Sunday 23 May 2010

The Chestnut King - N.D. Wilson - Book 3 of the 100 Cupboards

The Chestnut King
Book 3 of the 100 Cupboards
N.D. Wilson - blog
Random House
ISBN 9780375838859

I will start off by saying that I absolutely love this series. When I read book one, 100 Cupboards, I thought it was an excellent story and that it could be the beginning of a great series. When I read book 2, Dandelion Fire, I thought it was an incredible story, Tolkienesk even, and yet it left we wanting more of Henry's story. Book 3, The Chestnut King, blew away all my previous expectations. Very few authors in my opinion are worthy of being compared to C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien or Madeleine L'Engle, and yet as I read this book I could not help but find myself comparing the author's style, and the substance of his writings to these three giants in literature.
This story continues the adventures of Henry York Maccabee, a young boy about to turn 13, raised near Boston on our earth. While visiting family in Kansas he discovers 100 magic doors hidden in a wall. He also finds out that he is not from earth and that the person he thought was his Grandfather had brought him through one of the doors when he was young. He has released an ancient evil Nimiane from Endor, and she devours all life. She is hunting Henry and wants to capture him before he comes into his power. He has been touched by her blood and its scar on his face is expanding. It is a bond between them. Henry's Father and Uncle are off searching for the dark witch when calamity befalls the family. They are taken by soldiers from a southern kingdom. The dark witch is trying to draw Mordecai, Henry's father, and Henry into a trap.This specific story, and the whole trilogy, is told as a series of narratives telling different people's parts of the story. It reminds me of The Lord of The Rings Trilogy, which is told in 6 books each telling a part of the tale and going back and forth. This story does the same thing. Told from Henry's vantage point, his cousin Henrietta's, his father's and at times even the witch's, the story switches back and forth from different vantage points and most times there are gaps in the story. Some get filled in by others, some are left for you to fill in. Yet it works together as a cohesive whole. At nearly 500 pages this third volume is the longest and also the best written. The story is compelling and highly addictive. I read it in 3 sittings, not wanting to put it down either of the times I did, but life intruded upon my desired reading time.

This is an excellent book by an author who is coming into his own. The story arc across the three novels proceeds well, and this particular volume is excellent. I look forward to future offerings from N.D. Wilson for if they are as good as this one, they will be greatly entertaining.

(First Published in Imprint 2010-05-21.)

Books by N.D. Wilson
100 Cupboards:

The Door Before - 100 Cupboards Book 0.5
100 Cupboards - 100 Cupboards Book 1
Dandelion Fire - 100 Cupboards Book 2
The Chestnut King - 100 Cupboards Books 3

Ashton Burials:

The Dragon's Tooth
The Drowned Vault

Leepike Ridge


Right Behind

Picture Books:

The Dragon and the Garden - The Old Stories
In The Time of Noah - The Old Stories


Notes From The Tilt-A-Whirl
Death By Living

Author Profile Interview with N.D. Wilson


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