Avi author writer
Poppy's Return Nothing But the Truth Crispin Cross of Lead True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Catch You Later, Traitor Avi author writer
The Player King
Atheneum/Richard Jackson
October 2017
more historical fiction
The Player King

Read an amazingly true tale of a boy plucked from the gutter to become the King of England.

England, 1486. King Henry VII has recently snatched the English Crown and now sits on the throne, while young Prince Edward, who has a truer claim, has apparently disappeared. Meanwhile, a penniless kitchen boy named Lambert Simnel is slaving away at a tavern in Oxford—until a mysterious friar, Brother Simonds, buys Lambert from the tavern keeper and whisks him away in the dead of night. But this is nothing compared to the secret that the friar reveals: You, Lambert, are actually Prince Edward, the true King of England!

With the aid of the deceitful Earl of Lincoln, Brother Simonds sets out to teach the boy how to become the rightful English king. Lambert has everything to gain and nothing to lose, or so he thinks. Yet in this dangerous battle for the throne, Lambert is not prepared for what’s to come—or for what it really means to play at being a king.

Reviews

“Based on historical fact, the novel strongly depicts Lambert’s emotions: his initial confusion, his growing excitement over the prospect of gaining wealth and power (although he knows he has no true claim to the throne), and his fear when he realizes that he is being used as a pawn in a deadly game. Avi’s short, accessible chapters and candid first-person narration create suspense and strongly evoke the political climate of the era, revealing an odd, mysterious chapter in England’s history.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Told from Lambert’s point of view, the first-person narrative effectively avoids the complicated political backstory and focuses on the boy’s experiences as he learns the unfamiliar speech, manners, and knowledge and plays his part. Avi, whose Newbery Award-winning Crispin was set in fourteenthcentury England, again makes the past vivid and personal in this relatively short, accessible book. An author’s note reveals what is known of the actual Lambert Simnel, whose story inspired the novel.” (Booklist)

“An interesting slice of history told by an engaging and believable protagonist. Hand to fans of the author, young Tudor enthusiasts, and readers who enjoy medieval-set fiction.” (School Library Journal)

 
Website copyright 2003 - Avi. All rights reserved. Site designed by Winding Oak.
Materials on this website may be copied for classroom or library use but may not be reprinted or resold for commercial purposes.