The king's shadow

by Alder, Elizabeth.

Format: Print Book 1995
Availability: Available at 4 Libraries 4 of 4 copies
Available (4)
Location Collection Call #
Bethel Park Public Library Young Adult YA ALDER Elizabeth
Location  Bethel Park Public Library
Collection  Young Adult
Call Number  YA ALDER Elizabeth
Carnegie Library of McKeesport Young Adult Fiction YA F ALD
Location  Carnegie Library of McKeesport
Collection  Young Adult Fiction
Call Number  YA F ALD
Cooper-Siegel Community Library Children's Fiction j FIC ALD
Location  Cooper-Siegel Community Library
Collection  Children's Fiction
Call Number  j FIC ALD
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Children's Fiction j ALDER
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Children's Fiction
Call Number  j ALDER
Evyn, son of a Welsh serf, dreams of becoming a traveling storyteller, but a horrible tragedy leaves him a mute orphan. Though his uncle sells him into slavery, Evyn is eventually freed and serves as squire to the valiant Harold Godwinson, who becomes Britain's last Saxon king. Evyn thus takes part in the Battle of Hastings. Based loosely on The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. "Everything is woven into one unbroken whole; Alder spins a good story."-Kirkus Reviews
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Gr. 7-12. Eleventh-century Britain is the background for Alder's finely written account of a slave who becomes the chronicler of Harold, last of the Saxon kings. When Evyn is brutally attacked and rendered mute, his hopes of becoming a storyteller and escaping his life as a serf are shattered. Sold into slavery, he joins the household of Lady Ealdgyth, the common-law wife of Earl Harold of Wessex. Illiterate, mutilated, and feared by the thralls, Evyn becomes known as Shadow. When he is sent to a monastery to be educated, his future is altered forever. After his return, he saves the life of Earl Harold and follows Harold, as his squire and later as his foster son, from Wessex to London and eventually to the Battle of Hastings, where he witnesses Harold's death. On the journey, Evyn learns about loyalty, honor, and bravery, and he comes to realize that by chronicling the fate of his king, he has actually become a storyteller. Alder's vivid descriptions of the harsh conditions and customs of medieval life make the story come alive, and her brisk pacing never wavers. Evyn is an observant, sympathetic narrator, an apt recorder of the perilous times. (Reviewed July 1995)0374341826Chris Sherman"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Alder's clunky debut charts the rise and fall of King Harold, as seen by the fictional Evyn, the king's loyal Welsh servant and foster son. A regular Horatio Alger hero of Saxon England, Evyn finds his promising career as a storiawr (wandering storyteller) stopped short when his tongue is cut out by the high-born ruffians who killed his father. A few days later, Evyn's uncle sells the mute boy into slavery on the vast estates of Lady Ealdgyth Swan Neck, who, for some reason, arranges for the boy to be taught to read and write. Later, Evyn leaves Ealdgyth's household to serve her lover, Harold, Earl of Wessex. At this point the narrative really bogs down, becoming essentially a star-struck account of Harold's ascent (``It seemed to Evyn that all the power of the Saxon people was concentrated behind the muscle and bones of the Earl of Wessex'') and his defeat at the hands of William the Conqueror. Characterizations are wooden and oddly distant: it's hard to get a sense of Harold's repeatedly emphasized charisma from Alder's clichéed phrases. A wealth of potentially fascinating historical details indicates thorough research; unfortunately, these snippets are poorly integrated into the story. Ages 12-up. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Harold -- II, -- King of England, -- 1022?-1066 -- Juvenile fiction.
Harold -- II, -- King of England, -- 1022?-1066 -- Fiction.
Orphans -- Fiction.
Mutism -- Fiction.
Great Britain -- History -- Anglo-Saxon period, 449-1066 -- Juvenile fiction.
Great Britain -- History -- Anglo-Saxon period, 449-1066 -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Farrar, Straus and Giroux,1995
Edition 1st ed.
Other Titles Anglo-Saxon chronicle.
Language English
Notes Based on the Anglo-Saxon chronicle.
Description viii, 259 pages : map ; 22 cm
ISBN 0374341826 :
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