Kingdom of Shadows

Kingdom of Shadows

A Novel

Book - 2001
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Random House, Inc.
1. How does Nicholas Morath's experience as a cavalry officer in World War I affect his behavior in this book? 2. During many of Morath's assignments, he acts with very limited knowledge--he knows what he is to do, but not why, or who is involved. His uncle, a diplomat at the Hungarian legation, does not tell him the full story. Why? Is his uncle morally right to do this? Is he right in any sense? How is this used as a plot device? 3. The first verse of the Hungarian national anthem, quotes in the epigraph of Kingdom of Shadows , speaks of a people 'torn by misfortune,' a nation that has 'already paid for its sins.' How is the tone of this national anthem different from that of other patriotic songs? What can you infer about the history of Hungary from its national anthem? 4. Critics praise Furst's ability to re-create the atmosphere of World War II-era Europe with great accuracy. What elements of description make the setting come alive? How can you account for the fact that the settings seem authentic even though you probably have no first-hand knowledge of the times and places he writes about? 5. Furst's novels have been described as 'historical novels' and as 'spy novels'. He call them 'historical spy novels.' Some critics have insisted they are, simply, novels. How does his work compare with other spy novels you've read? What does he do that is the same? Different? If you owned a bookstore, in what section would you display his books? 6. Furst is often praised for his minor characters, which have been described as 'sketched out in a few strokes.' Do you have a favorite in this book? Characters in Furst's books often take part in the action for a few pages and then disappear. What do you think becomes of them? And, if you know, how do you know? What in the book is guiding you toward that opinion? 7. At the end of an Alan Furst novel, the hero is always still alive. What becomes of Furst's heroes? Will they survive the war? Does Furst know what becomes of them? Would it be better if they were somewhere safe and sound, to live out the end of the war in comfort? If not, why not? 8. Love affairs are always prominent in Furst's novels, and 'love in a time of war' is a recurring theme. Do you think these affairs might last, and lead to marriage and domesticity? 9. How do the notions of good and evil work in Kingdom of Shadows ? Would you prefer a confrontation between villian and hero at the end of the book? Do you like Furst's use of realism in the novel?
In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath—a hugely charismatic hero—becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe.

Baker & Taylor
In 1938 Paris, Nicholas Morath, a Hungarian aristocrat and charismatic former cavalry officer, is recruited by his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, to try to bring down the Hungarian fascists, as Europe moves ever closer to all-out war under the shadow of Hitler and the Nazi war machine. 25,000 first printing.

Blackwell North Amer
Paris, 1938. As Europe edges toward war, Nicholas Morath arrives in Paris on the night express from Budapest. Morath, urbane and handsome at forty-four, a lieutenant of the Hungarian cavalry in the First World War, spends his days as the owner of a small advertising agency and his nights in the bohemian circles of his Argentine mistress. Looming over this elegant existence, however, is the shadow of Adolf Hitler. Morath has been recruited by his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, for a secret mission of the utmost importance. Polanyi is a diplomat at the Hungarian legation in Paris; desperate to stop his country's drift into alliance with Nazi Germany, he lives in a shadow world and trades in conspiracy.
It is Morath who does Polanyi's clandestine work, moving between the beach cafes of Juan-les-Pins and the forests of Ruthenia, from Czech fortresses in the Sudetenland to the private gardens of declasse royalty in Budapest. Hungary is a small nation caught between two great powers: to avoid being drawn into the coming conflagration will require desperate ingenuity. As the failure of appeasement becomes grimly apparent, Hitler marches into Prague and threatens Poland, and Morath is drawn deeper and deeper into danger, as quiet favors become secret missions, until ultimately he is risking his life behind enemy lines for the very future of a free Europe.

& Taylor

In 1938 Paris, Nicholas Morath, a Hungarian aristocrat and former cavalry officer, is recruited by his uncle, Count Janos Polanyi, to try to bring down the Hungarian fascists, as Europe moves ever closer to all-out war.

Publisher: New York : Random House, c2001
Edition: 1st ed
Description: 239 p
ISBN: 9780375503375
Branch Call Number: Furs


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Mar 16, 2016

A good summary of pre-war Europe.

Jan 08, 2016

Lets you realize how much the national borders of Europe have changed in the last hundred years.

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Jul 22, 2010

storyteller26 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over


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