Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Charlie Bone and the Shadow: Children of the Red King Book Seven

Charlie Bone and the Shadow: Children of the Red King Book Seven

Jenny Nimmo
Fiction  Series
For ages 9 to 12
Orchard Books, 2008   ISBN: 978-0439846691

Charlie Bone has no idea how much danger they are all in until the day when Grandma Bone brings home a painting and hides it in the basement of Charlie's home. Being a curious boy Charlie cannot help going downstairs to see what the painting is. Charlie has the magical ability to travel into paintings. Usually he is in control of the situation, but time Charlie cannot help being pulled into the painting and transported to some unknown destination. Soon after he arrives Charlie learns that he is in the grim and very frightful land of Badlock. He meets a tall giant who is none other than his ancestor Otus Yewbeam. Otus is a prisoner but he still manages to find a way to keep Charlie hidden from those who want to capturehim. Charlie discovers that Badlock is the realm of the enchanter Count Harken. Some time ago Charlie and his friends foiled the count's attempts to enter their world. Now, apparently he is up to his old tricks again.

Charlie is able to escape from the painting but his troubles are far from over. It soon becomes clear that Charlie's unpleasant aunts and his grandma have joined forces with numerous unsavory people in the town. Their plan is to get rid of Charlie and his comrades, and to find a way to bring Count Harken to them. With the count as their leader there will be no way to stop the Yewbeams, the Bloors, and their allies from causing widespread havoc and misery.

In this seventh Charlie Bone title the battle between Charlie and his friends, and their enemies truly comes to a head. All out attacks are made on the good descendents of the Red King and there are casualties. Readers will never know what is going to happen next, and there is no guarantee that Charlie and his companions are going to come out of this adventure in one piece.

Beautifully paced and crafted, this is a story that fans of fantasy tales will find irresistible. All the favorite characters from the previous Charlie Bone books are present, and readers will be left wondering what Charlie is going to do next. Will he and the other endowed children be able to stop the forces of evil before it is too late?