“A gripping fairy tale, complete with delightful illustrations from young fans….ultimately it is a tale of good triumphing over evil, and a tribute to the power of hope and friendship. Surely set to become a classic.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
King Fred rules over Cornucopia, the happiest place in the land. Everyone is well fed, and has jobs they like, every one is for the most part happy! The King one day overhears a little girl say the King is vain and mean. He indeed is very vain and wants everyone to like him, so the comments puts a thorn in his side.
They have a day when the villagers come to the King to tell him their “grievances” and a man says the fabled “Ickabog” monster has eaten his dog! He insists the King do something to help him! The King wanting everyone to like him,and while he’s not really sure of the existence of the monster, has his Lords form a committee to go out and destroy the monster.
The myth takes off with the misdirection, lies and out right greed of the 2 Lords and Cornucopia and all its surrounding villages, once prosperous fall into desperation and poverty. People are jailed, murdered, starved all in the name of the Ickabog.
But there is always someone who doubts, who is willing to stand up for truth no matter the consequences, who will suffer abuse in order to help others. The town will be saved by these few and the truth of the Ickabog will inevitably be revealed.
I read this aloud to my autistic son. The age range on Amazon says best for ages 6-8. Honestly, I think that age range is off. Many aspects reminded me of books 5-7 of Harry Potter( which personally I feel is out of that age range.) The Gaslighting of everyone from the townspeople, to the King infuriated me!!! The themes were a little darker than I was imagining and while they weren’t graphic, there were quite a few murders and scenes that could scare younger children. At 304 pages (hardcover) it’s kind of depressing through the majority of the book. You’re ultimately thinking it will turn out happily ever after and it some what does, but it’s kind of rough getting there. I can’t say if I enjoyed it or not, I’m just not quite sure. The writing was good enough, very Harry-esque but overall I’m just not sure. Illustrations are by children who submitted artwork.
Added 23rd August 2021
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
I’m about halfway through JKR’s latest book, “The Ickabog”, and here’s my crystallized opinion of the story …
* Best thing about it: It reminds me a lot of the works of Roald Dahl
* Worst thing about it: It reminds me a lot of the works of Roald Dahl
Dahl was, without a doubt, a genius in the field of children’s literature. His descriptions, characters and humor never failed to appeal to the intelligence of the reader, and to challenge their imagination to new levels.
But … his stories were damn dark at times. Really dark and disturbing in ways that linger in the mind long after reaching the final page.
Sooo … if you’re one of the legions of fans of Dahl’s incredible writings … you’ll likely love “The Ickabog”.
But if you might be of the disposition to have nightmares upon reading such things, then perhaps it might be preferable to follow the advice of Lemony Snicket and instead read a book such as “The Littlest Elf”, which tells the story of a teensy-weensy little man who scurries around Fairyland having all sorts of adorable adventures. I hear it’s a far safer choice.
Eris Brianna Boyd
Added 17th November 2020