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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare
Электронная книга151 страница1 час

Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare

Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд

3/5

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Об этой электронной книге

Forget naughty or nice—this is a battle of good vs. evil.

Discover the origins of St. Nick and follow along as the Guardians start their quest to rid the world of nightmares in the first Guardians chapter book from Academy Award winner William Joyce that inspired the beloved film, The Rise of the Guardians.

Before SANTA was SANTA, he was North, Nicholas St. North—a daredevil swordsman whose prowess with double scimitars was legendary. Like any swashbuckling young warrior, North seeks treasure and adventure, leading him to the fiercely guarded village of Santoff Claussen, said to be home to the greatest treasure in all the East, and to an even greater wizard, Ombric Shalazar. But when North arrives, legends of riches have given way to terrors of epic proportions! North must decide whether to seek his fortune…or save the village.

When our rebellious hero gets sucked into the chaos (literally), the fight becomes very personal. The Nightmare King and his evil Fearlings are ruling the night, owning the shadows, and sending waves of fear through all of Santoff Clausen. For North, this is a battle worth fighting…and, he’s not alone. There are five other Guardians out there. He only has to find them in time.
ЯзыкEnglish
Дата выпуска4 окт. 2011 г.
ISBN9781442435759
Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare
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William Joyce

William Joyce is professor of strategy and organization theory at the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College.

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Рейтинг: 3.2016129032258065 из 5 звезд
3/5

124 оценки17 отзывов

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  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Filled with magic and wonders. A beautiful fairy tale!
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    This was a beautiful story! Nicholas St North is a young cossack bandit chief who is generally full of mischief. One night in a dream he is called to the small magical village of Santoff Claussen to help the wizard Ombric and the children battle Pitch, the Nightmare king. And so his life is forever changed. North stays in the village to recover after the battle and becomes the wizard's apprentice. The two of them work together to figure out how to defeat Pitch for good. Along the way we meet a spetral boy who rides the wind and moonbeams who report to the man in the moon. Just Magic!William Joyce is my new favourite storyteller! This book is lyrical and magical and beautiful. The characters are loveable and often surprising. The setting is described in such a way that I can imagine myself there. The story had me hanging out to know what happens next. I am awaiting book deliveries anxious to get the next installment! This is a children's book but I would recommend it to anybody who enjoyed Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Artemis Fowl and so on.Can you tell I am in book love?
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    I gave this book a 4 and half stars because it is a good book over all its a good book but some times it gets off subject. The book has some major twists in it so it keeps you hooked. I think this book could be a little longer to add to the story.In the begging North is a thief but a moon beam leads him to a town of learning. In that town North saves the town children from a bear and learns magic. In the middle of the book North goes on a quest to find a relic to stop Pitch (the bad guy). In the end North gets the relic which is a magical sword.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    The sinister Pitch, the terrible Nightmare King whose depredations brought about the end of the interstellar Golden Age, and resulted in the last scion of the great House of Lunanoff becoming the fabled Man in the Moon, above a small green planet called Earth, is freed from his ages long imprisonment in this engrossing middle-grade fantasy novel from William Joyce and Laura Geringer, immediately setting out to conquer the planet and terrorize its residents (especially its children) with his Fearlings. When Pitch and his men come upon Santoff Claussen, a magical and well-protected village in the isolated wilds of Siberia, protected by the spells of the great wizard Ombric, they are at first repelled. When they try again, this time possessing the great bear which (amongst other things) protects the village, it seems like they will have more luck. Then a dream summons Nicholas St. North, the most famed thief and adventurer of the age, to Santoff Claussen's defense, leading to a sequence of events in which Pitch is temporarily defeated, and North finds that he has a higher destiny...Having read and enjoyed all three of William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood picture-books - The Man in the Moon, The Sandman: The Story of Sanderson Mansnoozie, and Jack Frost - I have long been meaning to read the series of fantasy novels involving the same cast of characters. Much of the back story here - the battle between Pitch and the Lunanoff Family, during the Golden Age, and the partial destruction of the Moon Clipper that led to the formation of Earth's moon - were covered in those books, but it was good to get more details. I really enjoyed the cast of characters here, from the wise Ombric to the intrepid North, not to mention the courageous Katharine, and hoped I will see all of them again, in subsequent entries in the series. My only disappointment, with Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, is that although Nicholas' eventual role as Santa Claus is hinted at, that transformation isn't actually covered in the story, something I was rather expecting, given the book's description. Still, that is a minor complaint, as I otherwise greatly enjoyed this one, and am now eager to track down and read the sequels. Recommended to anyone who has read and enjoyed the picture-books mentioned above, and to all middle-grade readers who enjoy fantasy fiction.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    I'd have gone to 5 stars if the story had covered more ground and stood alone a little more strongly, but it was mostly an origin story - and any long-time comic reader will know that those are a tricky prospect (with the double whammy of being essential reading). William Joyce has a wonderful voice in his writing. Sprawling and intimate at the same time, with a preternatural connection to what WORKS in the hearts and minds of the young and young-at-heart.

