THE TRUE PRINCE by J.B. Cheaney

THE TRUE PRINCE

Age Range: 10 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A new Robin Hood rides in London, robbing gentlemen, humiliating rivals in Elizabeth’s Court, and threatening the reputation of Shakespeare’s theater. When actors end up dead or missing, the theater company—already seen as unsavory by many—stands to be further shamed. It’s a thrilling story of cutpurses, highwaymen, murder, intrigue, and eventually the midnight dismantling of the Burbages’ Theater. In the middle of all of this is young Richard Malory, apprentice in The Lord Hunsdon’s Men. Kit Glover, his fellow apprentice, is suspected of being an accomplice to thieves, and Richard puts his life on the line to find the truth. In the meantime, the shows must go on and readers are treated to many details of Elizabethan theater: boys playing female characters, the staging of battle scenes, the midsummer plague season, Shakespeare’s rivals, and the behavior of theater audiences. At its heart, this is about how the theater thrives and “how a good play is like life,” and fittingly, the language of the story sparkles. “Spoken words, things of shaped and polished air that flash but once, then flicker away” are the currency of Shakespeare’s plays and of Cheaney’s prose. This lively second novel in the author’s Shakespearean drama (The Playmaker, 2000) is a fine addition to the growing body of literature about Shakespeare’s world, including Susan Cooper’s King of Shadows and Gary L. Blackwood’s The Shakespeare Stealer. (map, cast of characters, historical note) (Fiction. 10+)

Pub Date: Oct. 8th, 2002
ISBN: 0-375-81433-7
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2002




MORE BY J.B. CHEANEY

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