Hastings District Libraries

Friday, 19 May 2017

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King by William Joyce


This book is from a kids’ series so good it was made into a DreamWorks movie. Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King was so absorbing I couldn’t put it down for an entire day! Filled with magic and imagination, this story will take you to a fantastic world where we learn the origin of ‘Santa Claus’; once known as ‘Nicholas St. North’, the greatest bandit and swordsman in the world.

It was amazing to learn of the Boogeyman’s origins: how the dreaded ‘Pitch Black’ was locked away for years until he was accidentally released with his army of Fearlings. What I found the most absorbing was the story of the war at the end of the Golden Age. This was a fantastic time where people travelled across the universe in steampunk-like airships, which were ruined by Pitch Black releasing the nightmares from their prison, they then go to take down the royal family who live on the moon.

In order to defeat Pitch, North is aided by a brilliant wizard named Ombric, guardian of a secret village alongside a powerful bear and a Forest Guardian that can turn people to stone; a little girl named Kathryn with a powerful imagination who can make anything happen just by believing in it; and a strange spectral boy who flies around the world and watches out for the children alongside his special ‘Moonbeam’.

It’s so wonderful reading this story, because the way William Joyce retells the tale of the characters we think we know so well just gives us an incredible and new way of looking at them. So far, the second novel in the series is just as good and delves into the past of the Easter Bunny, aka ‘A. Aster Bunnymund’. The third edition looks at the Tooth Fairy and I am actually tempted to look for the side stories like ‘The Man in the Moon’.

Trust me, any child or adult who picks this up will disappear into another world, and won’t want to return. Take a trip to ‘Samtpff Claussen’, the ‘Place of Dreams’, and be sure to stay for a good long while.

Reviewed by Rhiannon Edwards

Catalogue link:  Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King 


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