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The Indigo King

(The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica #3)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  3,052 ratings  ·  156 reviews
John and Jack are mystified when they discover a cryptic warning on a medieval manuscript—a warning that is not only addressed to them, but seems to have been written by their friend, Hugo Dyson. But before they can discover the origins of the book, Hugo walks through a door in time—and vanishes into the past.

In that moment, the world begins to change. Now, the Archipelag
Paperback, 372 pages
Published March 9th 2010 by Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2008)
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Average rating 4.13  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,052 ratings  ·  156 reviews

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Elsa Qazi
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My accidental five-star rating of this book proved to be quite a prophecy.

Years ago in the world that we know, Hugo Dyson, JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis went strolling through the gardens at Magdalen. Lewis a staunch atheist, or at any rate vehemently NOT Christian came out of the night the complete opposite. James A Owen wrote this book as an explanation for why that happened.

I am in awe of Owen, his complete knowledge of what he writes, his beautiful imagination being able to form connections in
Apr 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Similar to the second book, I found all the time travel stuff hard to follow (see my rant in that review) and also fairly unnecessary. The premise is that John and Jack's friend Hugo sends them a note from the past, even though he is a contemporary, then he walks through a door into a different time, disappears, and the world changes around them. They have to then travel back in time to find him, fix whatever it was he changed, and defeat an old enemy again. There is a lot of emphasis on multipl ...more
The best in the series, so far! Loved, loved, LOVED it!

The thing I love about the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series is that they keep you guessing! You think you have it all figured out, only to be proven wrong a few pages later. This was one such book - I could NOT put it down!

The Indigo King focuses on the mysterious Cartographer this time around. Much like how Dumbledore shows Harry the history of Voldemort and how he came to be, Jules Verne shows John, Jack and Charles the hi
Sep 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
As James Owen notes in his afterword, is based on a stroll in 1931 with J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and Hugo Dyson, discussing Christianity as mythology versus religion and the author's desire to "mess with the convention of the tales that everyone knows": King Arthur, Merlin and Mordred; Odysseus, Circe and Calypso, even Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee, Hank Morgan. Of course, there are dragons and dragonships; time-travel paradoxes. Lots of humor, especially the badgers, and nonstop action. Hi ...more
Valentina Markasović
Easily my favourite in the series so far. It isn't about the Caretakers traveling to the Archipelago to fight some evil - no, this book's plot is much more complicated. I loved the time-travel and its complexity. We finally got answers to some questions, but Indigo King also opened new possibilities that I can't wait to explore in the sequels.

Also, what's there not to like about a sassy owl?
A little convoluted, but interesting story.
Feb 16, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Books that involve too much time travel make my brain hurt. I thought this one was going to give me an aneurism. This is much more about time travel and the implications of the time paradox then anything else. Yikes. And it still had lots of the holes/problems of the first two. Granted, I think I liked the story of this one best - finding out who the cartographer is. But, I am utterly unsatisfied with the way it ended. Learning that there were additional conflicts between who the Winter King was ...more
Michelle Spencer
And here is where my journey with this series ends.

I tried. Who wouldn’t want to follow Tolkien and Lewis through landscapes of imagination and mythology and witness them save time and history over and over again, all while interacting with some of the greatest heroes of literature, myth, and legend? Seemed like great fun.

However, it all falls quickly apart.

The first problem I had with book one was clunky writing. Not to worry, I said, that will get better as the author matures in his writing in
Natalia Bonegio
Apr 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really, thoroughly enjoyed this book! 4.5/5 stars!

It grows from the previous 2 books in the series, and really expands on the mythology and world-building that Owen only touched on in the 2 prequels. This installment doesn't have as much travel to the Archipelago of Dreams, and most of the adventures take place in our world, but in different TIMES of our world. The play with time travel is done quite well, with nods to the works of HG Wells and Mark Twain.

Be prepared for a wild ride through ti
Jonathan Terrington
A strong continuation of the unique fantasy series that begins with Here, There Be Dragons. Interestingly what makes this series unique is the features which are not unique. Yes this series has pretty much a combination of all kinds of mythic, fairytale and fantasy characters from Peter Pan to Captain Nemo or even characters who are real like Jules Verne. The uniqueness of the series is however how the author blends these various ideas together to create a singular story within each book. It cou ...more
Jun 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's hard to compare to the previous two books in the series because it takes on completely different narrative. Unlike the last two books in the series it does not follow the formula of the caretakers being brought to the Archipelago of Dreams to thwart an effort by a dark force to take control of the lands of myth. Unfortunately to tell you how it's different would give away too much. It's an entirely satisfying read and if you've been burning with curiosity as to identity of the Cartographer ...more
Deborah D.
Feb 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fantasy; Time Travel; legends; myth
This series is supposed to be youth fiction...but it is pretty darned wonderful for us grownups, too!

Still more mind-warping interweaving of time, paradox, legends and myths with side dishes of history, personal growth, magical dimensions alongside our more mundane dimension.

Familiar characters and warped familiar characters...the reader ends up exploring how people can change...or stay the same...or not. Learning about various historical figures and wondering how much is real\true and wondering
Jul 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
Yes, it's a young adult book, but it's well written, has great characters, and is fantastically literate. The plot is also fast moving, and it's rather great fun to see how Owens takes some great literary names and plays with them.

