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The Secret Kingdom (Chronicles of the Red King #1)

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  1,046 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews

The first book in NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author Jenny Nimmo's brand-new trilogy about the boy who started it all for Charlie Bone and his friends. Now in paperback!

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 lan

Paperback, 224 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Scholastic, Inc. (first published January 1st 2011)
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Aug 29, 2011 Jace rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was quite surprised by this book, but not in a good way. I really love Jenny Nimmo's stories. Even though they aren't always the most beautifully written, the stories have been pretty fun. However, I found myself struggling to get through this book. It's pretty short with only two hundred pages, but about halfway through I had to force my way to the finish. (I really don't like to stop reading a book party way through). It started off well, but I felt that the entire story was bogged down by s ...more
M.C. Crocker
Jun 24, 2015 M.C. Crocker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having read the entire series of Charlie Bone's adventures as he learns to understand his special powers and the powers of those who go to school with him, it was perfectly logical to want to read about his predecessor, the man from whom all endowed children of the series came from. I admit, when I approached this book I was a little cautious, considering I had only recently finished reading another book by Jenny Nimmo and was less than enthralled by it. Yet with this book, I was not disappointe ...more
May 27, 2011 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The Secret Kingdom is Jenny Nimmo's first installment into the origins of Charlie Bone's ancestor, the Red King. Some aspects were alluded to in the Charlie Bone series but it was nice to have them all fleshed out in a story of their own. While the pace of the story was good, I felt like the ending was a little flat for me and didn't really leave me with the feeling that most sequels do of having to read the next book in the series.
Eleonore Caron
Mar 28, 2013 Eleonore Caron rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
I thought Chronicles of the Red King, The Secret Kingdom by Jenny Nimmo, John Keating, narrator was quite an adventure . Timoken and his sister who were orphaned literally flew from their castle home to escape being killed like their parents , the king and queen. Timoken has magical gifts that help protect his sister and him from the evil Viridees. Zobayda has a special ring that is magical , it has the little face and voice of the bestower of the gifts. The magical forest jinni told the king an ...more
Ashley Chen
I'm very disappointed about this book. I was so happy that Jenny had written a prequel to Charlie Bone, and I was too excited. This book just lay flat! Yes it did reveal some of the beginning to CB but the plot was just weak. But I will read on this series.
May 22, 2017 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good opening chapter, brings a whole new dimension to the Red King that I don't remember being as explored in the books. One way that this book succeeds in my eyes is that whereas many "origin" or prequel stories that go into excessive detail explaining the origins of every last little thing in a series, this instead revels in the mysticism and wonder that the main series had and almost bathes in it, bringing new elements and tying in old ones to create a fresh and familiar story that's onl ...more
Jun 13, 2017 Emily rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal experience: 2 Stars. But I feel like this is probably a decent book -- if you're in the mood for it. I just wasn't. In fact I was intending to listen to the second Charlie Bone, but I didn't pay sufficient attention to my selection.

That said, I'm still looking for a repeat of the particular magic Jenny Nimmo cast on me with the Snow Spider trilogy. Sadly, this didn't even begin to approach it. I won't read any more of the series, although I'll likely revisit Charlie Bone himself.
Rachel Naegele
The first half of the book was arduous and if it wasn't an audio book I'm not sure I would have finished it. The second half of the book, while better, was not enough to redeem it to three stars in my opinion.
May 30, 2017 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book and I think that 6 graders or higher would love this book. It has a lot of mysteries in it.
May 09, 2017 Jeff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-books
Fine. It was fine.
Sep 20, 2013 Emma rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: guest-reviews
Review by Shelly - review of the trilogy

Wow Jenny Nimmo knows how to tell a cracking story. The Secret Kingdom books are my first taste of her novels and I have to say won’t be the last. The trilogy follows Timoken, a young boy who is enchanted by a magical moon spider web cloak when he is born and leaves him with one foot in this world and one in the realm of enchantments. When he is just eleven tragedy strikes and his parents are killed by evil viridees who are after the cloak and to survive T
Mar 02, 2011 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-for-review
The Secret Kingdom is a fantasy adventure with mixes elements of the traditional and the modern to give it a surprising twist.

