Nathan Fox: Traitor’s Gold

Written by L. Brittney
Review by Elizabeth Hawksley Hal McNulty (age 10)


1587. King Philip of Spain rules much of Europe, and he has England in his sights. Two things are stopping him. One is the rise of Protestantism in Catholic France, his ally, the other the increasingly successful Protestant revolt in the Spanish Netherlands. If either country becomes Protestant and thus an ally of his enemy, Elizabeth of England, the balance of power will turn against him. He has an army of 60,000 men in the Netherlands, but their pay is in arrears and their loyalty is wavering.

In this second Nathan Fox adventure, Nathan, his sister Marie and his mentor John Pearce have a dangerous double assignment. The English spy-master, Walsingham, has learnt that one million florins are on their way to the Netherlands to pay the Spanish soldiers. Their mission is to capture the money and for it to be used to support the Dutch rebels.

The second mission involves a holy relic. Potentially, its propaganda value is immense. King Philip would undoubtedly use it to justify his war against the Protestants. Queen Elizabeth wants it taken to the Holy Land and buried where it can do no harm. But first, Nathan and his friends have to find it, and it’s rumoured to be in a convent…

Time is of the essence. Others have also heard about the gold—the Spanish merchant Castedo, for one. And why is Lord Harcourt travelling to the Netherlands with his daughter Catherine? Could he have heard of the relic?

This is a terrific story of double-dealing and adventure. Not only does L. Brittney get across the history in an exciting and entertaining way, she also brings in Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure as the subplot. Aimed at boys of 10 plus but girls who like historical adventures should enjoy it as well.


I think Traitor’s Gold is an amazingly good read. I enjoyed reading about the characters and what they do. Probably my favourite character is Sir Francis Walsingham because I like the way he says things, the way he describes everything so vividly.

I think all of the characters are very enjoyable to read about because they are all different and have distinct personalities. It’s a very exciting story set in Shakespeare’s time about spying. I like the way the author writes Nathan Fox’s thoughts down in slanting letters—it helped me understand what’s going on and what he thinks.

In my opinion the author could use more descriptive words because it would help me get a bigger picture of what’s going on in my mind. So altogether I think Nathan Fox’s latest adventure is a brilliantly written book with hardly any faults.