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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

(The Guardians #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  6,027 ratings  ·  920 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
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EmmaH My 2nd-grade teacher read it to the class and everyone loved it and understood it. I believe that 4-year-olds may not comprehend everything that goes …moreMy 2nd-grade teacher read it to the class and everyone loved it and understood it. I believe that 4-year-olds may not comprehend everything that goes on throughout the plot.(less)

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Dec 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I must admit I didn't know the books about The Guardians of Childhood until I had seen the movie. But as soon as I had realized where the story came from, I bought all of them and thought that December was the perfect time to start reading the series. I started with The Man in the Moon, which is more like a picture book for really small children. "Nicholas St. North" however is more of a storybook, with less pictures. Nevertheless, I enjoyed it tremendously. The story is funny and full of wit as ...more
This was a great story and yet there was something about it that didn't fully hook me. After reading his other books like the Sandman, I know William Joyce can weave a crafty tale that carries you along on wings of silver and this story was missing something to bring it fully to life.

Santaff Clausen is the name of the city this takes place and there is magic in the world that this place harnesses. The imagination behind the book is fantastic as usual. I do plan on going on with this story and I
Dec 15, 2012 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
Miranda Reads
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook

The possibilities were endless. Battles would be fought. Wonders revealed. Many journeys. Many lands. Many joys. Many sorrows.
Long ago, there lived a swashbuckling swordsman under the name of Nicholas St. North - North to his friends - who would one day be known to the world as Santa.

North in his youth ran with the roughest lot - always looking to make a buck. When he stumbles upon the village of Santoff Claussen, he must (for the first time) decide what the true treasure is - gold
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Okay so I saw the film and wondered what the books where like. Can you say I am the only one?

So I went looking for the books and here is the first one. It is not what I was expecting and to be honest I am very glad. This book has not only the same feel as the film but a lot of the graphics have made the transition too.

However this is the story of St Nick master swordsman and master of the north. This is the very beginning of the story where as the film in rights is the very end.

So what of this
Christian - Curious Quill
“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
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: read_to_kids
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
Dec 28, 2015 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. ...more
Dec 27, 2015 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 readi
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Ylenia by: Booktube
★ 2016 AtY Reading Challenge ★: A childhood classic.

I saw Rise of the Guardians multiple times and I love that movie. I didn't know there was a series before the movie... There were a few differences but the ending, I assume, it's going to be the same.

What I normally appreciate about middle grade books is that they're always an adventure in itself. Getting into this one I was sure it was going to be intense and fast-paced.
Compared to other middle-grade books, this felt pretty chill.
Tracey Dyck
Dec 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Plot-wise, it was a bit chaotic. There's a lot going on--ancient spaceships, the magical haven of Santoff Klaussen, nightmare creatures, moonbeams, a robotic djinni, wizards, Santa's origin story, Russian bandits, Yetis... But the wild imagination of it all is precisely what I would've loved as a child, if this book had been published a decade earlier!

What made me love it now, as an adult, were the sweet characters: mainly North himself, a dashing and daring bandit king who realizes he has a hea
May 08, 2012 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
Beth Nieman
Oct 14, 2011 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
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
I believed in Santa until I was 12. Seriously. The guy is a real live person in my head, and he's squeaky clean safe and all he is supposed to be. So when this came across my library list, I was on it and it was in my list.

Nicholas St. North, of the title, is Himself. SC. The Dude. This is his backstory, and I dug it. He is a thief with a heart so pure he passes all the magic tests, and that makes him a little cranky because he really wants his crew to buy his story and continue to follow his e
Feb 18, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, children, russia
An old man. A young man. A boy. A djinni (sort of a robot-golem blend, assigned all the cooking, cleaning, and child-rearing, incidentally). An evil man. A ton of father-or-son male extras. A ton of evil spirit male extras. The man in the moon. Even a male horse and bear.

Plus, one girl-child protagonist and, briefly, one disempowered female walk-on. That's it.

Books like this are how you train a class of third grade boys that girls don't matter, except as sources of naive adulation and objects to
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Jan 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
The art in this book is gorgeous and I adore the style, the writing is a mix of whimsical fairytale and adventure story. This is the first book in the series and definitely reads as a set up for the rest. I loved the characters and the setting of the world they have created but didn't enjoy the lack of consequences for characters, I feel children can deal with the lose of characters better than authers give them credit. I would love to know what I looked like in this art style. My only problem w ...more
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
This made me feel like I was reading a classic fairytale. Big on plot, not so much character, but very enjoyable.
Kristina Rasmussen
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club-books
I really enjoyed this! There’s adventure and the characters and world are so intriguing. It’s light hearted and fun. I’ll be continuing this series!
Roy Gloeckl
Jan 22, 2013 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
This was just magical. I don't entirely know how else to explain it.
I needed a new audiobook and wanted something fluffy, and whilst perusing my library wishlist, found this. So I checked it out, figuring, "It's Santa's origin story, right, so that's Christmas-y. Right?"
No, it really wasn't. But it did make me feel happy. And that's the next best thing.
The book begins with an innocent moonbeam who accidentally awakens an ancient evil. You know, the typical stuff.
From there, we follow the wiz
Oct 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
We really enjoyed this as a read-aloud. The kids were interested the whole time and EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I had to stop reading I was met with "Please, please, please, just one more chapter" by all three little mouths!

Lots of action and adventure. We enjoyed the foreshadowing of Nicholas St. North and the fantastic little place called Santoff Claussen. The kids really attacked the idea that today's version of the fat, jolly man called Santa Claus could maybe kick some butt, if needed! And my daug
Apr 16, 2012 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.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Honestly very surprised, cute story and beautiful illustrations! If the next book is at my library the next time I'm there, I think I'll continue the series. Also freaking out because William Joyce created so many of my favorite childhood movies and tv shows. ...more
Nov 19, 2012 rated it liked it
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.
Katie Farmer
Oct 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I believe, I believe, I believe.
Dec 09, 2018 rated it really liked it

"To understand pretending is to conquer all barriers of time and space."

The overall plot was a bit chaotic. There's definitely a lot going on—ancient spaceships, the magical Santoff Klaussen, nightmare creatures, a robotic djinni, wizards, Russian bandits, Yetis... But the wild imagination of it all is precisely what I would've loved as a child! I kinda loved it as an adult.

I love books like this that I think would be fun to read out loud, especially to read out loud to children.

I'll be continui

Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
I've always wanted to read these since the movie came out. Very different, but enjoyable! There were some dull, droning parts, and I don't like Ombric, but I made it through the end wand want to read the next one. ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What a cute book! I loved the descriptions of all the magical things that can happen in this world. What really blew it into 5 star range are the amazing illustrations. Can't wait for book 2! ...more
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My Guardians fanfic 1 7 Dec 29, 2013 03:14PM  
Goodreads Librari...: ISBN 9781442430488 - 228 pages not 288. 2 27 Dec 20, 2011 07:06PM  

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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

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The Guardians (5 books)
  • E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core! (The Guardians, #2)
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