When I first started reading The Secret Kingdom, I was a little hesitant. Nimmo breaks many rules in the first chapter (which I’ve been learning about in my writing class) and it put me on edge. I certainly admire the author for telling the story her way and by chapter 5 I was ready to let go of my disbelief and become part of this story.

The novel begins with the Queen of
Feb 13, 2013 Dandelionsteph rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: magic
The events felt arbitrary, but that might be because their significance is better explained in the Charlie Bone series. (which I did not read.) I would have appreciated enriching details of the characters and why they acted as they did. However, if this was only made from an outline of the ancient characters' importance in the Charlie Bone series, the sparseness of characterization is understandable. The story itself largely felt more like a history book with some trappings of narrative.

None of
Jan 13, 2013 Rin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
To sort of explain my feelings about this, I have to begin with why I read this book. I love the Charlie Bones series, which this book and series is a prequel to. So when I found this book, I had to read it, just because I loved what I'd already read.

This was very, very different. It's the story of the ancient Red King, the ancestor of all the endowed children in the Charlie Bone series. It takes place hundreds and hundreds of years before the original series and the story is styled differently
RATING: 2.5 Out Of 5

A prequel to the Children Of The Red King series, as the Children of The Red King, follows the decendents of the magical Red King from Afria. This boook and the other two to follow in the Chronicles of the Red King series will focous on Timoken, who is the Red King but when he is little.

The novel is about Timoken and his older sister, Zobayda, who parents would have done anything to protect them. When they were babies their parents met a Forest Jinni who gave the children ma
Sep 17, 2015 Luciano rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh this book was amazing. I loved it. Timoken was an amazing character. It was sad that his mother and father were killed by a rival army and Timoken and his sister were left to leave with a bottle of elixir and powers of their own with a cloak made from the last moon spider. During the middle of the book they meet a camel who was called Gabar and he joined them on their journey until Timoken’s sister fell into the river over a hundred years later after taking a drop of the elixir. Of course the ...more
Feb 12, 2017 Ava rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm glad the author did a background story about the Red King but the book could have been better. There wasn't enough details for me to really imagine the characters or the settings and there wasn't enough action.
Interesting read. I loved the setting of this story and the events that took place in it. I have no idea why it's called 'The Secret Kingdom' though. It wasn't about the kingdom at all, but about a boy with a camel who is constantly running away from bad guys. XD

Most of the book was like a blur... Everything happened SO quickly that I don't remember much of the details that took place... (I guess I'll have to read it again? Whelp. 8P) It's kinda funny though. Things were happening so quickly in
May 28, 2011 Linda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, juvenile, fiction
I tried this because I liked the Charlie Bone series, though it was uneven, and probably two books too long. It was an easy sell to kids looking for something similar to Harry Potter.

This series is supposed to provide the back story to the Charlie Bone series. Who was the Red King, and how did he get his powers? So far, so good... Except that it read like the world's longest African folk tale. One incredible thing after another happened, but it was all related in a very matter-of-fact fashion. I
Pam ☼Because Someone Must Be a Thorn☼ Tee

I haven't read the Charlie Bones books yet, but this book was suggested by a librarian friend for my son and myself.

It's an interesting enough story about a boy and his sister. How they come 'into' magic and how they seek to escape the dreadful creatures that destroyed their family and kingdom.

The story's tone is very much that of a fairytale. You won't find first person here, or truly much character development in the normal sense. But there is action and things of interest for childre
Teresa Gonzales
The Secret Kingdom (Chronicles of the Red King, #1) by Jenny NimmoChronicles of the Red King - The Secret Kingdom by Jenny Nimmo 228 pages

Having read all of the Charlie Bone books I was excited to find there was a set of Charlie Bone prequel books I never knew about. While reading the original series I had questions about the Red King. I wondered where he came from, specifically, and how the endowed began.

