DANGEROUS TIMES by L.  Brittney

DANGEROUS TIMES

The First Nathan Fox Mission
Age Range: 9 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

A lackluster historical novel whose first 100 pages are taken up entirely in exposition and scene-setting. Nathan Fox is a boy in Shakespeare’s troupe; he is an acrobat and a juggler and knows several languages. He catches the eye of John Pearce, in the service of Sir Francis Walsingham, spymaster to the Queen, who sees to his training in weapons and coded messages. His sister Marie, skilled in Roma healing (the text renders it “gypsy”), also accompanies Pearce as they make their way to Venice, then Crete, to win allies against Spain and intelligence for the crown. In Venice Nathan (now called Marco and disguised as Pearce/Cassio’s servant) meets the noble Captain Othello. The conceit is that Nathan is to return to tell Will Shakespeare of the wonders he has seen, the sad story of Othello having played itself out with Nathan/Marco as horrified witness. The language is pedestrian and often awkward, with little character development and much description. Young readers who persevere might be interested enough to read the coming sequels. (Historical fiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-312-36962-0
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008