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The King's Arrow

Review

The King's Arrow

Some mysteries never get solved. People may tell stories to try to make sense of them, but sometimes they are just not that easy to explain. So the legend grows. But the real event, the one that happened so many years ago, gets lost in the endless tales told over dinner tables, during cross-country journeys on horseback, in the dark places of the countryside, or even at the king’s court.

THE KING’S ARROW is one such story. The year is 1100 A.D. England has been conquered by the Norman invaders and their kingdom set up in place of the English. Across the waters of the English Channel, battles rage in France and other places across Europe. The world is in turmoil, and England is enjoying the false peace of King William II’s forced kingship. The king has his close circle of friends, and if you happen to be in it, then you are indeed fortunate!

Simon Foldre is 18 years old and the grandson of the Usher of Aldham, a noble name in the region since the time of Noah’s flood. Like his forefathers before him, Simon is doing all the right things to try to make a name for himself: learning the right skills, meeting the right people and courting the right girls. He especially wants to get in good with the king or his royal court, or someone high up in government. Unfortunately, his chances almost get ruined when he witnesses the controversial killing of a famous poacher. However, with a fancy bit of smooth talking, he soon earns himself the opportunity to join the Royal Hunt and serve arrows to the king’s friend Walter Tirel. And he takes it, of course. He would be a fool not to!

Dangerous rumors are spreading about the country. The king’s advisors hear word that someone might want to kill the king on the Hunt. Too proud for his own good, William ignores their advice. On with the Hunt! And here is where the legend starts --- the king and his men on the Royal Hunt, a traitor in their midst, the dark secrets of the forest, the murder of the king and the fate of a nation. Is it murder? Who is responsible for the king’s death? And if Simon is innocent, then why is he running for his life?

The true events of this mystery may never be fully known, but Michael Cadnum’s THE KING’S ARROW gives us an inside look at what could have happened deep in the forest that day. One boy, caught forever in the biggest controversy of his time, is forced to decide between his past and his future, between the truth and the lies, between life and death. Here, history and legend meet “to resolve one of the longest-standing mysteries of the English-speaking world.” The King, the Royal Hunt, conspiracy, murder and so many other secrets --- readers are sure to enjoy it all.

Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens on February 14, 2008

The King's Arrow
by Michael Cadnum

  • Publication Date: February 14, 2008
  • Genres: Historical Mystery
  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Juvenile
  • ISBN-10: 0670063312
  • ISBN-13: 9780670063314