Join BookBrowse today and get access to free books, our twice monthly digital magazine, and more.

Reviews of Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst

Kingdom of Shadows

by Alan Furst

Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst X
Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2001, 239 pages

    Paperback:
    Oct 2001, 272 pages

    Genres

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

In spymaster Alan Furst's most electrifying thriller to date, Hungarian aristocrat Nicholas Morath becomes embroiled in a daring and perilous effort to halt the Nazi war machine in eastern Europe.

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.

On the tenth of March 1938, the night train from Budapest pulled into the Gare du Nord a little after four in the morning. There were storms in the Ruhr Valley and down through Picardy and the sides of the wagon-lits glistened with rain. In the station at Vienna, a brick had been thrown at the window of a first-class compartment, leaving a frosted star in the glass. And later that day there'd been difficulties at the frontiers for some of the passengers, so in the end the train was late getting into Paris.

Nicholas Morath, traveling on a Hungarian diplomatic passport, hurried down the platform and headed for the taxi rank outside the station. The first driver in line watched him for a moment, then briskly folded his Paris-Midi and sat up straight behind the wheel. Morath tossed his bag on the floor in the back and climbed in after it. "L'avenue Bourdonnais," he said. "Number eight."

Foreign, the driver thought. Aristocrat. He started his cab and sped along the quai toward...

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
About This Reading Guide

Alan Furst describes the area of his interest as "near history." His novels are set between 1933–the date of Adolf Hitler's ascent, with the first Stalinist purges in Moscow coming a year later–and 1945, which saw the end of the war in Europe. The history of this period is well documented. Furst uses books by journalists of the time, personal memoirs–some privately published–autobiographies (many of the prominent individuals of the period wrote them), war and political histories, and characteristic novels written during those years.

"But," he says, "there is a lot more"–for example, period newsreels, magazines, and newspapers, as well as films and music, especially swing and jazz...
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews

Boston Globe
Furst's most richly textured and, arguably, finest espionage novel.

New York Times
Astonishingly, Alan Furst is not yet a household name. But perhaps the sixth of his supple, elegant European spy novels will do the trick, what with its beguiling sophistication, knowing political overview and utterly assured narrative tone. Mr. Furst is not one of those spy writers who have to strain, name-drop or cook up mind-boggling feats to assure the reader that his hero is an interesting man.

New York Times Book Review
Furst's latest and most impressive novel, Kingdom of Shadows, offers several forays across the political quicksands of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and France just before the Second World War. This densely atmospheric thriller begins in the gilded world of the Parisian haute bourgeoisie, where men look through sheer curtains at the ''ecstatic gray light of a rainy Parisian morning,'' drink from bottles of 1922 Echézeaux and employ the services of courtesans with names like Mimi Moux... Kingdom of Shadows is undeniably intelligent and harrowing.

Library Journal
Furst has earned deserved acclaim for his lapidary espionage novels (The World at Night, Red Gold), set just before World War II. An exceptional piece of writing, with engaging characters and moments of sharp, unexpected violence, this is recommended for all public libraries.

Publisher's Weekly
The desperation of stateless people trying to escape the Nazi redrawing of the European map in the late 1930s pervades Furst's marvelous sixth espionage thriller. This is Furst's best book since The Polish Officer, and in it he proves himself once again a master of literary espionage.

Reader Reviews

clara gyorgyey

penomenally well researched writing; some of the spelling of Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian names are silly but it does not deduct from the ovelall impact. the locales are richly detailed, the timing: perfect.

CONGRATULATIONS

Write your own review!

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Kingdom of Shadows, try these:

  • When the Doves Disappeared jacket

    When the Doves Disappeared

    by Sofi Oksanen

    Published 2016

    About this book

    From the acclaimed author of Purge ("a stirring and humane work of art" —The New Republic) comes a riveting, chillingly relevant new novel of occupation, resistance, and collaboration in Eastern Europe.

  • A Spy Among Friends jacket

    A Spy Among Friends

    by Ben Macintyre

    Published 2015

    About this book

    More by this author

    Master storyteller Ben Macintyre's most ambitious work to date brings to life the twentieth century's greatest spy story.

We have 9 read-alikes for Kingdom of Shadows, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by Alan Furst
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Song of the Six Realms
    Song of the Six Realms
    by Judy I. Lin
    Xue'er has no place in the kingdom of Qi or any of the Six Realms. Her name means "Solitary Snow" ...
  • Book Jacket: The Demon of Unrest
    The Demon of Unrest
    by Erik Larson
    In the aftermath of the 1860 presidential election, the divided United States began to collapse as ...
  • Book Jacket: Daughters of Shandong
    Daughters of Shandong
    by Eve J. Chung
    Daughters of Shandong is the debut novel of Eve J. Chung, a human rights lawyer living in New York. ...
  • Book Jacket: Anita de Monte Laughs Last
    Anita de Monte Laughs Last
    by Xochitl Gonzalez
    Brooklyn-based novelist Xochitl Gonzalez is an inspiring writer to follow. At forty, she decided to ...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Romantic Comedy
by Curtis Sittenfeld
A comedy writer's stance on love shifts when a pop star challenges her assumptions in this witty and touching novel.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Stolen Child
    by Ann Hood

    An unlikely duo ventures through France and Italy to solve the mystery of a child’s fate.

  • Book Jacket

    This Strange Eventful History
    by Claire Messud

    An immersive, masterful story of a family born on the wrong side of history.

Win This Book
Win Only the Brave

Only the Brave by Danielle Steel

A powerful, sweeping historical novel about a courageous woman in World War II Germany.

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

F T a T

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.