    I love the set-up of this series, how it functions as the creation of a mythic pantheon that kids know they can believe in because it comes from love. Evil, darkness, and mistakes aren't sources of negative motivation for loving the heroic idols within - they are instead rejected and contained, fought and sequestered away where they can still be seen and understood.

    These are "gods" who have your back, want you to succeed, and don't threaten to torture you - they frankly don't care what you think of them, they're too busy being good and experiencing the same struggles and flaws that their readers understand all too well.

    Thank you, William Joyce. I don't know if these books will ever attain the heights that they should - but I see what they are, what they are worth, and the love that went into them. I'm never going to be too old to know the value of a nightlight.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    I loved this story!! I could not put it down. It was full of adventure, magic, humor, and suspense. I was so excited to read this when I saw a review for it. The illustrations are all black and white and fit the story well. The author explores the traditional "guardians of childhood" stories (i.e. Santa Claus, Easter Bunny etc) but adds an updated and unique twist to the stories. This is the first book in the series. I think boys and girls will both love this as well as adults. I can't wait for the next book in the series and for the movie that I hear will be out in 2012 or 2013.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    The first installment of William Joyce's Guardians of Childhood series is absolutely delightful. Joyce, long a master of the picture book form, has finally turned his talent to early reader novels, with excellent result. The basic idea - a series of stories revolving around the mythological figures of childhood, and their battle against nightmares, is simple, clever and will resonate with many, many children. In reading this first book (I bought the first four), I was struck how much it reminded me of L. Frank Baum's Oz stories, which were great favorites of my own childhood. The language of Nicholas St. North is a little simpler - befitting the modern age - and the story is a little shorter, but there are some commonalities: a brave female child protagonist; benevolent magic-casters; strange fantasy creatures; and a quest that emphasizes friendship over the occasional bursts of terror and even violence. Crucially, Joyce and his co-author (on this volume only) have chosen to avoid either a full-on fairy tale motif or a sub-Tolkien high fantasy homage, both of which are overly popular today. I would not be at all surprised if the Oz books, which were always lighter and more distinctly American than many trendy series since, were in the back of Joyce's mind.My only criticisms relate, perhaps over-sensitively, to marketing issues. I'm not an enormous fan of the serialized format that seems to have taken over children's fiction, which instead of gently implying future adventures, screams, "Buy the next one!" I respect that Joyce wants to tell a longer story, but I do like a more distinct ending to each installment. I'm also a little disappointed just by the economic situation in which these books are published. They are lovely little volumes - the covers are beautiful, and Joyce's gentle interior pencil drawings balance the text nicely - but I can't help thinking that, had these been released in the glory publishing days of the '80s or '90s, they would have color plates (or a color frontispiece, at least). The covers are so vivid it just seems a shame there is none of Joyce's trademark color work elsewhere in the books. That's a secondary issue, though - what's here is very nice indeed.I am looking forward to the next book in the series, which has a delightfully B-movie title. I believe William Joyce has projected six novels in the series, so there's only two to be released yet. I'll certainly be keeping an eye out.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    A delightful story of the origins of Santa Claus, but also of nightmares. I cannot wait to start the second book in what promises to be a wonder series.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    This was a fun read. Yes, like everyone else I watched the movie and thought “well now I want to know the backstory to this world”The story was captivating right from the start, it’s full of mystery and imagination that just keeps coming and is woven together in such a beautiful manner. It pulls you in and makes you want to keep learning the beauty of this magical world and it’s guardians.I love the the back story to this particular Santa, (I’m a sucker for Santa backstories haha) this particular one was very different from the usual, Swordsman, thief, battleridden, angry, and so many other unlikely characteristics that were used to describe him, alongside the jolly and wondrous side we all know. The only thing I was a little bummed about was it doesn’t actually tell us HOW he became the Santa we all know and love, which I am hoping in something that gets explained in later stories. There was hints of it but not enough to actually say “this is how he came to deliver toys to children”The story ends in a manner that makes you want to come back and continue learning and becoming part of this wondrous world.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    I picked up this book because I heard about it after the "Rise of the Guardians" movie came out.First, I'd like to mention how nice the presentation for this book is. It looks beautiful, and it has nice inside art, too. It's one of the better looking books I've seen.The way it's written makes me think of a person sitting in a chair, telling a story to a bunch of people around them. It took me a little while to get into it. It definitely has its own, unique style.It's very whimsical and there's a lot of humor in the writing (for example, North, the character, making a compass that points to himself).It was enjoyable. The characters were likable, and it had a certain feel to its world. It was "Earth" and yet full of magic and everything seemed to have intelligent - whether a beam of light from the moon or an insect.It had a fairytale like charm, where it could spout out anything as existing in this world and the explanation is "because". It didn't worry about trying to explain the science behind things. For instance, a little girl is tossed high enough to reach the clouds, and lands safely because she's caught. Obviously she's still be a pancake, but this is the sort of story where cows can jump over moons or trees can come to life and it's not questioned.I did enjoy it and plan on getting the next book sometime.I also appreciate that while, obviously, this wasn't the end of the series, the book did have its own end. This particular adventure finished instead of stopping a story somewhere in the middle and asking people to buy the next book.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    The story was an adventurous take on Santa Clause, with a sabre-wielding ruffian gradually finding the good in himself through his empathy for a young orphan. The book is charming but not overly sentimental, and the complexities of the characters have an intriguing depth. Good and evil are realistically balanced, with a mixture of both in each person. The audio format helps a younger audience with the somewhat complex language in the text, and the loss of the book's illustrations is countered by the richness of Doyle's narration. The character of Katherine helps to involve children in the action of the story, which keeps it from being purely an adult's adventure. Personally, my favorite detail was the sentient moonbeam using reflective surfaces to travel as a sentry for the Man on the Moon.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    I liked this one quite a bit. North turns from self-proclaimed King of the Bandits to a true hero. Ombric goes from wise wizard to a caring and fallible teacher. And Katherine is such a sweet and caring girl who stays true to her friends.The illustrations really add a lot to the story.
