The Diamond of Drury Lane (Cat Royal, #1)

ISBN: 1405221496
ISBN 13: 9781405221498
By: Julia Golding

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Adventure Favorites Fiction Historical Historical Fiction Mystery Series To Read Ya Young Adult

About this book

Set in 1790's Covent Garden this title whisks you back to a bygone era. It is the tale of Cat Royal, an orphan who lives at the back of the real-life theatre in Drury Lane.

Reader's Thoughts


Great book, and very definitely deserving of the awards it's won.Fast-moving plot and a wonderfully vivid setting in a late 18th century London theatre. The author's knowledge of the period enriches the plot without ever becoming detail-heavy. Lots of little jokes for adult readers as well, including a cameo appearance by Jane Austen.


OK, so I plan to do a review for all of the books from this series. So, for this one, I'm just going to say, it's AWESOME. They all are. Excuse my enthusiasm. But I really enjoy Julia Golding's style of writing, a lot. And I love the witty, brave, smart character she's given Cat. Love everything about it.I wish this series had gone on forever...but, even good (or in this case wonderful) things must come to an end.


I will admit it, the cover is what first caught my eye and made me read on, but in this case, judging a book by it's cover proved to be a good thing, as this is a little gem of a novel. The story follows Cat Royal, an orphan living behind the scenes of the famous Theatre Royal in London, and the secrets she uncovers amongst the props and costumes. 'The Diamond of Drury Lane' is not just a fun romp. It also casts the reader back to the late Eighteenth Century, from the mean streets of London, to the lavish homes of the fabuously rich. If you want a breather from the multitudes of fantasy novels that seem to have taken over, then look no further than this, the first in what proves to be an exciting and refreshing series.

Chris Murray

Golding, Julia. The Diamond of Drury Lane (2008)The Diamond of Drury Lane is a mystery story set in London in the1790s. The main character, Cat Royal, is an orphan who was abandoned on the doorstep of the Drury Lane Theater, and raised by the theater manager, Mr. Sheridan and his crew. One night she overhears him talking to a mysterious stranger about hiding a diamond in the theater. She promises to keep this newly acquired knowledge a secret, but accidently lets the cat out of the bag. Suddenly everyone is after the diamond. This bookis populated by a very interesting cast of characters. Cat’s new friend, Pedro, a former slave and the theater’s violin virtuoso, wants to use the diamond to buy into a life of freedom and luxury. Johnny, the handsome new prompter, seems to be guarding a secret of his own. Lord Francis and Lady Elizabeth, two young members of the nobility are enchanted withCat, Pedro, and the theater lifestyle, so strikingly different from their own. Representing good is Cat’s friend Syd, the butcher’s son, champion boxer and gang leader. Representing evil is Billy the Boil, leader of an opposing gang and Cat’s enemy, who will stop at nothing get his hands on Cat and the diamond. Best of all there is Cat herself, the plucky, diminutive heroine who moves seamlessly from one adventure and social class to another. The Diamond of Drury Lane works well as a mystery and a historical fiction book. The action is non-stop with many twists, turns, and surprises. The descriptions of lower class London in the 1790s are appropriately seedy. The author uses several literary devices to add extra layers of interest to the story, such as historically accurate language and slang of the day, glossaries, a “cast” listing of characters, chapters written as scenes in a play, and maps. I think this book would be a wonderful read for kids I grades five and up.


Title: The Diamond of Drury LaneAuthor: Julia GoldingYear: 2006ISBN: (ISBN13: 9781405221498)Type: bookGenre: Historical FictionLength/Pages & Reading Level: 421 pages; 9 and up.Publisher/Studio name: Egmont Books (UK)Plot: This story takes place in the late 18th century England and centers on a young girl raised in a theater. She is named after the theater. The performers, workers and owners are her family. She learns of a Diamond in the theater and enlists the help of a young performer to search for it. They encounter problems when a local gang lead by Cat’s nemesis discovers what they are searching for. When Cat learns that Johnny, the cartoonist accused of treason is the diamond she attempts to smuggle him out of England. This ignites a series of adventures that entail being arrested and encounters with gangs. She is ultimately successful in getting Johnny out of England and returns to her theater to discover she is the Diamond of the Theater Royal.Review: This is a great story for the younger kids. The protagonist in the story is likeable, brave, inquisitive and smart. The book is designed like a play with acts and scenes. There is also a glossary for the slang used In the book. The author provides maps of London. I love stories centered on young strong-willed girls.Annotation: Cat Royal is an Orphan raised in a Theater in 18th century London. She grows up in the tough gangs of Covent Garden and embarks on a quest to find the Diamond of Theater Royal. She uses her grit, wit and intelligence to survive.See Also: Cat Royal Series

Alexandra Gold

1st Book in the series 5 starsI enjoyed this book, it's dynamic , fun, entertaining and well written. I wish it had a much more bigger marketing campaign, it could have been almost famous like Harry Potter or Series of Unfortunate Events.I love Cat, she is clever, cunning and most of the time she manages to get herself into trouble but makes a great escape every time. Pedro is a likable character, Syd too, I have an affinity for Billy :) the rest of her friends are great to interact with, as Cat does in the book.It made me want to read more, I have the second book and already am 2/3 done. :)

Allyana Ziolko

For some reason, I find it condescending when an author puts "dear reader" at least once in every chapter. Aside from that HUGE annoyance, it was okay.

