Children of the Red King is a popular series of children's fantasy novels written by British author Jenny Nimmo. It is also known as the "Charlie Bone" series and, before it was extended to six books, (approaching eight) as the "Red King Quintet".
The protagonist of the series is Charlie Bone, a twelve-year-old boy endowed with supernatural talents to converse and "visit" people contained within photographs or paintings.
As a result of his endowment, Charlie is sent to Bloor's Academy, a weekday unordinary school for those endowed with magical, artistic, dramatic or musical talents. While he makes enemies among the owners, the Bloors, who persist in mayhem and havoc as they attempt to bring every endowed person under their control, he also makes a significant number of friends who assist in his attempts to preserve the good.
The series follows Charlie as he aids those who have been persecuted by the Bloors, and searches for clues to his father's disappearance many years ago.
Jenny Nimmo originally intended to write only the first five novels, and the primary storyline is resolved in those five, but later decided to also write a trilogy focusing more on the evil children. Charlie Bone is the protagonist of the first five, but will take less of a prominent position in the later three. It was later revealed when Charlie Bone and the Wilderness Wolf came out Charlie is still the main character.
This is actually a pretty good series. It can be humorous at times, and is touched with fantasy and magic. This makes it a favourite.
This series has great twists and turns, secrets that are revealed in every book, and a humorous touch. It shows the wonder of fantasy novels, it let's you explore your imagination. So the summary of all this is, I think it is delightful for all children.
There are currently seven books released in the series, published by Egmont in the United Kingdom and by Scholastic in the United States. (English titles first, followed by American titles if different):
- Midnight for Charlie Bone (UK: 1 February 2002, US: 1 April 2002)
- The Time Twister (3 April 2003) / Charlie Bone and the Time Twister (1 April 2003)
- The Blue Boa (1 April 2004) / Charlie Bone and the Invisible Boy (1 July 2004) / alternative title: Charlie Bone and the Blue Boa (5 June 2006)
- The Castle of Mirrors (5 June 2005) / Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (31 May 2005)
- Charlie Bone and the Hidden King (UK: 5 June 2006, US: 2006)
- Charlie Bone and the Wilderness Wolf (4 June 2007) / Charlie Bone and the Beast (1 June 2007)
- Charlie Bone and the Shadow of Badlock (25 August 2008) / Charlie Bone and the Shadow (30 September 2008)
- Charlie Bone and the Red Knight (UK: September 2009)
- Reading age: 8+
- Reading aloud age: 8+
There are many action scenes and some characters die.
- Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius (the Red King's leopards, aka the Flames) are named after the Fire signs of the Zodiac.
- In "The Castle of Mirrors", Alice Angel mentions a dark witch. In the next book, Miss Chrystal appears to be a dark witch. Whether she was actually evil remains to be seen. In the 7th book it is implied greatly that she is the dark witch. She is pure evil.
- In the German version of the series (from Ravensburger), Yewbeam is written as Darkwood and Blessed as Benedikt.
- In the sixth book, Charlie says Cook told him about Grimwald, but in the second book, it was Henry Yewbeam she told.
- In the sixth book, Lysander's mom's Christian name is Hortense. In the third book, she was called Jessamine, and Hortense was one of Lysander's sisters.
- Charlie played 3 different instruments in the span of the first 3 books: piano (first book), recorder (first and second books), and trumpet (third book-7th)
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