King of Shadows

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Gregory cover of Puffin paperback ed. (2000)
Author Susan Cooper
Cover artist Bill Gregory (depicted)[1]
Country US, UK
Genre Children's historical novel, timeslip fantasy
Publisher Margaret K. McElderry, US, Bodley Head, UK
Publication date
October 1999, November 1999
Media type Print (hardcover)
Pages 186 pp, 181 pp[1]
Awards None
ISBN 0-689-82817-9
OCLC 40444020
LC Class PZ7.C7878 Ki 1999[2]

King of Shadows is a children's historical novel by Susan Cooper published in 1999 by Penguin. In the United Kingdom, it was a finalist for both the Carnegie Medal and the Guardian Children's Fiction Prize.


Nat Field is recruited by Arby, whose real name is Richard Burbage. Arby is a producer intent on reenacting the Globe Theatre in London and reproducing Shakespeare's plays the way they were done 400 years ago. The company of boys, said to be the best, are handpicked by Arby from all over America. Nat acts as an aerial sprite, Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream. However, he suddenly falls ill and is taken to the hospital, feared to have bubonic plague. The night before he goes to the hospital, he dreams of being tossed high above the earth and then pulled firmly back. He wakes up in a different room with a boy talking to him in a heavy Elizabethan accent. He has traveled back 400 years in time, to the year 1599, when the Globe Theatre was first built. He meets Shakespeare and acts with him in the play he had rehearsed for in his own time, and experiences theater as it was originally intended. He becomes a very good friend to Shakespeare, almost like a son to him. Before he knows it, he is back in the hospital bed, awake and unsure whether what he experienced was real. Later, Gil Warmun and Rachel Levin, his co-actors from the present time, try to find out who he was 400 years ago.


Nathan F, or Nat Field


Arby, Gil Warmun, Rachel Levin, Mr.Fisher, Pudding Face, Eric


Richard Burbage, William Shakespeare, Roper, Queen Elizabeth I, Will Kempe, Richard Mulcaster, Harry sam


King of Shadows was adapted for the stage in 2005 and first performed by the New York State Theatre Institute (NYSTI) starring P. J. Verhoest as Nat, David Bunce as Shakespeare, John Romeo as Burbage, and Aaron Marquise as Roper.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 King of Shadows title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database (ISFDB). Retrieved 2013-03-14. Select a title to see its linked publication history and general information. Select a particular edition (title) for more data at that level, such as a front cover image or linked contents.
  2. "King of shadows" (U.S. edition). Library of Congress Catalog Record. Retrieved 2013-03-14.

External links