me even to begin reading.


½ (154 ratings; 3.8)
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