Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King” as Want to Read:
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (The Guardians #1)

4.04  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,696 Ratings  ·  611 Reviews
Before SANTA was SANTA, he was North, Nicholas St. North—a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Like any swashbuckling young warrior, North seeks treasure and adventure, leading him to the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen, said to be home to the greatest treasure in all the East, and to an even greater wizard, Ombric Shalazar. ...more
Hardcover, 228 pages
Published October 4th 2011 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

Be the first to ask a question about Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Vitor Martins
Essa foi uma leitura muito gostosa e divertida. O William Joyce criou um universo mágico muito único nesse lívro! Tudo é muito bem descrito, as ilustrações do autor são lindas e os personagens são muito cativantes.
Esse primeiro livro deixa algumas pontas soltas, mas isso não me deixou irritado! Muito pelo contrário, só me deixou com mais curiosidade para ler os próximos da série!
Super recomendo se você está procurando uma fantasia infantil bem escrita e rápida de ler! Adorei :D
Dec 15, 2012 Kacey rated it it was amazing
This book was exactly the sort I love to find in the children's section: it had the wonder and imagination of childhood while still offering danger and adventure. It kept me turning pages and the illustrations were gorgeous.

There were so many things about this book that I loved. All the twists given to childhood characters was one of the best. The Man in the Moon, the Boogeyman and of course Santa Claus were all done in fresh ways. I even liked how djinns and Abdominable Snowmen were used in the
C (Knightingale Reviews)
“The possibilities were endless. Battles would be fought. Wonders revealed. Many journeys. Many lands. Many joys. Many sorrows." -William Joyce, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King (The Guardians,#1)

In the center of a large forest, protected by a spirit that tempts trespassers with glittering jewels, and guarded by a ferocious bear that stalks the shadows, lies the hidden village of Santoff Claussen. This strange place is hidden from the world and is home to an odd group of i
Feb 16, 2016 Connor rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens
This reminds me so much of classical children's books. It's very different from the movie, but in a good way that I appreciated. I think it could have focused a bit more on the problem of Pitch rather than North just hanging out in Santoff Claussen, but I really enjoyed it. Definitely a book to read to young children, and for children to pick up when they're just discovering their own love of reading.
Maxi  ♥
Apr 12, 2016 Maxi ♥ rated it it was ok
Recommended to Maxi ♥ by: Booktube
2016 AtY Reading Challenge : A childhood classic.

*2.5 stars*

I would like to start this review by saying that I'm not the biggest fan of middle grade novels, generally. I'm starting to grow out of YA and normally middle grade wouldn't be my first choice.
That being said, I recently saw Connor from Connor O'Brien hauling a book from this series and I was like WHAT THE HELL. THERE'S A SERIES ABOUT THE RISE OF THE GUARDIANS. WHATHOWWHY.
This is me scrolling down the author's page:

I saw Rise of the
Dec 08, 2011 Laurel marked it as to-read
This is where Rise of the Guardians is coming from?!
And Joyce himself is directing?!

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Sign. Me. Up.
Jan 24, 2016 Mal rated it really liked it
Shelves: library

This was honestly so good. It's basically everything I need
in my life, which is sort of funny because the first time I watched the film ... well, I didn't really like it. But I've watched it many, many times since and it's one of my favorite animated films. So imagine my surprise when I find out that it's based off of books. Uh, I like books. Let's read the books. William Joyce certainly doesn't disappoint, even if this is a children's book. It captivated me the moment I began reading. The sto
Apr 06, 2012 Drew rated it it was ok
Okay, first of all, I feel it necessary to establish that I think William Joyce is an American treasure. A top-tier illustrator of many, many children's books, overflowing with imagination. Check out Santa Calls, or Dinosaur Bob, or the Rolie Polie Olie books (and associated television show, which worked a sort of throwback to the early Disney stuff). Joyce is amazing, and his Moonbot Studios is responsible for this year's Academy Award Winning short film, The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Le ...more
May 09, 2012 Lea rated it really liked it
Another lovely book from William Joyce, this is the first book of his "Guardians" series. This installment is a magical, fairytale style story of St. Nicholas (here, Nicholas St. North). In Joyce's world, St. North is a master thief who is magically persuaded to travel to the village of Santoff Claussen by the wizard Ombric. Ombric believes St. North is the one person who can help him defeat the evil Pitch and his shadowy Nightmare Men and Fearlings.

I really enjoyed Joyce's creativity in this bo
This enchanting tale glitters with the magic of the far north. An ancient evil has been unleashed on the unsuspecting village of Santoff Claussen: the evil Nightmare King and his army of Fearlings have come to steal the dreams of innocent children and replace them with terrors of the night. It’s up to the learned wizard Ombric, his young protégé Katherine, and the swashbuckling theif-turned-hero Nicholas St. North (who will one day be known as Santa Claus) to save the day.

The story unfolds in a
Oct 16, 2015 Tamara rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
LOVED this one! I was so unbelievably excited when the box set came in at work that I just had to buy it.
Way back when (2013) when I was living with my cousin and his family 'Rise of the Guardians' was my favourite movie to watch with his little boy (and also one of the only ones I could tolerate repeatedly) so I was super excited to read the children's books.