I have to say that ultimately I think these are better books than the Potter series.
Jul 13, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this story!! James is such a superb storyteller. It was captivating and kept me on the hook from the beginning to the end. I love the humor that is littered through out and especially the references to the Cubs being a symbol of hope! I can't recommend this series of books enough. ...more
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Owen's said he was most dreading and looking forward to writing this book, and I can tell why. Time is one of the most difficult subjects to write. He incorporates time-travel, altered timelines, and the unforeseen ripple effect continuously throughout this book that I can only imagine how long it took him to write it and how the outlining process must have gone. To be completely honest, the book gave me a headache and I'm still not entirely sure I followed everything, but I'm hoping that contin ...more
The Indigo King does the unthinkable: James A. Owen takes away the best part of his previous installments (Charles), amplifies the worst part (the lack of diversity), and somehow manages to pull off the most enjoyable novel of the Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica series.

Five years after their last adventure in the Archipelago of Dreams, Caretakers John and Jack (better known as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis) are considering inducting their friend Hugo Dyson as an apprentice Caretaker of
Hugo Dyson enters into our troop of caretakers of the Archipelago of Dreams and the book of maps..but.. he thinks that John and Jack are jerking his chain.. and wanders into a door..into the distant past. Charles is missing.. but John gets a mysterious package addressed to Charles about the Holy Grail. The tower in Archipelago, where the Cartographer is falling apart because Mordred set it on fire in the earlier books. Now we are finally getting to the reprecussions of the Time Warp.. ...more
Oct 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica
by James A. Owen

Story Title: 5/5
Plot: 5/5
Characters: 5/5
Ending: 5/5

John, Jack and Charles, three young men from Oxford, find themselves called to duty to care for what is possibly the most well protected book ever, the Imaginarium Geographica.

Character Likability:
John: The Principal Caretaker of the Imaginarium Geographica, John is logical, wise and patient. He’s not only likeable, he endears himself to the reader with his compassion and at t
Kayla Wilmoth-Logan
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"A thimble might be a kiss, a flower might be a name, and a dragon might be ship."

But sometimes a myth is just a myth, and a spiritual experience is just a spiritual experience. And there is no need to reconstruct greek muthology and arthurian legend, jack and the beanstalk and set a library on fire so we can put the two together.

We follow our great scolars to a time traveling adventure, where the cause and effect gets muddled and my interest for this series wanes further.

Our characters blund
Feb 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
(Audio) I did enjoy this book, it just wasn't quite four-star quality though I'm not quite sure why. I would read it again because it is part of a series but if it were a standalone I probably wouldn't.


An explanation of my rating system:
- Five stars: I loved it and it will probably become a long time favorite
- Four stars: I really liked it and would probably read it again
- Three Stars: Meh, it was good but nothing distinctly that stands out to me
- Two Stars: Not for me
- One Star: Actively
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved this story! I appreciate how Owen’s fantasy series keeps on developing with the plot and characters. It’s so well written, full of great characters, all created from historical and mythology tales which makes it an extremely excited to know them in a different form. Love how the plot does not linger, but keeps moving forward, and its rather great fun to see altered timelines, and story plots from our admired culture all done in a fresh way. This is what I would call pure and great storytel ...more
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: overdrive-audio
This third volume of the "Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica" was much more complex than the prior two offerings, and the character names were much more difficult to keep straight (but that may have been simply because I was listening to the audio rather than reading the page).

Although very enjoyable, the rest of the series is not currently available at my library through OverDrive, so I may not get to join John, Jack, and Charles on their further adventures for a time.
Audrey Raj
2.5 Stars: For me, the book started off pretty promising. I was excited for the time travel aspect and the third book in a series is usually my favourite. However, unfortunately around 100 pages in, I started getting really bored and I ended up speed-reading about 50 pages before DNFing the book and series. I'm really disappointed because I really enjoyed the first two books, but the third book which I thought would be the best, ended up being the most boring and eventful. ...more
Sep 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Eric Parker
Nov 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was wild! Journeys through time can always be confusing and this one is no exception. It was fascinating to see how this was handled. A great entry in a great series. I am certainly looking forward to the next book.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great twist and turns
Kitty Graves
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
it was a really good and I am really loving the series so far. 😊💚
Gillian Brownlee
Mar 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
References! References galore! I really enjoy how this author wove an entire story from a real life conversation. And the time travel was really well done! On to the next!
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Other books in the series

The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica (8 books)
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  • The Search for the Red Dragon (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #2)
  • The Shadow Dragons (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #4)
  • The Dragon's Apprentice (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #5)
  • The Dragons of Winter (The Chronicles of the Imaginarium Geographica, #6)
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22 likes · 16 comments
“Like all the other arrivals to the tournament, Hank had erected a banner in front. It was a long, tapering pennant with a blue and red circular design in the center and the words GO CUBS! on both sides.
Interesting," said Hugo. "What does it mean?"
It was a gift from Sam," Hank explained as they entered the tent. "He said it used to represent Triumph over Adversity, but now better represents Impossible Quests and Lost Causes."
I think I preferred not knowing that," said Hugo.
Hank grinned. "You're a Sox fan too, hey?”
“What the good Lord giveth, he also taketh away. Then he puts it back again.” 7 likes
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