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The Secret Kingdom Paperback – 4 Apr 2011
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"* 'Jenny Nimmo writes with incredible vigour and passion' Guardian"
About the Author
Jenny Nimmo Jenny Nimmo is the acclaimed author of the Charlie Bone series, which has sold hundreds of thousands of copies worldwide. Jenny lives in a converted watermill in Wales. Her husband, David, is a painter and print-maker, and all three of her children speak Welsh fluently. She finds Wales, a land of legends, a very inspiring place to live. For as long as she can remember, Jenny has loved books. At boarding school, reading was her way to overcome loneliness or boredom. However, she is aware that not everyone finds reading comes easily, and feels passionately that every child should have all the help they need, and access to as many books as they want. In 1986 her book, The Snow Spider, won the Smarties Grand Prix, and in 1987 it was awarded the Tir na n-Og by the Welsh Arts Council. She wrote the sequels, Emlyn's Moon and The Chestnut Soldier, because she was unable to let go of the characters in The Snow Spider, and needed to find out what would become of them.
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The story gets off to a great and atmospheric start. I really enjoyed it and was captivated by the story of how the `Jinni' finds its way to the royal palace and leaves the moon cloak with the royal child, and it was at this stage I thought I was in for a real fantastical and magical read. However; a few chapters in, the boy is left on his own with only a camel for company - nothing wrong with that, but when animals in stories for anyone other than very young children begin to take on personalities of their own, and become almost human by talking, and too much of the story is narrated around this area, then it's easy to lose interest... Okay; so the book `is' aimed at the younger Reader of course, but I do think that they will find the same disappointment here (unless very young indeed) in view of how the story opens which is way more sophisticated. As the Reader, I did not wish to hear the constant complaints from a camel, and the human referring to him as his `family'. If you read the first part of the book you will soon get my meaning and see why this just doesn't work... The story begins in a way that would arouse the interest of any age in my opinion, and then it geos off in a completely different and too juvenile direction... It got too boring with the narration of the boy travelling through lands where sort of `adventures' seem to occur - but they seem unimportant to the Reader - irrelevant somehow to the way in which the story opens. Difficult to explain really, but I feel sure some other Readers will come across this too, and encounter this problem.
Shame... This had the potential and beginnings of a really good adventure story which was let down by its alternative route. I lost interest enough to not finish the book...
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