  • Рейтинг: 1 из 5 звезд
    1/5
    Awful book! Very scary. Who in their right mind would give this to a kid to read? And it was made into a movie?? Yikes! What were they thinking?
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King gets off to a slow start but once the action got started I was hooked. This is a prequel if you will of the legendary St. Nicholas, detailing his life before he was St. Nick. I thought the story was fun and imaginative with plenty of action. I am looking forward to reading the next book in the series. 4 stars!
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    5/5
    I loved this book for many reasons. Upon reading this book, it was almost impossible to put down, causing desire to read until finished. The big idea of St. North’s back-story is that any person, no matter who they are or where they are from, can achieve great things; and also that the wonder of children should always be protected. North becomes the literal manifestation of the latter later in the series. The most brilliant part of the novel is the plot. Each chapter is well paced where there are no parts where the story feels to drag; yet it is not intense enough to leave a reader confused or lost. For example, the first chapter sets the tone for the main village where the remainder of the book will center. The second chapter then goes into detail about the main character and how he ends up in this village. The remaining chapters continue to describe, in chronological order, the events that developed North as a person and Guardian. There is no skipping about or long-winded multiple chapters on one event.This leads to the development of the characters. The three main characters, North, Ombric, and Katherine all go through substantial growth through the storyline that completes their character and in some cases completely reverses their values. For example, North starts his story as a greedy outlaw pirate, who only enters the magical village in attempt to pillage the town and be able to brag about it to the outsiders. In the end of the book, North is the complete opposite; very giving, humble and selfless, as he gives his life to protect Katherine and the wonder she represents.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    The Guardians of Childhood, soon to be a “major motion picture” has been a book series that has intrigued me every time I walked past it in the Children’s section of the bookstore. It wasn’t until my family was looking for more books to read (to better encourage a lifetime love of reading in our newest member) that we finally picked them up.My initial thought was: this is an origin story of Santa Claus. I was skeptical, I admit, thinking of the countless Rankin & Bass Santa origin stories. Yet, at the same time, I was intrigued. This Santa held a sword, and had an army of Yetis behind him. This Santa was not one you’d like to tangle with.And a reading of the book made this clear. While the more Santa-esque character was not St. North in this volume, you see the trappings of the “jolly old elf” begin to manifest themselves in a Russian swordsman thief who apprentices himself under a great wizard, eventually developing a hankering for mechanical devices imbued with a dash of sorcery. This man, while not your typical impression of Santa Claus, has the foundation to be an imaginative toymaker.All this happens while the evil Pitch, the Nightmare King, reawakens (from events that transpired in Joyce’s picture book The Man in the Moon). St. North and his ilk find themselves battling this former man who delights in giving children nightmares, and for destroying all that is good and noble that generally stands in his way.If you did read the precursor picture book, you’d appreciate the piecing together of the two puzzles to get a more complete picture answering some questions that arose from reading The Man in the Moon, as well as some questions that arose from reading Nicholas St. North. Delightfully, to get you to keep reading, even more pieces of puzzles are scattered throughout, including the destiny of a young orphan named Katherine, who has an affinity for recording St. North’s outlandish stories.As I’ve said before, while what Joyce is doing, on the surface, is not original, at its core, it is one of the more original things I’ve read from the Children’s aisle. I recommend this if you’re looking for something for that independent reader (or to read to that not-so-independent reader), or even for yourself. Who says that we adults can’t enjoy a book written for children every now and again?
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    4/5
    Reason for Reading: Next in the series.Not since "The Spiderwick Chronicles" have I read a children's fantasy aimed at the 7-11 crowd that is so engaging, quality literature with awesome illustrations to bring the story to life. This book is not genre specific as it mixes fantasy, science fiction, steampunk, and fairytale retelling all together until one can't really categorize it. It takes place on our Earth and yet includes creatures from Atlantis and the Moon. As I was reading I often had a feeling of L. Frank Baum's writing style; the book looks and has a voice similar to a 19th/early 20th century children's fantasy, chapters have titles such as " In Which a Twist of Fate Begets a Knot in the Plan" and "Where the Impossible Occurs with Surprising Regularity".The text is large and double-spaced with frequent illustrations so is much shorter than the page numbers would indicate and this does make character development suffer. One never really gets a full sense or deep caring for the characters but I did find the little girl Katharine to be the most fleshed out character and the one I cared for the most. The book ends with the story arc being concluded and yet the overarching story of the series has only just begun, thus it very much has a first in a series feel.However, to clear a little confusion. This is not the first book in the series, even though it is called Book 1. This is a direct sequel to "The Man in the Moon" which is confusingly listed as "The Guardians of Childhood, Book 1". The Man in the Moon is a picture book but characters and events from the book are present and crucial to the story in "Nicholas St. North", so do read it first. Those over 11 may find the book lacking in depth, plot development and characterization as this is not a heavy or detailed read. What it is though, is a fun, whimsical, outlandish fantasy crossed with other genres written to especially appeal to the 7-11 age group and those adults willing to be a kid again. I'm impressed and eager for the next book which will feature the Easter Bunny (excuse me, E. Aster Bunnymund).

