King of Shadows

king of shadowsAuthor: Susan Cooper

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Ever since his dad’s death, Nathan Field has thrown himself into the world of theater, so when he gets the chance to go to England and perform Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream in the new Globe Theater, it’s like a dream come true. Little does he expect to get thrown, dream-like, into Shakespeare’s own day and acting troupe, performing the Dream in the original Globe! While most people would freak out to find themselves thrown back to 1599, Nat quickly adapts, finding in the place–and particularly in the person of William Shakespeare–a home the like of which he hasn’t had in quite some time.

Susan Cooper is one of the authors that I respect very much, and I always look forward to discovering her books. King of Shadows is no exception. The writing style is accessible and beautiful both, and the characters are brimming with personality. I’ve enjoyed Shakespeare’s writings for quite some time, but gained a greater appreciation for what his works say about him as a person through this story. The repetition of elements and themes found in A Midsummer Night’s Dream tie the story together well. I also appreciate that Cooper didn’t really try to explain how Nat got shunted to Shakespeare’s time, but took the trouble to provide a clear why. Meaningful and mysterious both. King of Shadows (and really everything by Susan Cooper) is certainly on my list of recommended books.


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