There are millions of Harry Potter Fans but in this new book by J.K. Rowling he is nowhere to be seen. She started writing the The Ickabog for her children a few years ago and never finished it. It was during the pandemic that she unearthed the unfinished manuscript and completed writing it.

It is set in Cornucopia a kingdom ruled by King Fredthe Fearless. To the North are sheep and a scary creature known as the Ickabog. No one has seen it but the mere thought of this scary creature keeps the children in line to behave and creeps into their nightmares. After a series of events King Fred loses power to Lord Spittleworth and Lord Flapoon (not nice people) who sustain the lie that the creature is alive and impose martial law to protect everyone. As a result, Cornucopia is now a savage place full of fear where children are separated from families and where citizens are made to participate in a lie so they can support a dishonest regime.

The illustrations by childrenare wonderful and the quality of the book is great. The chapters are short and easy to read.

Some of the criticism is that the book and its themes might not be suited to younger readers but I think that Rowling has imagined a new wonderful fairytale for them. Although the book is aimed at 7- to 9-year-old children I think this might just be one of those stories which is sure to enchant young and older readers alike.