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Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare - William Joyce

CHAPTER ONE

In Which the Great War Is Renewed

THE BATTLE OF THE Nightmare King began on a moonlit night long ago. In the quiet town of Tangle-wood, a small boy and his smaller sister woke with a start. Like most children (and some adults at one time or another), they were afraid of the dark. They each slowly sat up in bed, clutching their covers around themselves like a shield. Too fearful to rise and light a candle, the boy pushed aside the curtains and peered out the window, looking for the only other light to be seen during these long-ago nights—the Moon. It was there, full and bright.

At that moment a young moonbeam shot down from the sky and through the window. Like all beams, it had a mission: Protect the children.

The moonbeam glowed its very hardest, which seemed to comfort the two. One, then the other, breathed a sleepy sigh and lay back down. In a few moments they were once again asleep. The moonbeam scanned the room. All was safe. There was nothing there but shadows. But the beam sensed something beyond the room, beyond the cabin. Something, somewhere, wasn’t right. The beam ricocheted off the small glass mirror above the children’s chest of drawers and out the window.

It flashed through the village, then into the surrounding forest of pine and hemlock, flickering from icicle to icicle. Startling bats and surprising owls, it followed the old snow-covered Indian trail to the darkest part of the deep woods—a place the settlers feared and rarely ventured. Like a searchlight, the beam shot out into the darkness until it found a cave.

picture

Our heroic moonbeam

Strange rocks, curling like melted wax, framed the yawning mouth of the cavern. The cave was thick with shadows that seemed to breathe like living things. In all its travels, the beam had never seen anything so ominous.

The moonbeam wavered and then—not sure if it was being brave or foolish—dropped down, following the shadows into the pit below.

The darkness seemed to go on and on forever. Finally, the moonbeam came to a stagnant pool. Black water reflected its glow, dimly lighting the cave. And there, in the center of the pool, stood a giant figure. He was denser and even darker than the shadows that surrounded him. Still as a statue, he wore a long cloak as inky as an oil seep. The moonbeam scanned the figure slowly, cautiously. When it reached his eyes, they opened! The figure was awake!

The shadows began writhing about at the feet of the figure, their low drone filling the air. They grew, crashing against the cave walls like waves against a ragged jetty. But they weren’t shadows at all! They were creatures—creatures that no child or Moon messenger had seen for centuries. And the moonbeam knew at once: It was surrounded by Fearlings and Nightmare Men—slaves of the Nightmare King!