Sue Smith

I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts about this book into words. Not that the book was bad or not worth reading - it passed those tests for me. I just want to give it an honest critique. Personally, I think I'm just spoiled by Harry Potter. Written as kids books, she really raised the bar for what they could be and this one, although the premise is a great one and the characters have soooo much potential, just doesn't quite get up to that level. For me. I love that the character, Cat Royal, has been raised in the theatre. I liked how the author, Julia Golding, gets the reader involved by having Cat talk to 'you'. I loved the maps of old London - they were great to set the time and places of what was happening. I just felt, at times mind - not all the time - that it sometimes was simplified or short changed...or dumbed down. Or something niggly. I can't quite put my finger on it. Read it and see for yourself. Maybe something in the cast of characters and adversaries......and the unlikely mix of them all. Certainly, this being the first book of a series of adventures, it may be just that ... setting the stage and the characters for the future events. I don't think I can honestly say until I've read further into the series if it's just that introduction book or what. But I am sufficently curious to read on into another book to see.


I really want to give this one 4.5 stars because I really liked it and am especially impressed because I'm not usually one for mysteries or historical fiction. However the characters in this book were so well-developd, and the heroine so winning I could not put down the story of the orphan girl who lives in a theatre, is freinds with royalty and street urchins alike, and fiercly loyal to them all. This is a book with broad appeal. Part mystery, part adventure, part historical fiction the Diamond of Drury Land has something for everyone. Cat is an orphan living in a theatre and therefore given far more freedoms than a girl living in 1790s London would otherwise have. One night she hears her benefactor talking about a diamond hidden in the theatre. The next day two new faces arrive - Pedro, a former slave who plays fiddle most excellently and Jonathan, the secretive new theatre prompter with a great talent for illustration. It is also around this time that Cat is introduced to Lord Francis and Lady Elizabeth. Pedro tells these upperclass children that Cat is a great playwright and so she is invited to their home to spin them tale. In the meantime Cat is caught in the middle of two local street gangs, one of which she desperately wishes to join. With so much going on Cat wonders where her future wll lead her. And where is that diamond?

Barbara Gordon

I quite liked this. My husband snaffled it away from me and read it first, laughing out loud several times. From the moment where Cat compares the theatre company to England, with Mr. Sheridan as the king, and herself as the mail-coach bringing news back and forth, leading Jonathan the prompter to describe himself as the bishop 'because he provides the word to those in need', I knew the author wasn't going to be lazy.So it's a good old-fashioned melodrama, with thrilling escapes, jeopardy to spare, and the heroes and villains pretty well pegged from the beginning, but perhaps more fun for that?The author does a good job, overall, of keeping modern attitudes out while keeping the characters sympathetic. It's clear that there was dissent and upheaval and nastiness, but the only lectures are from characters prone to lecture anyways. The poor are neither hapless nor saintly, and the rich are a mixed lot indeed.I'd recommend this, and I'll probably check out the sequels.

Christalle Luneta, Huntress

Let me start off by saying Wow! I did not expect that.This book surprised me, my friend had recommended this to me a while back and my idiotic answer "you know I'm good I got other books I need to read" Biggest reason for this answer is because yes I judged the book by its cover, I am guilty of doing this so many times and then later be slapping myself because I didn't read those books sooner.*Slap* Okay now that we got that overwith. The main character Cat Royal is everything a herione should be she's witty, clever, not to mention knows how to hold her own! Girl power!Anyway I won't really go into details about the other characters, even though I loved them, because then this review would be super long, but I will mention one more character.Billy Shepard (did I even spell that right?) Back to the point, I usually go for the whole bad boy type of guys, but okay Billy is a whole nother category of bad. If you want to find out how bad, you'll just have to read and see for yourself ;) Alrighty now from the look of this book you may think its only for younger kids elementary/middle school, NO! Think again, I am a high schooler and I really enjoyed this, my other friend who's also in high school enjoyed it as much as I did! The problem! Not many people know about this book (series). I really wish more people knew about it! This book series deserves to be known!Well to wrap it up, I fully recommend this book to anyone who loves a bit of historical fiction with a lot of action and a funny twist to it!Why are you still here? Go read this book!

