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In the Shadow of Heroes

Written by Nicholas Bowling

Fantasy / Magical Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Historical Fiction

LoveReading View on In the Shadow of Heroes

Heroic Greek myths move this exciting quest set in the Roman Empire of Nero – a time of perilous journeys and warped power - all conspiring to turn the life of our young slave hero upside down.

Shortlisted for the Costa Children's Book Award 2019

A fast-paced read packed with historical detail In the Shadow of Heroes is a clever blend of intrigue, politics, crime, history and a bit of fantasy. Set in Rome at the time of Emperor Nero, it weaves some Greek mythology – the tale of the Golden Fleece – into the world of the Roman elite. When unexpected visitors turn up at Tullus’s house one night, his slave Cadmus, an educated boy slave who was taken in by Tullus after having been abandoned as a baby, knows that something dangerous is afoot. The visitors bring a box with something that is clearly very desirable in it. What can it be? When Tullus disappears and Cadman is given a message by a slave who was formerly a British princess he set off on a trail to find out what is going on. The plot is twisty and inventive ensuring that the reader remains enthralled through out.

Julia Eccleshare M.B.E

Other Info

A Review from Tricia Adams our Education Expert; Cadmus is an unusually well-educated slave, serving his old master Tullus as he labours at his studies and in the senate. Cadmus knows nothing of his past – except what he has been told by his master.  When Tullus unexpectedly disappears how is slave Cadmus to survive without a master?  The situation is made worse by the arrival of a British slave girl – the taciturn Tog – with a message for Tullus.

The two form an unlikely alliance as they set out to find Tullus and get to the bottom of a centuries old riddle – what became of the treasures Jason found on his journey in the Argo. Then there’s the problem of how can Cadmus and Tog both return to their homes?

‘Buckle your sandals and pack your toga: you’re about to travel to the amazing world of ancient Rome – In the Shadow of Heroes will sweep you up on a voyage of wild discovery. Alongside two wonderful friends, Cadmus and Tog, you’ll uncover the secrets of the ancient heroes, cross the Roman Empire from Athens to a Britain of druids and magic, and find the truth hidden in the myths. (Plus, there’s a pet mouse!) Nick Bowling is a fast, funny, clever and mysterious writer – and this is a very special kind of storytelling.’ Barry Cunningham, Publisher

In the Shadow of Heroes Synopsis

The newest novel from the critically-acclaimed author of Witchborn... Fourteen-year-old Cadmus has been scholar Tullus's slave since he was a baby - his master is the only family he knows. But when Tullus disappears and a taciturn slave called Tog - daughter of a British chieftain - arrives with a secret message, Cadmus's life is turned upside down. The pair follow a trail that leads to Emperor Nero himself, and his crazed determination to possess the Golden Fleece of Greek mythology. This quest will push Cadmus to the edge of the Roman Empire - and reveal unexpected truths about his past ...

In the Shadow of Heroes Press Reviews

Praise for Witchborn:

‘A wonderfully twisty and atmospheric fantasy … one not to miss.’ – The Bookseller

'The perfect blend of euphoric escapism and exciting engagement.’ – Buzzfeed

‘A gripping debut, lacing magic and history together with an unexpected but wicked undercurrent of darkness’ – The Bookbag

‘Nicholas Bowling is a thrilling writer, who keeps the reader permanently on edge’  – The Telegraph

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781911077688
Publication date: 02/05/2019
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781911077688
Publication date: 2nd May 2019
Author: Nicholas Bowling
Publisher: Chicken House Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 384 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Fantasy / Magical, Historical Fiction

About Nicholas Bowling

Nick Bowling is an author, stand-up comic, musician and Latin teacher from London. He graduated from Oxford University in 2007 with a BA in Classics and English, and again in 2010 with a Masters in Greek and Latin Language and Literature, before moving to his first teaching job at Trinity School, Croydon. While writing Witchborn, he has also performed a solo show at the Edinburgh festival, and has co-written, recorded and released an album and two EPs with soul-folk singer Mary Erskine, Me For Queen.

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