About My Book Reviews

Friday, January 1, 2021

Ickabog by J. K. Rowling

Title: Ickabog

Author: J. K. Rowling

Published: 2020

Genre: Fantasy

Grade Level: 6th-8th Grade

-Trigger Warning: Grief

-Extra Notes: This novel has nothing to do with the Harry Potter universe


Narrated by: Stephen Fry

Length: 7hrs 52min

Recommend: Yes!


Disclaimer: My review of this novel is not in any way a reflection upon the author or their views. I am a book reviewer, I review books… not people.


Blurb (from goodreads):

Once upon a time there was a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, as rich in happiness as it was in gold, and famous for its food. But even in this happy kingdom, a monster lurks.

Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands... the Ickabog. Some say it breathes fire, spits poison, and roars through the mist as it carries off wayward sheep and children alike. Some say it's just a myth...

And when that myth takes on a life of its own, casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children — best friends Bert and Daisy — embark on a great adventure to untangle the truth and find out where the real monster lies, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.


My Scores:

Writing Style: Solid

The writing style is very dark and grim, especially for a middle grade novel. I think I would put it in the young adult category myself.

It’s very different from the Harry Potter series in that the narrator speaks directly to the audience and informs the reader of the internal thoughts of all of the main characters.

The dark voice and the personality of the narrator actually reminded me a lot of a Roald Dahl or Lemony Snicket novel.


Characters: Fully Developed

No one writes a villain like Rowling. I absolutely despised the slimy, low-life antagonists in this novel. Spittleworth, in particular, is really quite menacing.

I enjoyed getting to know the protagonists, despite learning about their utterly tragic lives, because I really grew to root for them in there struggle for justice. And you know it wouldn’t be a Rowling novel without a little heartache.

The two main MC’s, Daisy and Bert, go through so much hardship and grief that it’s impossible not to root for them. I loved seeing how resilient and hopeful their spirits were in spite of all the abuse and grief they suffered.


Plot: Absolute Page-Tuner

The pacing in this novel is absolutely perfect. There is never a dull moment.


Overall: Obsessed

Overall, it was a very engrossing middle grade story with a powerful message about hope, friendship, and truth.

Hopefully, I’m not the only one reminded of the “Ichabod Crane” song from the old cartoon Halloween movie the Headless Horseman every time I heard the word “Ickabog.”



Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive! 

– Walter Scott


Goodreads Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

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