This is easy to read, absolutely enchanting and engaging I really didn't want to put this one down.

Highly HIGHLY recommend to all childr
juan carlos
Dec 28, 2015 juan carlos rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Una historia llena de luz y de sombras, magia y fantasía, sueños y pesadillas, que giran en torno a una misma idea, la libertad contra la esclavitud.

Debo admitir, que no puedo con los libros de fantasía, pero este logro cautivarme y eso ya lo hace merecedor para que continúe la saga. Los personajes se me hicieron perfectos y dinámicos y las escenas invernales hermosas.

El contexto histórico muy bien planteado.

Lo único que no me gusto, fue que muchas de las soluciones al final del libro se me hici
Beth Nieman
Feb 10, 2015 Beth Nieman rated it it was ok
I gave this book a 2-star rating because it means I thought the book was "ok," and that's pretty accurate.

I expected to like the story a lot more, based on my enjoyment of some of Joyce's delightful picture books; also, I think the idea of the Guardians of Childhood sounds really exciting.

However, the writing in this book seems a bit shallow and hurried to me, and I felt didn't quite do justice to the grand concept. I kept wanting more character development. I wanted to linger in the imaginat
Roy Gloeckl
Jan 24, 2013 Roy Gloeckl rated it liked it
I saw the movie "Rise of the Guardians" and it blew me away. Then I found out that it was based on a series of books and my first thought was: AHHH! If the movie was that great, the books are probably even more incredible. Not so much.
It may be because these books are meant for ages 7-11 so I won't be too critical. The language is pretty simple and there is not a lot of depth to the story. I'm probably too used to YA stuff like Harry Potter to really appreciate this book but it just doesn't seem
Jul 06, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing
I saw the movie trailer and decided that maybe this book would be the one that grabbed my twelve year old sons attention to reading. You see, he has a reading disability and tries to shy away from reading at all cost. Yesterday, I started reading this book with him and tonight was the first time that he asked to try to continue reading without me. So, thank you William Joyce for this amazing book and introducing the fantastical and brilliant world of reading to my son.
Fernanda Mendez
Jun 06, 2015 Fernanda Mendez rated it really liked it
Este libro es magia pura, lo admito estaba demasiado entusiasmada por este libro, y aunque no fue por el camino que esperaba me gusto bastante <3 y realmente ya quiero leer los demás (contando los cuentos ilustrados).
Dec 29, 2012 Jessica rated it liked it
Shelves: kidlit, christmas
A fun book, but almost like a picture book that had been padded with descriptions instead of pictures. I did enjoy it, though, and the kids and I are excited to read the other books in the series.
Rafael Gimenes
Sep 27, 2015 Rafael Gimenes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
A fantasia que esse livro carrega é sem duvidas uma de suas coisas mais preciosas. Toda sua mitologia é increivelmente bem resolvida e ampla. Me apaixonei pela história desse livro, mas mais ainda pela sua atmosfera e pelo seu universo. Antes de ler o livro tinha muita preguiça dessa coisa de papai noel e tudo mais, achava que seria impossível imergir nessa história cujo personagem principal é essa figura pra mim bizarra. Mas surpreendentemente tomei um tapa na cara. O papai noel que estava acos ...more
Katie Farmer
Dec 09, 2015 Katie Farmer rated it really liked it
I believe, I believe, I believe.
Diana Montes
Feb 11, 2016 Diana Montes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: whoever likes children literature, whoever has children.
I was nervous with this book because I was really eager to learn the story of the Guardians of Childhood and I read some reviews that were not fond of the series.
I already read The Man in the Moon and had seen the movie countless times and I believe that William Joyce is a great storyteller for children. This being said, the story of Nicolás San Norte is tender, magical and interesting, even when it has plot holes and the pace seems irregular. Every action and character just happens to appear ou
Jan 01, 2016 Becky rated it liked it
This was incredibly male-dominated. There were two named female characters, the purpose of one being to seduce evil men with wealth (mr. joyce, you okay?), and the other was the child, Katherine. All the other characters, the horse, the kids, the freaking moombeams, were male. There were a few mothers hanging around, and now and then some random little girl would be like "what do we do" or something, but no one else gets a name.
Alarmingly, Katherine was also the token child in this, as she's the
Oct 22, 2015 D.peabody rated it it was amazing
This was a beautiful story! Nicholas St North is a young cossack bandit chief who is generally full of mischief. One night in a dream he is called to the small magical village of Santoff Claussen to help the wizard Ombric and the children battle Pitch, the Nightmare king. And so his life is forever changed. North stays in the village to recover after the battle and becomes the wizard's apprentice. The two of them work together to figure out how to defeat Pitch for good. Along the way we meet a s ...more
Kat (Lost in Neverland)
Apr 10, 2013 Kat (Lost in Neverland) rated it really liked it
Shelves: cute-as-a-kitten
What a cute middle grade book.

Before Santa Claus was Santa Claus, he was Nicholas St. North; a thief, a bandit, and a skilled swordsman. The children of Earth are in danger as Pitch Black awakens again from an induced sleep prison and seeks revenge in the suffering and fear of children. The Man in the Moon chooses North and decides to test him to see if he would make a powerful guardian of the children.