The moonbeam paled and faltered. Perhaps it should have given up and fled back to the Moon. If it had, this story would never have been told. But the moonbeam did not flee. Inching closer, it realized that the phantom figure was the one all moonbeams had been taught to watch for: It was Pitch, the King of Nightmares! He had been pierced through the heart, a diamond-like dagger holding him pinned against a mound of ebony marble. Warily, the moonbeam crept closer still, grazing against the weapon’s crystal hilt.

But light does not go around crystal, it goes through it, and suddenly, the beam was sucked into the blade! Twisting from side to side, the moonbeam was pulled on a jagged course to the blade’s tip. It was trapped, suspended in Pitch’s frozen, glassy heart. Pitch’s chest began to glow from within as the moonbeam ricocheted about in a frenzy, desperate to escape. It was terrifyingly cold there—colder even than the darkest regions of space. But the moonbeam was not alone. There, just beyond the edge of the blade, in the farthest recesses of the phantom figure’s heart, it could see the spectral shape of a tiny elfin child curled tight. A boy? Hesitantly, the beam illuminated the child’s head.

That little ray of light was all it took; the spectral boy began to grow. He burst forth from Pitch’s chest joyfully, free at last! The moonbeam was thrown from side to side as the boy, with one quick tug, wrenched the radiant dagger from the cold heart that had trapped him. Bearing the blade aloft, with the moonbeam still caught inside lighting the way, the boy shot like a rocket straight up and out of the cursed cave and into the starry night. By the time his feet hit the snowy ground, he looked every bit like a real boy, if a real boy could be carved out of mist and light and miraculously brought to life.

Freed from the dagger’s impaling, Pitch began to grow as well, rising like a living tower of coal. Swelling to a monstrous size, he followed the boy’s illuminated trail to the surface.

picture

Pitch and his Fearling Legions

Looking wildly up at the sky, Pitch sniffed the air in ecstasy. With one shrug and a toss of his midnight cloak, he blotted out the Moon. He crouched down and dug his fingers into the earth, letting the scents of the surrounding forest reach into his searching brain. He was ravenous, overwhelmed by a fiery hunger that burned him from within.

Breathing deeply, he trolled the winter wind for the prize he coveted, the tender meal he had craved even beyond freedom all those endless years of imprisonment down below: the good dreams of innocent children. He would turn those dreams into nightmares—every last one—till every child on Earth lived in terror. For that’s how Pitch intended to exact his revenge upon all those who had dared imprison him!

As glorious thoughts of revenge filled Pitch’s mind, they ignited around him a cloud of sulfurous black. The cloud seeped upward from the seemingly bottomless pit of the cave. From that vapor, hurtling in all directions at once, came the shadow creatures—the Fearlings and Nightmare Men—thousands of them, horrendously shrieking. Like giant bats, they glided over the forest and beyond, invading the dreams of all who slept nearby.

By now the moonbeam was frantic. It had found Pitch! The Evil One! It had to return to the Moon and report back to Tsar Lunar! But it remembered the sleeping children back in their cabin. What if the Fearlings went after them? How could the moonbeam help if it was still trapped inside the diamond dagger? The beam bucked and strained, guiding the boy, who skittered along, light as air, back through the town, back to the small children’s window. They skidded to a stop.

picture

A gathering of Fearlings

The spectral boy pulled himself up onto the windowsill. As he peered in at the children, somewhere in his heart an ancient memory or remembrance stirred of a sleeping baby and a distant lullaby. But the memory dissolved almost as soon as it appeared, leaving him feeling deeply and unexpectedly sad.

Something dark flashed past the boy and into the children’s room. Suddenly, two Fearlings hovered and twisted in midair above the sleeping brother and sister who turned restlessly, clutching at their quilts. Instinctually, the spectral boy leaped off the windowsill and snatched a broken tree branch from the ground, attaching the diamond dagger to its end. He aimed his gleaming weapon at the window.

The Fearlings shrunk back from the light, but they did not disappear. So, for the second time that evening, the moonbeam glowed with all its might. The brightness was now too much for the Fearlings. With a low moan, they twined and curled, then vanished, as if they had never been there at all.

The children rolled over and nestled into their pillows with a smile.

And after seeing those smiles, the spectral boy laughed.

Up on the Moon, however, there was no cause for laughter. Tsar Lunar—the one we call the Man in the Moon—was on high alert. Something was amiss. Each night he sent thousands of moonbeams down to Earth. And each night they returned and made their reports. If they

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