Charlie Bone and the Hidden King by Jenny Nimmo

 

ChildrenFantasyCharlie Bone and the Hidden King by Jenny Nimmo Charlie Bone And The Hidden King Jenny Nimmo; Orchard Books 2006WorldCatA freak snowstorm blankets the area surrounding the City, then melts by morning. All of the animals and birds have disappeared. Something evil has gotten loose.

Charlie Bone returns for another semester at Bloors Academy. The children are subdued because of the missing animals. It feels sinister around the school. Then Charlie notices the shadow has moved in the portrait of the Red King. That shadow has been the force that stops Charlie from using his magic talent and entering the Red King’s portrait.

An attack is being made on Charlie’s family. Someone wants to keep him from finding his father. Grandma Maisie falls under a spell meant for Uncle Paton. Charlie’s mother grows absent minded and forgets his father. When Charlie receives special diaries from a new friend he leaves them at Miss Ingledew’s bookshop. The power goes out in the city one night and someone tries to break into her store.

In Charlie Bone and the Hidden King, Charlie learns secrets that can help him find his father. Jenny Nimmo reveals who Charlie’s father is now. The reader meets Manfred Bloor’s grandfather, a person who has been missing for many years.

Although never too dark for the age group, Charlie Bone and the Hidden King has a shadow that hangs over the book. The reader learns more of the recent past of the Bone and Bloor families, and the Red King’s past. Grandma Bone and the great-aunts are a bit more wicked now that they have quit trying to pull Charlie to their side. The reader could stop here in the series if only following Charlie’s family.

Charlie Bone and the Hidden King doesn’t quite come together. Nimmo has used this book to wind up Charlie’s quest for his father and focus him on the larger story of saving the Red King’s descendants. There is a lot going on. The ending, while happy,Ā  is too abrupt. It is not a stand alone book, but a bridge.

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