Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King

The Guardians: Book One

by William Joyce and Laura Geringer

“A small black spider was lowering itself down on a single strand of silk toward the djinni’s left ear… But this spider was different” (Joyce, 189).
Chapter Thirteen – Chapter Eighteen

I know I said that trying to cram twelve chapters into one post seemed overwhelming, word count wise for the length I prefer.

But for the second half of Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King, I recorded my notes as a collective whole for all twelve chapters, which, based on length, will be divided into two posts.

Admittedly, there’s so many little point that happen and I’m really just trying to remember all the main thoughts I had, so here we go:

All right. So along with becoming friends with Katherine, North also becomes Ombric’s apprentice, since knowledge needs to be passed on.

As I’ve said, I like North. He’s a complex character (e.g. his trauma after fighting the bear and rescuing the children). It clearly affects him and he deals with it by delving into learning from Ombric, rather than stealing or fighting.

Also it’s nice that his laughter doesn’t go away.

Additionally, while the children have been frightened and unsettled by the new dangers Pitch has introduced into their lives, North

“regaled them with tall tales of his early life. He claimed to know of a kingdom governed by a giant egg that ruled from its perch atop an ancient wall. He’d seen a cow that could jump higher than the Earth’s atmosphere… And little Katherine was the most rapt of all, devouring his stories and scribbling versions of them in her journals” (117).

Okay, first, yay! on North for boosting the children’s spirits with stories and good cheer. And second, ♥ for Katherine for writing and drawing them down. It just is ♥ and 🙂 and that’s the only coherent thing I have to say. (Has anyone figured out who she’s going to be? It becomes a lot more obvious by the Book Two.)

Eventually North decides to built a mechanical a man, due to how

“he became interested in ways to combine Ombric’s old magic with the curious mechanical devices that the villagers loved to build. It could be claimed that the birth of what we now call ‘machines’ began in Santoff Claussen” (117-8).

Like I said in Chapter One, this nod to the birth of machines gives an indication of the story’s time frame. They are in a period where mechanization hasn’t happened yet, so the mixing of metal and magic as embodied in the djinni (or North’s mechanical man) is unique.

I’m not entirely sure why it’s called a djinni. Maybe because North created it to serve the people of Santoff Claussen?

Suffice to say, Ombric and North have to go on a journey to the Himalayas to gather one of the four ancient relics that may be able to defeat Pitch. Katherine is disappointed that she isn’t allowed to come.

But luckily she stays behind because she is able to save Ombric and North from Pitch — who in the form of a wolf spider creeps into the djinni and takes it over. (Poor spider. Having its shape used by Pitch to take over the djinni)

I wished there was more from Katherine’s point of view around these points, to get a little more in depth as to what she was feeling.

In the form of the djinni, Pitch scours Ombric’s library, reading up on spells of enslavement. He turns these spells on Ombric and North once they arrive at the Himalayas where one of the relics able to defeat Pitch is located. Both men catch on that the djinni is possessed, but before they can act, Pitch transforms them into toys. 



no words

Book Quote(s):

“If adventures were to be had, [Katherine] wanted to see them and drew them in her sketchbook” (135).

“North hadn’t touched a saber since the battle with the bear, for the slightest thought of a weapon sent dark, troubling images bubbling up to his brain” (111). 

Works Cited:

Joyce, William and Laura Geringer. Nicholas St. North and the Battle of the Nightmare King. New York: Atheneum Books, 2011. Print.


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