Catherine Banner must be one of the most talented people in the UK - she started writing her first book, The Eyes of a King, when she was just 14 years old, and has found publishing success while still a teenager.
Catherine was 19 when The Eyes of a King published in 2008, a release which was hailed with massive media attention. The story of Catherine's youthful success has been covered in The Daily Mail, The Telegraph, The Times, Radio Five Live and Catherine was even named as one of 50 young people in the Observer's 'cool list'.
Catherine was born in Cambridge and has always loved reading and writing; "I always enjoyed getting the chance to read stories in English lessons at school; I remember in the first year of secondary school spending weeks working on stories for class - one was a ghost story and another was a short story - and at the same time I was trying to write longer stories at home too."
When Catherine was 14 an idea for a world called Malonia formed in her head and it just wouldn't go away. Catherine starting writing about this world and over the next two years she wrote her first novel, The Eyes of a King.
The next step in Catherine's story is a stroke of luck and an example of her passion for writing. Catherine sent her story to former Children's Laureate, Michael Morpurgo, who replied with a glowing and encouraging response. Spurred on, Catherine went a literary festival event where she met a top London agent called Simon Trewin. Simon read her story, loved it and agreed to represent her. The rest, as they say, is history…
Random House have signed Catherine for a three book deal making The Eyes of a King the first in a trilogy. Rights to Catherine's books have been sold to 13 countries around the world and the book is already a bestseller in the UK. Yet Catherine's feet remind firmly on the ground; "Even now I sometimes wonder if it's all real; it means such a lot to me to be able to write professionally, it's something I had been dreaming about for years."
The Eyes of a King is the story of Leo North, a teenager living in a country called Malonia. Leo's feeling angry with life; as he's forced to complete military training to fight in a war, and his home situations is tense to say the least. When Leo finds a blank book in the snow, words start appearing on the page and begin to tell a story which will change his life. Initially the fairytale is an escape for Leo, but when he has to face sudden tragedy, he realizes that the story is inextricably linked to his own life, and may change Malonia forever.
Catherine lives in Cambridge and reading English at University.
Catherine Banner books reviewed
The Eyes of a King
Voices in the Dark
- The Eyes of a King (2008)
Five-year-old Cassius escaped the brutal assassination of his parents, the king and queen of Malonia, and was exiled to modern-day England. Now fifteen, Cassius continues to be hidden in England under the protection of his tutor, the great Alderbaran, who’s ancient prophecy says that Cassius will, one day, return and claim his rightful place on the throne. At the same time, fifteen-year-old Leo remains in Malonia where a repressive dictatorial regime under the new king, Lucien, followed the assassination. One day Leo discovers a wonderful book in which parts of an epic story appear each day – a remarkable story that reveals the secrets of the prophecy, the assassination and how they are connected to Leo’s own family history.
- Voices in the Dark (2010)
Asking for the truth can be as painful as telling it... Anselm Andros has clearly defined roles in his family and they are roles he plays very well—he is confidante to his mother, Maria. He is the confessor to his stepfather, Leo, a man haunted by the secrets of his past. And Anselm is also the patient, caring brother to his precocious sister, Jasmine. When the political landscape of Malonia starts to shift, this unassuming family begins to unravel. Even though they’ve spent the past fifteen years leading a quiet life, Maria and Leo’s actions are forever linked to the turbulent history of Malonia and its parallel world, modern-day England. With so much uncertainty at home and in his world, it is more important than ever for Anselm to put all the pieces of the past together. He must listen to his own voice and acknowledge his fears and desires—whatever the cost.