Reader Reviewed The King's Shadow by Philip Womack
  

The King's Shadow

Written by Philip Womack
Part of the The Darkening Path Series

11+ readers   13+ readers   
Download an extract Add to wishlist Share this book

The Lovereading4Kids comment

Hidden away in the Land of the Broken King, Johnny and Anna are being held prisoner. Bravely, Simon and Flora enter the hidden kingdom to search for their missing siblings. It’s a journey that demands the greatest courage as nothing in the Land of the Broken King is exactly as it should be. In particular, it is hard to know who to trust. The result is a thrilling, fantasy adventure in which myriad possibilities are thrown up as Simon and Flora do all they can to find Johnny and Anna while also ensuring they can return to their own world. In this sequel to the highly praised The Broken King , Philip Wormack continues to entrance his readers. ~ Julia Eccleshare

Reader Reviews

Some of our Lovereading4kids Reader Review Panel were lucky enough to read and review the first book in this series, The Broken King.

  • Benjy Randall, age 10 - 'A very good book, read if you like adventures stories with lots of magic.' Read full review >
  • Robert White, age 10 - 'I loved this book; I could never put it down. A five star read! The Broken King is a mighty action packed book filled with magical creatures of all kinds.' Read full review >
  • Emily Passmore, age 13 - 'Imaginative, interesting and just amazing, this book is a definite for anyone who has a love of fantasy. Just trust me, read it!' Read full review >
  • Sam Harper, age 10 - 'This was an exhilarating, dark adventure which kept me hooked from the first page to the last word. The creatures were terrifying and amazing. Fantastic!' Read full review >
  • Sidney Greenslade, age 10 - 'A fast-paced tale of danger, magic and adventure...I was gripped from the very first page and I can't wait to read book two in the Darkening Path series. I highly recommend this book.' Read full review >
  • Rose Heathcote, age 15 - 'FANTASTICALLY written fantasy adventure, from the day it arrived it didn't leave my hands.  It will capture your imagination from the very first page. I can’t wait for book two to be published.' Read full review >
  • Daisy Theobald, age 11 - 'I extremely enjoyed this book, it is one of my favourite books that I have ever read. It gripped me from page one.' Read full review >

Synopsis

The King's Shadow by Philip Womack

The King’s Shadow, the second book in The Darkening Path trilogy, is a thrilling fantasy adventure that references ancient Greek mythology with a dash of Victorian gothic.

'You are the chosen ones from the other land who will come to seek their siblings and with the hunting horn and the sunsword tear the king’s shadow and overthrow the Broken King.’

Simon and Flora have reached the land of the Broken King in search of their siblings. But here, nothing is quite what it seems. Who can Simon and Flora trust? What does Pike, their mysterious companion, stand to gain? As rumours of war and revolution swirl around them, and as the sinister Knight of the Swan dogs their every move, the pair must confront their terrifying final task.

And if they can free their siblings, will they then be able to open the way between the worlds, and return home?

Download a Teachers' Pack for The King's Shadow, with ideas for discussion and activities as well as suggestions for further reading.

Reviews

Praise for The Broken King

magical story full of powerful images and unexpected consequences Julia Eccleshare

superbly written and totally gripping Literary Review

the next JK Rowling Daily Mail

Like Alan Garner, Philip Womack takes ancient fairytales about searching for a child kidnapped by dark magic, and turns it into a haunting adventure exploring love,
courage, fear and friendship. Written with sensitivity, intelligence and conviction, it’s the kind of classic story readers can’t get enough of. – Amanda Craig

Mesmorising fantasy . . . this page-turner of a novel grips throughout and will have the reader keen to read the rest of the trilogy. – Parents in Touch

About the Author

Philip Womack

Philip Womack was born in Chichester in the middle of a thunderstorm in 1981.
He was educated at Lancing, and Oriel College, Oxford, where he read Classics and English. He lives in London.

