Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors: Children of the Red King Book Four Audio

Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors: Children of the Red King Book Four Audio

Jenny Nimmo
For ages 9 to 12
Unabridged audiobook (Cassette)
Performed/read by: Simon Russell Beale
Listening Library, 2006   ISBN: 978-0307284594

Charlie Bone is beginning his second year at Bloor’s Academy and his first day does not begin well. In fact he manages to get detention almost at once. Things start to get decidedly peculiar – more than usual – when Charlie and his friends see and hear a ghostly white horse in the grounds of the school. There is also a new boy, Joshua Tilpin, at the school whose endowment is that he is magnetic. His magnetism makes him both irresistible and creepy.

Then Billy Raven, one of the Children of the Red King who is on the side for good, is ‘adopted.’ Billy has been dreaming of this day for years and he is so delighted at his good fortune that he never suspects that Mr. Bloor might not be giving him to the good and kind parents that he has been waiting for. It turns out that Billy’s new parents, the de Greys, are in fact quite appalling people who have terrifying powers and whose only interest in Billy is keeping him a prisoner in their home. Billy’s life is utterly miserable but thankfully there are those who are determined to get him out of the clutches of the de Greys as quickly as possible.

Once Billy is free Charlie decides that the best thing to do is to take Billy to the Castle of Mirrors, a magical place which was the home of Billy’s ancestor. Perhaps there Billy will be safe from the Bloors and the Yewbeams once and for all. Unfortunately it does not turn out to be that simple for when Charlie and Billy leave Bloor’s Academy the balance of power at the school shifts and chaos ensues.

In this fourth story in the Charlie Bone series Jenny Nimmo once again takes her readers on a fantastic journey packed with magic, mystery, and adventure. New characters appear on the scene and Charlie’s continued hunt for his missing father advances a little bit. We also discover that one of Charlie’s friends has abilities that she didn’t even know she had. It is going to be fascinating to see what she is going to do with them in the days to come.