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The Shadow King (Astraea, #2)
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The Shadow King (Astraea #2)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  48 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
In The Shadow King, Jane Stevenson illuminates the world of the intriguing Balthasar Stuart, the secret biracial child born of the illicit love between a queen of Bohemia and an exiled African prince. A gifted young doctor in the late seventeenth century, Balthasar struggles with very contemporary issues of identity, brought into play by his difficult heritage. Driven out ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published November 23rd 2004 by Mariner Books (first published January 2002)
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Katie rated it really liked it
Dec 01, 2007
Maggie rated it liked it
Oct 12, 2008
Jun 12, 2014 Pat rated it really liked it
The sequel to The Winter Queen tells the story of the son of an African prince, formerly enslaved, who marries a European Queen in the 1600s. One of the asides is the protagonist's is the encounter with real life writer Aphra Behn whom I knew little of except for her book Oroonoko written in 1688. When you finish this novel, reach for the final in the serious, The Empress of Last Days which takes you into modern times.
Melissa rated it liked it
Dec 13, 2008
MsMax rated it it was amazing
Dec 20, 2008
Jun 26, 2009 Shaheen rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Interesting but unsatisfying. The main character's past is never explained, and it's difficult to get too involved with any of the characters.

A little research revealed that this is the second book in a trilogy, and the first book explains the past.
Jo rated it liked it
Jul 29, 2009
Aug 07, 2009 Marvin rated it really liked it
The second in a trilogy. This one focused less on the cultural clash issues at the heart of the first volume, & more on issues of race & class (& to a lesser extent the third element in that holy trinity of contemporary academic life, gender). It was also focused on the main character's efforts to reconcile the scientific practice of medicine he learns at Leiden, the leading medical school of the 17th century, & what he remembers learning from his father about African medicine.
Deedee rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2014
Cynthia rated it liked it
Feb 12, 2010
Erica Eisdorfer
Erica Eisdorfer rated it really liked it
Feb 21, 2010
Aug 16, 2010 Candace rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate this book. It's boring and pointless. Maybe it wouldn't be so painful if I had read the first one. The story just doesn't go anywhere. Not going to bother finishing.
Tim rated it really liked it
Feb 17, 2012
Jonathan rated it really liked it
Mar 08, 2012
Mary Kokesh
Mary Kokesh rated it really liked it
Mar 28, 2012
Stan Lanier
Stan Lanier rated it really liked it
Apr 05, 2012
Tonya rated it it was ok
Jul 08, 2012
Tracy rated it really liked it
Jul 28, 2012
Jonilelchuk rated it liked it
Aug 07, 2012
Aug 19, 2012 Carol rated it liked it
This is the sequel to The Winter Queen and is about Balthasar, the son of Elizabeth of Bohemia and Pelagius. It follows Balthasar's progress through young adulthood up to middle age as he attempts to find his place in the world of the late 17th century. Despite his noble blood and the mystical dreams his parents had for him, Balthasar ends up a successful doctor in London (after a brief sojourn in Barbados), contentedly living a very sober and respectable middle class lifestyle. Stevenson does a ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You have to work a little at reading Jane Stevenson's historical fiction. She's an academic who teaches literature and history at a university in Britain. Her writing is erudite and her characters complex and learned. You certainly won't get anyone "bellowing like a longshoreman" like another book set in the same period I read recently (though it may have just been poorly translated). But I don't mean to make her sound pedantic. There is an emotional core to the stories she tells in these books ...more
Sep 21, 2013 Annette rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa rated it really liked it
May 10, 2014
Kristen McDermott
Kristen McDermott rated it really liked it
May 24, 2014
Lissa Notreallywolf
Lissa Notreallywolf rated it really liked it
Jan 16, 2015
Courtney rated it really liked it
Oct 16, 2014
Robin rated it liked it
Nov 16, 2014
Mar 03, 2015 Shari rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Stevenson, a history professor at the University of Aberdeen, takes us into the late 17th-century and the very ordinary life of a doctor, a mulatto, who had sat his medical studies at Leiden, a reputable medical school. The even more interesting facts of this young doctor is that he is the son, in wedlock, of the Queen of Bohemia through her marriage to her physician, one Pelagius, an erstwhile King of Oyo in west Africa whose throne is usurped by his cousin and he is turned over to the slavers. ...more
Mirren rated it liked it
Mar 17, 2015
Abdo Juba
Abdo Juba rated it it was amazing
Mar 17, 2015
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Dr. Jane Stevenson (born 1959) is a UK author who was born in London and brought up in London, Beijing and Bonn. She has lectured in history at Sheffield University, and teaches literature and history at the University of Aberdeen. Her fiction books include Several Deceptions, a collection of four novellas; a novel, London Bridges; and the historical trilogy made up of the novels The Winter Queen, ...more
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Other Books in the Series

Astraea (3 books)
  • The Winter Queen (Astraea, #1)
  • The Empress of the Last Days (Astraea, #3)

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