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The King's Arrow

2.85  ·  Rating details ·  81 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
When eighteen-year-old Simon, the half-English, half-Norman son of a noble family living in Norman-occupied England in 1100, is offered the chance to accompany the king’s friend Walter Tirel on a royal hunt, he is flattered by the honor. He hopes his association with Tirel will help him advance in a country where being English means being subject to the whims of the Norman ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Published February 14th 2008 by Viking Juvenile
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The King's Arrow is based on a real-life mystery involving King William II's death during the early twelfth century. The story is told from two perspectives, eighteen-year old Simon's and the king's marshal, Roland's.

The book isn't bad, it's just written in much detail rather than dialogue, so we don't really get to know the characters well. The characters, to me, seemed to be there and not there at the same time. Simon, for example, is an enigmatic figure, who I really don't care about knowing
Full of well-written atmosphere, short on plot. Most of the action takes place over the course of about two days and our main viewpoint character, Simon, has no clue what's going on most of the time. I enjoyed the book but I also knew the outline of what was going on historically, and I suspect if I hadn't known what was coming I would have been confused and mildly annoyed by all the cloak-and-dagger routines (literally!). As it was I really appreciated the vague aura of menace and impending doo ...more
May 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The book The King’s Arrow by Michael Cadnum was hard for me to read because it jumped to different scenes and it was hard for me to follow.

Eighteen year old Simon is half English and half Norman and is the son in a noble family. The story takes place in the year of 1100. One day, Simon was chosen to go hunting in the abandoned forest with the king’s friend Walter Tirel. He hoped his association with Tirel would help him advance in a country where being English means being subject to the whims of
Molly (Conan the Librarian) Crumbley
Simon Foldre is a young nobleman living in Norman-occupied England in the year 1100. As the man of the house, he tries very hard to bring honor to his family name and make his mother proud. His chance appears to come when he is offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance to attend a royal hunt as the squire of the king’s friend Walter Tirel.

The opportunity to spend an afternoon amongst King William the Conqueror and his court is a great honor for a young man of his station, and Simon leaps at the chanc
In the year 1100, King William II of England was shot with an arrow and killed during a hunting trip in New Forest. Historians still disagree about whether his death was a simple hunting accident or a part of a plot to take the throne. This is a novel about that tumultuous event. Simon Foldre is a young half-Norman, half-English nobleman who is invited along on the hunt to assist the powerful nobleman Walter Tirel. Simon gladly accepts in hopes that this will be an entry into high society and a ...more
Nov 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Overall, this book could have been made to be much more interesting, but Cadnum just didn't cut it. Simon is a flat Joe Bob character, Roland is a (insert several very colorful swear words here), and many characters were introduced and given a few pages of action before simply dropping off. I'm sure every one of us agrees that when authors litter characters, it makes us want to give them community service for a month...or two...Anyway, I would not recommend reading this book, unless you're into ...more
Newport Librarians
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ms-kathy, ya-fiction
When King William II of England is shot and killed during a hunting trip, everything changes for young Simon Foldre. He's the half-Norman, half-English son a noble family who has been invited to be an assistant to Walter Tirel, the king's friend, during the hunt. Was the tragedy that took the king's life an accident or an assassination plot? It is a question that remains unanswered by historians. In quiet but compelling prose, Cadnum writes an engaging historical fiction for teens that brings to ...more
Jun 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: teen-lit-read
I wanted to like this more - the most interesting parts of the book had to do with the intricate and sometimes dangerous customs people followed during conversations depending on one's social status, English, or Norman heritage. It's amazing to learn about how seemingly innocuous statements can get one's throat slit. The story itself was good, but I was waiting for something..well...more (I don't know what that "more" could be, as this is a tale based on historical details). Maybe this medieval ...more
Jun 01, 2008 rated it it was ok
I came upon this book at the library and liked the sound of it. I had never read this author before though he has written a number of books. It tells the story of the death of King William in 1100. I like this time and all the tales. The author is known for his historical tales and the research he does for them (according to the book jacket). I just think the book lacked as a whole. His setting and all is fine. It's just that the story lacked. You can put it down and go days without picking it u ...more
Nov 08, 2013 rated it liked it
The book sounded good from reading the front cover, but it turned out to be one of those books that feels like a dream. I never really got a clear sense of where the character was, what he was feeling, or what exactly was happening. It was a very flat book. The action was written in a way that didn't make you feel a part of it, and you never got to know the characters. The idea was interesting, but nothing about the story stuck out in my mind.
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Michael Cadnum has had a number of jobs over the course of his life, including pick-and-shoveler for the York Archaeological Trust, in York, England, and substitute teacher in Oakland, California, but his true calling is writing. He is the author of thirty-five books, including the National Book Award finalist The Book of the Lion. His Calling Home and Breaking the Fall were both nominated for the ...more
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