Nicholas St. North and the Battle of The Nightmare King
Image credit: riseoftheguardians.wikia
In “Nicholas S. North”, the first book in the series “The Guardians”, William Joyce tells the true story of none other than Santa Claus, who long before being St. Nicholas (or Santa Claus), was known as North, a fearless swordsman and notoriously out of law. In this book, which features charming black-and-white illustrations, only when real villains enter the scene, North finds another use for his famous fighter skills, becoming the hero adored by children all over the world.
Nicholas St. North, King of Outlaws, one night has an incredible dream with a magical city hidden in the crater of a volcano, surrounded by a mysterious forest. Armed with the greed for the goods he could find there, he rides headlong, followed closely by his troupe of thieves. Meanwhile, Pitch Black, the King of Nightmares, tries to invade Santoff Claussen, the magical village where the mighty Ombric Shalazar lives. Relatively creative, the plot draws attention to the development of the Christmas universe and was very curious to read.
It is not very clear who is the protagonist of this book, because we have several points of view, but let’s talk about North and Ombric. North does not know his age, because he does not even know what day he was born. He grew up in a forest until he was found by the Cossacks and became the greatest fighter of the Russian tribe. In spite of this, he did not agree with the savage acts they promoted and he broke apart and formed his own group of thieves. He is a bit of a braggart and likes the fame of the trickster that follows him, but deep down he has a soft heart. Ombric is one of the last remaining great wizards, the last survivor of Atlantis, who helped invent time and gravity and founded Santoff Claussen on a meteor that exploded on the side of a mountain, forming a crater protected by a trace of stellar rock and he has a serious, but paternal personality.
Pitch Black is an extraordinary villain, one of those who really cause nightmares for children, driven by sheer evil and revenge. The expectral boy is still a mystery, but it has the essence of a child and brings lightness to tense situations (strained for a children’s book – but still tense!).
I really enjoyed reading this, although it was not all that I imagined. The universe of the story is charming and the plot is contagious. The theme "everything is possible" and other elements of the plot remind me of Alice in Wonderland. I recommend the book for children and for us who love a good children's book.