REVIEW: The Diamond Of Drury Lane ( Cat Royal #1 ) by Julia Golding.

17 July 2012


AT THE THEATRE ROYAL IN DRURY LANE, COVENT GARDEN, THIS PRESENT DAY, BEING 1SI JANUARY, 1790,Will be presentedThe Diamond of Drury Lane(Written by Miss Cat Royal)PRINCIPAL CHARACTERSMISS CAT ROYAL - orphan and ward of the theatreMR. JOHNNY SMITH - prompt with a secretMR. SYD FLETCHER - leader of the Butcher's boysMR. BILLY 'BOIL' SHEPHERD - evil leader of rival gangAnd a HIDDEN diamond!WITH A NEW MUSICAL INTERLUDE BY MR. PEDRO HAWKINS, LATE OF AFRICA.To which will be added a farce, in which a hot air balloon will land on stage!

"(from goodreads.)Capturing superbly the hustle and bustle, flair and extravagance of late Eighteenth Century times in England's renowned capital, The Diamond of Drury Lane introduces its feisty heroine with an undeniably exciting first adventure. This is historical fiction for young readers at its best--authentic, exciting and fast-moving.
Cat Royal is a veritable institution at Mr Sheridan's famous Drury Lane theatre of ye olde London Town, circa 1790. Adopted by the owner after being mysteriously abandoned as a baby on the steps of his infamous establishment, Cat has grown up backstage amidst the glamour of the bright lights, the exotic artistes, hammy actors, melodious musicians and riotous viewing public. The performers are her family, the stagehands her closest friends.
However, Cat is growing up and she is beginning to think about what she wants to do with her life. Those thoughts take an unexpected turn when she overhears a conversation about a diamond hidden somewhere in the theatre. Her adventures begin when she tries to find the treasure. Pedro, a gifted musician who is new to the company orchestra, ably assists her. Ever present too are the political ramifications of a mischievous satirical cartoonist called Captain Sparkler, who some suspect is a very important person nearby in disguise.
The narrative traverses London and takes in the rival street gangs of Covent Garden, boxing matches, theatre riots, spectacular stage productions and several moments of drama and intrigue. Cat is so likeable as a central character, that readers will soon be caught up in her journey."


You have all probably lost count of the amount of times I have said I loved this series but don't go! I know I haven't reviewed it up until now *guilty look* but here goes...
I loved how the whole book was written as a play ( in keeping with the main setting: The Theatre ) and I especially enjoyed hearing about the adventures from Cat ( Catherine ) herself, a fiesty, daring teenage girl nicknamed Cat by her friends because she always manages to get herself into trouble, but always lands back up on her feet; rather like a cat: with ''nine lives''. In the first of the series we see her getting into all sorts of scrapes, even in jail with her arch rival Billy ''Boil'' Shepherd and we share in her emotions through her use of direct language when she tells us about her thoughts and feelings throughout the book.
I now have all six of the books in the series and I can safely say I do not regret buying them....OOOOOHH! I'm finding it so hard to keep the spoilers tripping off my tongue..or rather..my fingers...I think I already have actually.. oops..I think I may have to stop now..
THE DIAMOND OF DRURY LANE had just the right amount of action, suspense, tension, emotion and excitement to full-fill my desire to read on and it kept me hooked from page one. Anyone who loves historical fiction, action packed books and adventures with a heroine who always proves to be light hearted, humour's and sarcastic or lightly romantic books will enjoy this no end! :)

6 comments:

  1. Ah, thank you so much for doing this review! I've been thinking about whether to read it or not - I've decided I will!
    I am a new follower and I love your blog:D I don't like asking people to follow me, but if you would like to check out my blog, I would really appreciate it!x
    http://nicolasnotebook.blogspot.co.uk/

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  2. Hello,
    Just to let you know I nominated you for the one lovely blog award! Check out my blog for details
    Marian :D x
    http://inkdropperr.blogspot.com

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  3. Sounds really fun! Always looking for great historical fiction. Thanks for the review! :D

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  4. This book sounds amazing, even though I tend to dislike most historical fiction books. I will look out for this - thanks for sharing :) xx

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  5. Hi Jasmine,

    I read some of the reviews you have written and some of your writing. I'll submit a story for your competition, and would also like to get a review from you of a YA fiction novel that I have written. Please send me your email address and I'll send you a short story and the book. My email address is anthony@ambjr.com. Here is the book description:

    --
    Sixteen year old Nick has already decided his two goals in life: to earn forgiveness (and maybe a little bit more) from a girl he's known off and on since he was four, and to win the most elite speed-painting tournament of all time. This is a winner-is-set-for-life event, and thousands of people are on their way to his village to witness it.

    If Nick can win, he’d save his village. Outsiders are trying to get the event moved to one of their bigger cities, which would cause an economic disaster that only the event champion can prevent. The commerce this contest brings is life-blood to most of Nick's village. Maybe that's why no one wants him to even try, with his 0-10 record. They want his adopted parents to return, both legendary painters who stopped competing the day Nick submitted his first entry. After a ten year losing streak, this year Nick battles greater pressure than ever before to withdraw, hounded and hit with everything from poisons to ancient curses.

    The village blames Nick for all bad fortune. But whatever his skill at painting may be, a decade of being the target of scorn and bullies have left him a certain skill set of tricks. And now he and his few friends are going to need every last scheme he can come up with, because while this competition is going on, far more dangerous things are coming to the entire region, things that only a few foresaw.

    A few, each with their own agendas...

    --

    The book is titled "Nick the Lolt," and preview chapters are posted online at the book website: www.talesfromyod.com. If you review it for your blog, I would only ask that you please post your review on Amazon and Goodreads as well.

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

    Thanks and Good Luck,
    Anthony M. Briggs, Jr.

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  6. this sounds great!! and, listen, thank you for the comment on my most recent, most despairing post. i WILL be entering your competition. i PROMISE! (:

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+ thank you so much for commenting, I really appreciate it
+ recheck, I always try to reply [honest!]