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15 February 2008 @ 09:44 pm
THE KING'S ARROW by Michael Cadnum (4 stars)  
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, 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 indeedare fortunate!

Simon Foldre is eighteen 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 fully be 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.

If this book review was helpful, please vote for it at Amazon.
First  published at www.TeenReads.com.
ryan_fieldryan_field on February 16th, 2008 09:02 pm (UTC)
I've tried to comment or vote on Amazon, but I keep messing it up. I'm gonna try again though.
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on February 16th, 2008 11:14 pm (UTC)
No worries if you can't. It's just sort of a professional expirement I've got going on.

The main reason I write the reviews is for the blog, for the ongoing ranking database that I hope will someday put a good book in someone's hands.

The Amazon experiment is to get the word out on the books (considering I've already written the reviews), to see how high up I can get, and maybe to see if a book reviewer job comes out of it down the line. Who knows!

Anyway, I hope this one was helpful. :)
ryan_fieldryan_field on February 18th, 2008 03:12 pm (UTC)
They are all helpful, and I'm going to learn how to do this eventually, when I sit down and take the time to do it. :)