“Cornwell not only succeeds in creating an engaging story, but also in celebrating the difficulties and delights, at any time in history, of putting on a show.”



Welcome to the War of the Theaters…Bernard Cornwell style. Perhaps it’s not the actual main event that history mentions but it is a very close re-creation of the history of the theater and the competitiveness between the different houses to obtain the most patrons and audiences..where money is to be made the stakes are high.

In this work the author gives the reader Richard Shakespeare, yes the younger brother of famous William Shakespeare as the narrator of the story and the main protagonist. Through his eyes we see behind the scenes of the lives and turmoil which existed when choosing this type of life.

The scenes are highly descriptive and I am ecstatic not only with the characters, costumes and venues but the total immersion into life in 16th century Elizabethan England. I thought it a brilliant piece of writing, well researched and the banter between the characters, sometimes witty, occasionally intense and often romantic is delightful.

I always feel entertained when reading or listening to a work by this author, he writes some of the best lines spoken by characters and his scenes be it a battlefield scene or an intimate moment draws the reader in.

At the end of the story Bernard Cornwell has included several pages of author’s notes do not skip these they are informative and worth reading.


Reviewed by:

Diana Long

Added 4th March 2018

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Diana Long