'Wait, wait! Save us! What'll we do?' Simon is determined to become a painter when he grows up so he sets off to London to make his fortune.
But the city is plagued by wolves and mysterious disappearances.
The Twite household, where Simon is lodging, seems particularly shifty.
Before he even gets a chance to open his glistening new paints Simon stumbles right into the centre of a plot to kill the King. And worse than that Simon is kidnapped and sent to sea! Luckily there are two friendly stowaways aboard - the feisty Dido Twite and the spoiled young Justin.
But when the ship catches fire things look pretty dire.
Can they escape? Will they save the king in time? BACKSTORY: Test your knowledge of Black Hearts in Battersea and play the name game.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 320 pages
- Publisher: Vintage Publishing
- Publication Date: 06/09/2012
- Category: Adventure
- ISBN: 9780099573661
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Review by Smiler69
Two orphans, Simon and Sophie are at the heart of this story. Simon arrives in London at the invitation of a doctor friend who wishes to encourage him in his art studies, but the good Dr Field seems to have vanished into thin air. Simon soon meets the Duke of Battersea who invites him to play chess and before he knows it, he is embroiled in a plot to depose the fictitious King James III, this series being set in an alternate reality which is a bit beyond my comprehension, having not yet sorted out who the various English kings were in reality, let alone in an alternate history version! Must admit it took me a while to get into the story and about halfway through I was ready to give up because I found there were lots of disjoined bits, none of which seemed to connect, but I was well rewarded for sticking to it till the end, when it all came together beautifully. Lots of Dickensian touches with a great big cast of London characters including an impish pest of a girl you can't help but liking, and of course, this being a children's book from the 20th century, you can expect a happy ending.