Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors (Children of the Red King - Book #4)

by Jenny Nimmo

Hardcover, 2005



Local notes

Fic Nim





Orchard Books (2005), 410 pages. $9.95.


Charlie and his magically gifted friends and relatives work together to rescue Billy Raven, a young orphan, from a mysterious and dangerous couple who have adopted him.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

410 p.; 8.3 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member tjsjohanna
One thing I'm enjoying in this series is the fact that characters aren't wholly bad or good and they can can move back and forth. I think that is more realistic in terms of believable characters. The message is a hopeful one - you can make a poor choice but that doesn't mean you can't make a better
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one next time.
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LibraryThing member Berly
Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, book four in the series, continues the story of the children of the Red King, who are all endowed with magical powers of one kind or another. Charlie, the main character, can look at pictures and hear the subject’s thoughts therein. The children all attend
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Bloor’s Academy and the good children battle the evil ones, solving mysteries and saving other people. The series is entertaining and bears a lot of resemblance to Harry Potter, but it is written on a much more simplistic level, both in terms of plot and vocabulary. I have been reading it out loud (ROL) to my daughter and it has been a very enjoyable bedtime ritual. She wants the next one for her upcoming birthday, so I’d say that’s a strong endorsement!
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LibraryThing member buckeyeaholic
The Charlie Bone series will keep those 'when is the next Potter book coming out' jitters at bay. Sorry Ms Nimmo but they just aren't as good. They seem a little more loosly written, not quite as polished. And I can't believe someone hasn't been sued for plagerism. There is a castle that serves as
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a school, evil teachers/students, nasty aunts, talking pictures, a Pettigrew and many other similarities.
Don't get me wrong, they were entertaining. Just missing something.
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LibraryThing member iamagirldork
This is my favorite in the series so far. There are many secrets surrounding Charlie's friend Billy Raven and many of them are revealed in the fourth book.
LibraryThing member TW_Spencer
Harry Potter-files this is not a rip-off. This series holds its own. Yeah, Yeah, Yeah there are similarities, but most fantasy novels have similarities - so just stop. These books have more personality then the Potter books anyway. Where many of the Potter characters are flat and vapid, the
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characters in the Bone books have vitality and are highly colorful. So get off your high horse there is plenty of room on the playing field.
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LibraryThing member drebbles
Charlie Bone is worried about his friend, Billy Raven. Billy, an albino and an orphan, has longed for a family of his own and it seems like his wish has come true when Mr. and Mrs. de Grey agree to adopt him. Charlie is happy for Billy, but the de Grey's are friends of the Bloor family and Charlie
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doesn't trust them. Charlie is right to be worried - the de Grey's have powers that literally won't let Billy leave the house unless he is going to school. Charlie, his Uncle Paton, and his friends all try to find a way to get Billy out of the de Grey's house and to a place where he'll be safe. Charlie also wonders what is going on at his school Bloor's Academy. Piano teacher Mr. Pilgrim is gone and his replacement, Tantalus Ebony, is a bit odd. Charlie also wonders what's up with a new student, Joshua Tilpin, who seems to be magnetic. Charlie also wonders why his friend Olivia is acting so strange. On top of it all, Charlie keeps searching for his missing father.

"Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors" certainly has its good points. For one thing, some of the children grow as characters, especially Billy and Olivia. Author Jenny Nimmo also shows some increasing aspects of Charlie's ability to read the thoughts of people in photographs and pictures. There's a nice sense of humor throughout the book, with some punny word play and an especially funny scene at the Pet's Café. The fantasy elements are nicely done, especially the introduction of Alice Angel, and a wonderfully imaginative scene involving written oaths coming alive and attacking Charlie and his friends. The "flames" as always, add much to the fantasy elements.

However, the book has its flaws. While some characters are well developed, other characters aren't developed at all. Once again Nimmo awkwardly gets rid of characters without any real explanation as to why they are gone. New characters that are added are underdeveloped, especially Joshua Tilpin and Tantalus Ebony. With the exception of Uncle Paton, most of the "good" adults are once again useless, especially Charlie's mother, Amy. Charlie's life at school is not particularly well-written - it's not clear what classes he takes and what classes many of the teachers actually teach. One plotline - losing balance - was very interesting, but felt thrown in at the last moment and could have been much more developed. The ongoing plot line of Charlie looking for his father could have been plotted and written better since it's obvious who his father really is.

The Children of the Red King series is a quick, at times enjoyable read, but continues to be somewhat frustrating.
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LibraryThing member caro488
Nimmo, Jenny, Charlie Bone and the Castle of Mirrors, Chldren of the Red King Book 4 The balance is split, the endowed children shift sides, and a magical horse is resurrected.
LibraryThing member msampsel
This is the fourth book about Charlie and his friends. In this story Mr. Bloor brought back the old queen, who helps Charlie and his friends to rescue someone from the Castle of Mirrors in the middle of the sea.
LibraryThing member Cheryl_in_CC_NV
Is this series going anywhere? My son highly recommends it, but so far it's doing nothing for me....

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