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The Chestnut King by N. D. Wilson
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The Chestnut King (2010)

by N. D. Wilson

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So, here's the plot... Henry is staying with his relatives in Kansas, when their house is transported to a magical world and they must battle an evil witch. OK, Toto, sound familiar?

Well other than getting a general idea of the story, I find myself completely lost while listening to this audiobook. The plot definitely shows promise. In his uncle and aunt's house, Henry discovers a cupboard with 99 doors that lead into other worlds. But, an evil witch, Niniane, must be defeated before she kills Henry and his family. Good overall story and some clever plot twists. So what went wrong? I'm guessing that I had a problem with the narration. This is definitely an example of a narrator overacting a story. There are so many dramatic pauses, that I find myself completely lost as to what is going on. This book has some very high reviews. I might have to revisit this one in print, but the audio version did not work for me. ( )
  jmoncton | Jun 3, 2013 |
I agree with a previous reviewer that the ending felt too neat. My other complaint is that the world-building was a bit lacking; though the title of the book is The Chestnut King, we really don't find out much about him and his relationship to the faerie queene. The pacing was a bit stop-and-go; there were several parties, with different parties going different places for different reasons, and parties sometimes splitting up or joining up. All in all it was a bit confusing, and in the end, unnecessary; lots of attention focused on journeys that didn't matter so much and characters who didn't really do anything. The book would've benefited from more focus on the important journeys and characters, and fewer words given to other plotlines and characters.

The book does tie up the Nimiane loose end, and gives you a glimpse into the 'ever after' part of Henry's life. ( )
  meow9th | Dec 19, 2012 |
Book 3 of the series and I'm not really sure what to say. Parts of it were hands-down better than the last book (finding out about Henry's family and battling the Fingerlings) but I can't say I really enjoyed much of it. Fantasy isn't typically my genre of choice and it really doesn't compare with Harry Potter or The Hobbit. ( )
  TurboSnails | Mar 24, 2011 |
Reason for Reading: Next (and last) in the trilogy.

It's the final showdown in this volume. Nimiane is making her move to take over the empire, her hatred for Henry's bloodline makes his whole family targets of her wrath, especially him, since they are tied together with the blood bond and she knows how powerful he could become. Most of the book takes place within the worlds of the cupboards, with the doors being used for travel and a few pit stops are made here and there to the house in Kansas in the process. People actually notice a few strange things happening where the house used to be and the area is becoming popular to the paranormal events -type crowd. Henry learns a lot more about who he is and who he could be while Henrietta becomes much more of a teammate than she has ever been before, though she and Henry do end up on different teams at times. I think all the characters have grown as people throughout this series and that is always a good feeling to have at the end of a series.

The paranormal elements of this volume where quite intriguing. The full truth comes out about Henry's scar and his ties to Endor because of it. Henry's case is an exciting one as at one point it boils down to the options of giving up and dying quickly or going forward to die with honour or at least die trying. But things are never always as they seem and at the end we can sigh with relief at the happy ending. In fact, this is my main problem with the book, the ending is too pat. All ends were finished off just so perfectly nicely that it destroyed some of the story's believability for me. The other thing I find annoying is the trend of these juvenile fantasies, with book 1 being 200 and some pages, book two pushes the 400 mark and then book 3 has to top them all off by trying to become a 500 page tome. That is what actually made me take so long to get started on this book since I had enjoyed the first two books so much.

An interesting, well-thought out fantasy world and story that delivers an exciting conclusion while on the other hand draws out the trilogy when it might have been trimmed a little to make it a bit move quicker and therefore more tense. ( )
  ElizaJane | Mar 8, 2011 |
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For my mother and father (who never lost me)
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In a world tangled in places with this one, both near and far from where we stand, near and far from where our grandfathers are standing as children, near and far from our past, from our now, from our never, there are two seas separated only by a long strong belt of land.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0375838856, Hardcover)

When Henry York found 99 cupboards hidden behind his bedroom wall, he never dreamed they were doors to entirely new worlds! Unfortunately, Henry’s discovery freed an ancient, undying witch, whose hunger for power would destroy every world connected to the cupboards—and every person whom Henry loves. Henry must seek out the legendary Chestnut King for help. Everything has a price, however, and the Chestnut King’s desire may be as dangerous as the witch herself.

N. D. Wilson concludes a remarkable, worlds-spanning journey that began with one boy and one hundred avenues to adventure.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:57:56 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Twelve-year-old Henry York, finally reunited with his family, works with them and the Chestnut King, the long-deposed and mythic leader of the faeren people, to destroy Nimiane and her forces of evil.

» see all 2 descriptions

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