I have not read the first two books of the "Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica." But even though I was not familiar with what has been going on in the Chronicles, I found the third volume, "The Indigo King," fascinating.
One September night, John and Jack, Oxford scholars, and their friend Hugo encounter a mysterious door bearing the image of the Holy Grail. When Hugo crosses the door and vanishes, the world as the three friends knew it changes--for the worse. England becomes Albion, a desolate and mythical land ruled by their foe, Mordred. And to make matters worse, Mordred has also destroyed the Archipelago of Dreams, the world John and Jack were responsible of as Caretakers of its atlas, the Imaginarium Geographica. The Archipelago was the place where fables and legends were real. John and Jack realize that Hugo's crossing has disrupted timelines and history itself and to repair the damage, they must travel through time to find Hugo and to discover Mordred's real name in order to prevent him from coming into power.
In "The Indigo King," James Owen has woven a captivating adventure that cleverly blends historical and mythological figures and events. A number of historical personalities make their appearances in this book but as the story develops, I easily forgot that John was J.R.R. Tolkien, Jack was C.S. Lewis, and Bert, H.G. Wells. The only times I was aware of John as being Tolkien and Jack as being Lewis were during their conversations about Christianity and faith. As to the legends and myths incorporated in the plot, I think if you're familiar with the Odyssey, the Iliad, and the Arthurian legends, you will enjoy this book a lot more and understand it a bit better. What with time loops and name changes, I had to write myself notes, so that I could keep the who was who straight.
The publishers targeted this book to young adults, but if I don't see "The Indigo King" flying off the shelves is because, I think, it may be hard for a teen to identify himself or herself with tea-sipping, fortyish Oxford professors (actually, in 1931, Tolkien was 39 years old; Lewis, 33; Charles Williams, 45 and Hugo Dyson, 35). However, I don't have any doubts that this fantasy book will find its way into the hands and heart of anybody who loves the magic of fables, legends, and myths.