The King's Shadow

The King's Shadow

by Elizabeth Alder

Paperback(Mass Market Paperback - Reissue)

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Evyn, a young Welsh serf, has dreamed all his life of becoming a storyteller. But in a cruel twist of fate, Evyn and his father suffer a brutal attack by a group of murderous ruffians. Evyn's tongue is cut off and his father is killed. Orphaned and unable to speak, Evyn assumes he is destined to a life of slavery. But Evyn is resilient and teaches himself to read and write. He is then appointed the personal companion to Earl Harold of Wessex, who later becomes the King of England. The two travel the countryside together, forming a close father-son bond. Evyn chronicles all of their exciting journeys, which culminate at the Battle of Hastings, where the future of the country is decided.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440220114
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 07/07/1997
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 112,860
Product dimensions: 4.15(w) x 6.88(h) x 0.72(d)
Lexile: 940L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

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The King's Shadow 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Markesh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Evyn dreams of being a storyteller, back in a time before libraries and common knowledge of the written word the best way to hear a tale was for someone to orally present it and Evyn is very talented at this oral tradition. However, his dreams are shattered when his father is murdered and his own tongue is cut from his mouth to prevent him from telling who did the murderers were. His own uncle sells him into slavery and when the lover of an influential man takes pity on him, Evyn begins a journey with Earl Harold of Wessex the future King of England. The boy chronicles their journeys together learning to read, write, and communicate without his voice. Evyn gains a family and a man he can look up to as a mentor but not all things are meant to last and not all stories end happily. This book has copious amounts of history that could have been. Historical fiction has always been a draw for me and anyone who is a fan of the genre should pick up this book.
joririchardson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The medieval story of Evyn, a mute boy who serves Earl Harold of Wessex as his scribe and personal companion. As his father-son like closeness with the Earl grows, Evyn finds himself caught up in the events leading up to a horrific battle where he and everything he knows will be tested.This is a powerful, well written story. The writing style is a bit dry, but the plot and realistic, lovable characters make up for it. Also, despite not being a thrilling page turner, Alder's writing holds a sort of intelligent beauty that seems to suit this book perfectly.This book is sad and happy all at once. I especially loved the character of Evyn's beloved mentor, Harold. He seemed the perfect father figure. The contrasting character of Harold's brother, the nemesis of this book, was also very well done. This book is very good, an amazing blend of history and adventure.
junipertree on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book started out quickly which I admire most in a story. King Harold took Evyn (Shadow) in as his foster son which developed a strong relationship between the king and Evyn. I liked the way the author made a purpose in Evyn's life after he was muted because he felt that all his hopes and dreams had been vanished. But because of his mutism, his future was better than he would have hoped that it would be. It's a good read, especially if you're not too familiar with the Battle of Hastings.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is absolutely Magical! If the thing we call Magic could be distilled into a story or book, this is it! Elizabeth Alder chose her words with such great care, and painted in descriptions so powerful that every time I reread her book, I want to start crying--a common reaction, I think. The reason I love her book so much, is that it's about a boy, a simple, ordinary person who has dreams for the future--dreams that are shattered. But, by the end, he has conquered all the darkness around him, all the fear that plagues his heart, and finally finds peace, though a sad one. The triumph is sweet, the laughter and descriptions timeless, and the pain absolutely devastating! I will forever remember the Battle of Hastings, in the year 1066, and what occurred there because of this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Okay, I only say it's a coming of age book because my Freshman year, we had to read one of our own choice, and I convinced my teacher that it was. And, really, it is, but I don't want to scare away any interested teenagers. It's so cool, and I'd recommend it to anyone looking for a good read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is well writen and thought out. When i read it, i felt like i couldn't talk, just like Evan, it was so powerful. I give Ms. Alder a thumps up.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This awsome medievil tale 'King's Shadow' written by Elizabeth Alder takes place during the Anglo Saxon period. I really didn't understand the medievil terms. I guess the only reason why I didn't get any of the terms like squire, or welsh is only because there weren't any descriptive words that were written about any of these medievil terms. The author, Elizabeth Alder could solve this problem by putting descriptive words for all of the medievil slang words. The thing that kept me reading this tale was how Elizabeth Alder mixed the reality and fiction of the medievil times. Evyn who's the protagonist in this story has this dream of being a story teller and traveling the land to tell these stories. Eventually Evyn's storytelling dreams are cut short because his tongue is cut out by these two brothers that killed his father. Evyn is orphaned because there is no one to care for him. Elizabeth Alder feels Evyn needs a second chance but his father was killed he was put up for slavery. Evyn's new misteress, Lady Ealgyth provides him with the proper education. Evyn is later introduced to King Harold which was also the last king of the Anglo Saxon period. The bond between Evyn and King Harold is almost like father and son. In the end Evyn fins that all this time he was living his own story. Alder makes the protagonist Evyn interesting to me by starting the story with Evyn as a poor peasant with dreams and ending the story with Evyn almost being royalty. I highly recomend this book to all readers fom grades six to twelve because this is almost like a rags to riches story. This book also teaches you about second chances. This is a great novel by Elizabeth Alder.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really loved this book. It was captivating and exciting, the author makes you fall in love with Evan. You feel for him as he goes through triumphs and failures. Great story!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book last year, and I fell in love with it! It is one of my favorite books ever! Even though I know what it's about already I still love to read it. I couldn't put it down, and the story was very fascinating to the last page! I highly recommend this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I simply love this book. Reading it was a Communication Arts assignment, and I usually hate books we have to read in school. But I was pleasantly suprised. The King's Shadow is a great descriptive, historicaly accurate, captivating tale. I couldn't put it down, and cried at the end! In my world, that is the perfect kind of book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An awesome tale told by Elizabeth Alder brings out the Anglo-Saxon time period in an enchanting way. Evyn's tale brings out many inner emotions and will definately have an impact on the reader every time! Harold Godwinson and Evyn's bond is like magic, intertwined in each other's fate while they come to love each other like father and son. This is a must read historical fiction book that really carried me to understand the ways of life in the 11th century Britain setting that Alder created ever so perfectly. It is a masterpiece in my opinion and I hope she continues writing books just as wonderful and creative as this one.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book was really descriptive. I love to read those types of books and the book made me believed that I was back in that time. Even though I am not there. Eyvn he was so brave and honorable to Harold who soon beame his foster father. It was a really great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The King's Shadow is one of the best books I have read. Being a Junior in High School we are forced to read many books. The King's Shadow is by far one of my favorites. I was unable to put down the book for more then a few minutes. I felt as if I was part of the book itself. The King's Shadow has it's own magic about it. It will intrige you, make you cry, and leave you in awe. I highly recommend buying and reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Once I started it, I could put it down until I finished it. I liked it because I could never tell what was going to happen next. I hope that Ms. Alder will write more books which are as good as this one is.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read this book over two years ago, and I still like it. I've always liked historical fiction, but I never knew much about the Battle of Hastings. I liked reading about the time period, but I also enjoyed the characters personalities, especially the interaction between Evyn and Lewys. I liked Evyn a lot in how he keeps going even when everything falls to pieces around him time and time again. Stripped of everything he held dear, he survived and became a stronger person. At the time I first read this book, my favorite book was Johnny Tremain, and I noticed that the plots of the two books were really similar- if you liked the one, you'll probably like the other.