The Secret Kingdom
by Jenny Nimmo
Chronicles of the Red King, book one
Timoken is a prince born in a secret kingdom. At his birth, a forest jinni bestows magical gifts upon him: a cloak made by the last moon spider and a potion called Alixir. When the peaceful land is attacked, Timoken and his sister, Zobayda, must find a new kingdom to call home. Together, with only the magical gifts and a talking camel, the siblings set off.
In this brand-new series, bestselling author Jenny Nimmo takes readers on an extraordinary quest with one of her most powerful and mysterious characters, the one who started it all for Charlie Bone and the children of the Red King. (description taken from Amazon.com)
I really loved the start of this new series by Jenny Nimmo. Having read the entire Charlie Bone series, it was great to learn more about where the infamous Red King came from, though you don't have to have read Charlie Bone to enjoy this new series.
There is more magic in this series than there was in the beginning of the Charlie Bone books. Yes, they had magic, but each child had only one gift and some were not discovered right away. Timoken is given many magical talents by the last forest jinni and so his journey contains lots of magic, as well as adventure...and danger.
I love the characters. Timoken is a good boy. His sister, Zobayda, is an honorable, courageous girl. His camel, Gibbar, is hilarious and lovable. The friends he meets along the way become loyal, brave, and willing to fight for Timoken. The evil beings that hunt for Timoken and his sister are both deliciously evil and kind of cool.
Well worth checking out! Oh, and the audio version, done by John Keating, is very entertaining. :)
Full disclosure: Audio book received to review for AudioFile Magazine.