He is currently a Contributing Editor at Literary Review and writes for The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian, among other papers; he is also a Fellow at First Story, currently being Writer in Residence at St Augustine's in Kilburn. He has led workshops on Greek Tragedy and How to Write Children's Fiction for the How To: Academy.

A Q&A with Philip Womack on The Broken King

How would you describe The Broken King to someone who hasn’t read it?
It’s a fast-moving, dark fantasy about searching for a lost sibling, featuring a knight that can turn into a swan, mysterious golden messengers, car chases, demi-gods and a giant snake made out of shadows. And lots of other things.

What’s your favourite scene in the book?
The second chapter, where the hero, Simon, meets a golden woman on a deer with irridescent, peacock-like wings, for the first time. I wanted to create a sense of warmth and mystery and excitement.

What was the most fun to write? What was the hardest chapter or scene to write?
It was all very enjoyable to write: the pain comes in the editing. The first chapter, in which Simon wishes his sister away, went through several edits; so much so that I began to think I might never finish it. So definitely that one.

What were your favourite books when you were young? Have any of them influenced The Broken King?
I loved T H White’s The Once and Future King, a cycle of Arthurian stories, and I think some of that has definitely found its way into The Broken King: the Knight of the Swan, for instance. In the second book we’ll see more of these knights, about which I am very excited.

Can you tell us about the poem that inspired the book? What other poems would you really recommend to young readers?
Robert Browning’s “Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came” is a rather extraordinary piece of work: it takes its inspiration from a line in William Shakespeare’s King Lear, spoken by Edgar when he’s disguised as the madman Poor Tom. It’s a poem about a quest for the Dark Tower – only we don’t know why the knight is doing it, simply that many have tried and failed before (including Giles and Cuthbert – hence Giles Cuthbertson in The Broken King.) It’s a hugely atmospheric poem which manages to create tension out of stasis; and I have always been fascinated by the idea of the Dark Tower, as many writers before me have. It looms in the collective mind, frightening yet enthralling.

With Browning, I would recommend “My Last Duchess” to young readers, a poem about a very sinister Duke.

Do you have any tips for anyone who wants to be a writer? Read, observe, listen, practise. I think, especially today, what with the proliferation of writing courses and even degrees, that people view “writing” as something that can be not only taught, but learned and then used professionally. Some of these things may be true, but it’s more complicated than that.

If you have an urge to write, or find it easy to write, then now is no better time than to hone your skills: look at what people say and what they do; think about how people behave and why they behave in those ways. Stories can be found anywhere and everywhere: look around your classroom and there will be hundreds of stories. The writer’s job is to find them, tease them out and make them accessible and interesting to the reader. Remember that: writers have readers.

More books by this author

Loading similar books...

Other Formats

Book Info

Format

Paperback
304 pages

Author

Philip Womack
More books by Philip Womack

Publisher

Troika Books

Publication date

7th May 2015

ISBN

9781909991125

Categories


I think Lovereading4kids is an amazing company because of the friendly staff and the fabulous chance to read great books before publication.

Adam Graham

A great way to introduce kids to great books, authors & genres. Parents can find age-appropriate books to share with their children.

Judi Davies – Aberdare Girls Sch

Lovereading4kids is great, we get books really early never late. We love to read and review, and think you would like it too. The excitement

Jasmine Harris-Hart, age 12

We love Lovereading4kids because they put books in front of us we wouldn’t otherwise have read. They make us more adventurous readers!

Emily Jacques

It’s a community united by a passion for books and promoting the best there is in children’s literature.

Sam Bateman and family

I am so pleased to have signed my kids up as they are reading a much wider range of books and even choosing books out of their comfort zone.

Angela East

I love finding new books to read. My mummy and me look at the new ones coming out. I have written reviews of some of them!

Jessica Cobbin – age 7

This company is amazing; not only is it is a great opportunity to get books and review them but everyone is so friendly and supportive!

Jemma Rubens, age 10
Lovereading

Lovereading 4 schools