Brooke Shirts

Ah, so satisfying in so many ways!Catherine "Cat" Royal is a foundling adopted by London's Drury Lane theater, circa the late 1700s. It's a position that lets her mingle with cast, crew, and audience members both high and low. When she overhears theater manager Mr. Sheridan saying how he is hiding a diamond in Drury Lane, her curiosity is piqued, although her discovery and subsequent protection of this diamond isn't exactly what anybody suspects.Add to this some narrow escapes from street gangs, tea parties with aristocrats, phony robbery charges, an African-American violin prodigy with his own agenda (yes, you read that correctly) and a sweet lil' love story and you have one of the best children's mysteries that I've read in long these many years. For bonus points, there's a glossary of terms in the back explaining all the adorably roguish 18th-century slang.I especially love the fact that Cat's transversing of various social classes is so plausible, and that the 18th-century mindset is so convincingly portrayed. Can't wait to read the sequel.

Ahmad Sharabiani

The diamond of drury lane (Cat Royal, #1), 2006, Julia Golding Characters: Cat Royal, Pedro Hawkins, Lord Francis or Frank, Lady Elizabeth or Lizzie, Billy 'Boil' Shepherd, Lord Jonathan Fitzroy, Johnny Smith or Captain Sparkler, Mr Sheridan Cat's jolly, Syd, The Duke of Avon, The Earl of Ranshaw Father of Johnny, Marzi-pain Marchmont.Abstract: MYSTERY, TREASURE, AND A LIFE ON THE STAGE. The first episode of the adventures of Cat Royal is a big, fat juicy read. She’s Cat Royal – four foot four, with long red hair, green eyes and not a penny she can call her own. But she does know a secret – where a treasure is hidden in the theater that is her home. The problem is she isn't the only one looking for it. One adventure leads into the next, taking Cat – and readers -- through the colorful streets of late 18th Century London. The exciting mystery – filled with fascinating characters, lots of incident, theatrical spectacles, and even a bit of political intrigue.عنوان: «الماس پنهان»، اثر: «جولیا گلدینک»؛ ترجمه: «اکرم کرمی»؛ ویراستار: «ترانه یگانه»، ‏نشر: «تهران، قدیانی، چاپ نخست، سال ‫۱۳۸۷ هجری خورشیدی‬، در ۳۹۸ ص»، شابک: 9789645365156‬، شابک دوره کامل: 9789645365217، فروست: ماجراهای کت رویال جلد ۱، رمان نوجوانان ۱۳2. موضوع: داستانهای کودکان انگلیسی -- قرن ۲۰مماجرا را از شبی تعریف می‌کنم که در تئاتر، شورش و هیاهو برپا شد، چون در واقع، داستان از همین‌جا شروع می‌شود


Young Cat Royal has lived in the Royal Theatre ever since she was found abandoned on its doorstep, and acts as the theatre's "Jill of all trades" and mascot, although she has ambitions to become a writer of fiction and plays. When Cat accidentally discovers (well, she WAS evesdropping...) that the theatre's owner, Mr. Sheridan, is hiding a treasure somewhere in the theatre, she knows she must guard the secret closely. But of course, she can't resist conducting her own search for the treasure, and dangerously, she also can't resist spilling the beans to her new friend Pedro (a young violin virtuoso and freed slave). This sets off a chain of escapades and hairsbreadth escapes, during which Cat proves to be clever, resourceful, and loyal, not to mention plucky, although perhaps not as good at putting two and two together as the reader might hope.I did enjoy this; the 1790 setting is carefully evoked, and the inclusion of plot-essential historical information is only occasionally heavy-handed. Cat's a fun character, and this book will appeal to young mystery lovers as well as those who enjoy period pieces. The reader will more than likely figure out the truth about the "diamond" long before Cat does, which is a bit annoying and causes the book to stretch out longer than it maybe needs to: it clocks in at a hefty 424 pages, which is a somewhat daunting size for the intended audience, regardless of the Harry Potter phenomenon. This is the first book in a projected quartet, and I'm curious to see how Golding chooses to develop the character further.


I read this last year, and I liked it alot- set in old England- Kat is an orphan taken in by the theatre on Drury Lane. She is feisty and appealing to all, including a nemesis- an unpleasant gang leader who is sweet on her. She unfortunately spurns him in a public and humiliating way, not understanding the ways of the heart and how vulnerable this boy is to her. She kicks off a chain of events that entangle lords, ladies, urchins and judges who are trying to find the Diamond of Drury Lane. An altogether likable farce set in a Dickensonian neighborhood.

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