Sarah's Stars

Julia Golding. The Diamond of Drury Lane
Egmont  $?  ISBN 978-1-4052-2149-8  421 pg.
Reviewed by Meghan, Age 15

Reader, you are set to embark on an adventure about one hidden treasure, two bare-knuckle boxers, three enemies and four hundred and thirty-eight rioters. It is told by an ignorant and prejudiced author – me. My name is Cat Royal, though how I came to be called this, I will explain later. For the moment I will starts with the riot, for that was where the story really began. It was the opening night of Mr Salter’s new play, The Mad Father. I sat as usual curled up behind a curtain in the manager’s box, watching the audience as much as I watched the stage. I love a full house: there is always so much to see.

Stage set: London 1790, Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. Enter: Cat Royal. Catherine (Cat to her friends) Royal was found abandoned on the steps of Theatre Royal as a child. She has lived her entire life in and around the theatre and is a treasure-chest of street and theatre knowledge. When she happens to overhear her patron (the owner of the theatre) Mr. Sheridan talking to another man about hiding a diamond at Drury Lane, Cat’s curiosity as peaked. But as is often said, curiosity killed the cat. Cat soon finds herself in the middle of an adventure that ranges all across London from the poverty stricken streets to the parlors of the wealthy. Along with her friends, and enemies, Cat is set to take you on adventure filled with mystery, humor and some strong street language!

I hadn’t read more than a chapter into Cat Royal’s first book and I was enchanted. The story of Cat Royal is humorous, exciting and extremely well written. You’ll fall in love with Cat Royal as soon as you meet her, I know I did. As well as being an entertaining, Julia Golding’s first novel touches on some interesting historical points. A doctor of the English Romantic Period from Oxford, Golding has deftly blended fact and fiction to create a memorable story. For those readers who know the time period well (I flatter myself one of them) there are glimpses of famous people set subtly into Cat Royal’s world. *hint: look out for Jane Austen! I would recommend The Diamond of Drury Lane mainly for girls (although I’m sure some boys would enjoy it) from the age of twelve up. For fans of Cat Royal I would also recommend the Bloody Jack Adventures by L.A. Meyer being the tales of the curious nautical misadventures of Mary ‘Jacky’ Faber, ships boy.

I’d give The Diamond of Drury Lane five stars out of five.

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