The Secret Kingdom was the first of the prequel books and although I had many questions answered, I still have more answers to find. In true Charlie Bone s
Tanner clark
Sep 03, 2015 Tanner clark rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
in the book "the chronicles of the red king: the secret kingdom" by jenny nimmo there is a kid named timoken who is magic. All because a bird flew into his parents kingdom when his mother was pregnant with Timoken the bird gave them a cloak made out of the last moon spiders web. the cloak was guaranteed to keep him safe as long as he had it with him. But, the queen wanted to keep her daughter safe as well and her daughter had already been born. so the bird gave the queen a ring to put o the girl ...more
Oct 24, 2011 Rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The secret kingdom is about two sibling a boy and a girl named Timoken and Zobayda and they are the heirs to a secret kingdom.But the evil people in the next kingdom over wants something really rare that was given to them when they were born. They invaded the kingdom and killed everyone in it but Timoken and Zobaya.They manage to escape and with the elixer of life they take every month, they live and run around everywhere trying to find a home again and to defeat the evil people who invaded thei ...more
Feb 12, 2014 Kevin rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed the book but I think I've out grown Charlie Bone's world.

I just wanted to get a little background too see the "roots", even though they were kids it didn't have any of the classic cliche crap with being kidnapped and used against the other person.

The violence wasn't hidden either(which American Kid Authors sometimes cover up)and they did what had to be done, instead of subjecting oneself to pain and torture and destruction because of "will not harm others who are harming me even if it
Jun 09, 2011 Cliff rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know if I was feeling nostalgic for the Charlie Bone series, but I rather enjoyed this. I had thought I would pass on this prequel series, but the tale Jenny Nimmo tells about the origins of the Red King and his opponent feels more free than Charlie Bone's tale. Perhaps it is due to the limitations of what a series about a boy represents.

The author's need to link the tale back to Charlie himself is perhaps the one note that is out of place. While it is nice to get that link, the story ho
This book tells the origin story of the Red King from the Charlie Bone series. We never learned much about his origins during the Charlie Bone books so this book caught my interest when I first saw it. Unfortunately it didn't hold my interest while I was reading it. I had a very easy time putting it down, although I always intended to finish it at some point. There were parts throughout the story that caught my interest, but not enough to carry me through the entire book - even though it is quit ...more
Anne Hawn Smith
Aug 28, 2013 Anne Hawn Smith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle graders
This is the first of a prequel series to the Charlie Bone books. Charlie Bone is a descendant of the Red King and this is the story of his illustrious ancestor.

The story starts in the Secret Kingdom which is doomed to fall to the wicked viridees. Before the end, the children Timoken and Zobayda are given gifts which protect them and an Alixir which keeps them from aging. When the viridees have killed their father, Timoken is told by his mother that he can fly and that he is to take his sister an
Feb 28, 2014 Randy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think it was really good, for sure I'm going to read the next two books! The action and adventure of the story made me not stop reading because of the struggle of Timoken and his sister Zobyda how they try to find a new kingdom for there home. Especially when they add the potion of Alixar, the Web of the last Moon Spider that cannot be destroyed, the ring that can hurt people by pointing at them, and the Forrest-Jinni that gives them these gifts, and more. I would share this book to other peo ...more
William Garrett
Mar 26, 2015 William Garrett rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret Kingdom (Chronicles of the Red King,#1)
Jenny Nimmo
I liked this book because it was easy to read and wasn't boring.At first the main setting is in the dessert and also in the forest at times.The main characters are Timoken,A camel and Zobayda. The problems they are facing are creatures that are trying to steal the gifts that the Forest Jinni gave Timoken while he was just a baby.I would most definitely recommend.This book seems like its for people who like getting lost in a adventure a
I loved the Charlie Bone series, so I was happy to find out there was backstory. Unfortunately sometimes backstory is not so interesting. This book was just "okay" for me. It seemed like we were just following a kid around in his travels. I never got to know the characters, or even really care about them much. I probably liked the camel best, and that's just weird. When I read the prologue I was excited to read the book written by Uncle Paton, but the style in which this was written does not hav ...more
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Jenny Nimmo was born in Windsor, Berkshire, England and educated at boarding schools in Kent and Surrey from the age of six until the age of sixteen, when she ran away from school to become a drama student/assistant stage manager with Theater South East. She graduated and acted in repertory theater in various towns and cities: Eastbourne, Tunbridge Wells, Brighton, Hastings, and Bexhill.

She left
More about Jenny Nimmo...

Other Books in the Series

Chronicles of the Red King (3 books)
  • The Stones of Ravenglass (Chronicles of the Red King, #2)
  • Leopards' Gold (Chronicles of the Red King, #3)

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