The movie, Rise of the Guardians, is based off this series. This is apparently 200 years befo
Joana Hill
Jan 30, 2013 Joana Hill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
Read this and other reviews at my blog, Words and Tea Bottles.

What can I say about this book? Nothing negative that I can really think of. There’s a reason these books were popular enough to make a movie, after all. My sister has all three that are out so far, and so I’ll be borrowing the second and third as soon as possible.

Anyway, people reading this review may be familiar with the movie Rise of the Guardians, but Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King actually does not have a
Margaret Alexander
I picked this up after watching Rise of the Guardians, obviously (great movie, by the way). The story was so heartwarming and I fell in love with the characters, so when I heard mention of the novels, I had to check them out. I didn't plan to read them at first, but when I read the first chapter, I was hooked on the writing.

The novel is written in storybook style. Meaning, it's all tell and very little show. Dialogue is scarce. But this is a children's book, and there's nothing wrong with this
Jack Baillot
Oct 29, 2012 Jack Baillot rated it it was amazing
I read this book because I found out the Rise of the Guardians movie is based off of this series. I had seen these books about, but hadn't payed them much attention, now I am sad I didn't.

This book reminds me of a cross between Narnia and, maybe Redwall. It is filled with everything adults forget when they grow up. Imagination, adventure, the very idea that maybe science is magic.

North is a greedy bandit who has never known friendship and cares only about himself, or so he likes to think. Ho
Apr 11, 2013 Anouk rated it really liked it
To be quite honest, I don't know what I thought of this book.

It's imaginative, and original in that aspect. It has a cast of easily likeable, though not (yet)very in-depth characters, and uses the kind of imagery I truly loved when I was the age the book is actually meant for.

It's also slightly too fast-paced, with a myriad of interesting characters who you are given very little chance to get to know properly.
At turns, the story might become slightly predictable and to me it felt a little rushed
- 4 Estrellas - Ya lo dije, me hubiera gustado que este libro existiera cuando yo era mas pequeña, porque es infinitamente mágico y fantástico, y me tuvo imaginando y soñando estos días que lo estuve leyendo :) Me ha encantado la forma de escribir de William Joyce, y aunque no soy muy fanática de los libros con ilustraciones, las que contiene este libro son preciosas y creo que son muy buenas para las mentes de los niños que planean leer esto :D

Es un libro que recomiendo, aunque tal vez a mucho
I wanted to start this book series as soon as I watched the movie based on it, Rise of the Guardians. Because it's one of my favorite movies, I was excited to see what William Joyce was writing about these fantastical people who live in our imagination. This first book centers around North, the person Santa Claus was before he was Santa. Let's just say that he's everything you wouldn't think he was, apart from caring for children. He's big, tough, a master thief, a great fighter. But he has a bi ...more
Mar 21, 2016 Julie rated it really liked it
Recommended to Julie by: I watched Rise of the Guardians
This is a beautiful book, in many ways. Joyce has given a nice twist to the traditional folklore and we are seeing the origin of how Santa Claus came to be (although it's never said in those words, actually). Far from being the traditional jolly fat man, he's a Russian ruffian whose heart transforms from that of a notorious outlaw to that of a protector. I really like the mythology Joyce has set up in this book, and I'm looking forward to reading the other books in the series.

Joyce also provides
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
My Guardians fanfic 1 6 Dec 29, 2013 03:14PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9781442430488 - 228 pages not 288. 2 27 Dec 20, 2011 07:06PM  
  • Rise of the Guardians Movie Novelization
  • The Art of Rise of the Guardians
  • How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel (How to Train Your Dragon, #10)
  • Darwen Arkwright and the Peregrine Pact (Darwen Arkwright, #1)
  • The Adventures of Odysseus
  • ParaNorman
  • Hades and the Helm of Darkness (Heroes in Training, #3)
  • Blood Ties (Oliver Nocturne, #3)
  • Rise of the Balloon Goons (The Notebook of Doom, #1)
  • The Cats of Tanglewood Forest (Newford)
  • Bad Unicorn
  • The Snow Queen
  • The Vengekeep Prophecies
  • Soonchild
  • Pip Bartlett's Guide to Magical Creatures (Pip Bartlett, #1)
  • The Ogre of Oglefort
William Joyce does a lot of stuff—films, apps, Olympic curling—but children’s books are his true bailiwick (The Numberlys, The Man in the Moon, Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, Toothiana, and the #1 New York Times bestselling The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore, which is also an Academy Award–winning short film, to name a few). He lives with his family in Shre ...more
More about William Joyce...

Other Books in the Series

The Guardians (6 books)
  • E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core
  • Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies
  • The Sandman and the War of Dreams (The Guardians #4)
  • Guardians Chapter Book #5
  • Guardians Chapter Book #6

Share This Book

“To understand pretending is to conquer all barriers of time and space.” 53 likes
“The possibilities were endless. Battles would be fought. Wonders revealed. Many journeys. Many lands. Many joys. Many sorrows.

But stories all...”
More quotes…