Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times

Nathan Fox: Dangerous Times

L. Brittney
Fiction  Series
For ages 12 and up
Feiwel & Friends, 2008   ISBN: 978-0312369620

Nathan Fox works as an actor in a theatre just outside the walls of the city of London. Being a young man he is often given the job of playing women's parts, and his acrobatic skills are also very useful. Nathan fully expects to make acting his life's work, but this is not to be. Instead, through his friend and fellow actor Will Shakespeare, Nathan is recruited to become a spy. Sir Francis Walsingham works for her majesty Queen Elizabeth and it is his job to find out who might be working against her or who might wish her ill.

And so Nathan is introduced to John Pearce, who is going to be his partner. Nathan is taken to a training school where he learns how to fight, how to use ciphers, and more. Then Nathan and John set off for Venice. Walsingham needs the young men to talk to take a letter to the Doge of Venice. It is hoped that they will be able to persuade the Doge to support England in her fight against Spain.

The Doge - a wily old man who does not trust anyone - says that he will consider an alliance with England if John and Nathan assist his best general. They are to accompany General Othello who is going to the island of Cyprus to claim it for Venice. Nathan and John have no way of knowing that tragedy awaits them.

In this thrilling book the author not only tells us the story of Othello as seen through the eyes of a young Englishman, but she also gives her readers a picture of what life was like during the reign of Queen Elizabeth. Readers will come appreciate how dangerous, and uncomfortable, things could be for people at this time. They will also see that being a monarch is not all fun and games. Elizabeth had many enemies who were eager to see her remove from power – permanently.

This is a terrific first book in a new series.