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Friday, December 18, 2020

Book Review: The Ickabog by J.K. Rowling

BOOK review
Started on: 9 December 2020
Finished on: 14 December 2020

Title: The Ickabog
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Pages: 282 pages / 304 pages (e-book)
Year of Publication: 2020
Price: Rp 299,039 (

Rating: 5/5

Once upon a time there's a tiny kingdom called Cornucopia, famous for its food and delicacies. From delicious cream cheeses of Kurdsburg to the pastries of Chouxville, each was so delicious that people wept with joy as they ate them. But even in this happy and rich kingdom, a monster lurks in the shadow. Legend tells of a fearsome creature living far to the north in the Marshlands, called the Ickabog. Some people believe that the Ickabog captures sheeps and children, but some people say it's just a myth. When this myth started casting a shadow over the kingdom, two children embark on an adventure to reveal the mystery behind the Ickabog, bringing hope and happiness to Cornucopia once more.
"They lived in the happiest kingdom in the world. What harm could the Ickabog do?"

This book was so much fun to read! I went into it with no expectation at all because I didn't read any reviews or anything like that (since some reviews ended up discussing about J.K. Rowling instead of the book itself πŸ˜…). I picked it up solely because it's written by J.K. Rowling. I remembered how I used to stay up past midnight just to finish a Harry Potter book; and so J.K. Rowling will always be an author who has a special place in my heart ♡. To be honest, I wasn't expecting much because I know this is a children's book, but I ended up enjoying it much more than I initially expected 😊.

The story is written from first person point of view with a tone that feels like a narrator reading a bedtime story—which definitely made me feel like a kid again πŸ˜†. The narrator sometimes teased us a little bit about what's going to happen next and that certainly made me eager to know how things are going to unfold. I also adore the world-building in this book. Cornucopia's capital city, Chouxville, is  full of exceptional bakers who made delicious cakes and pastries that filled a grown man's eyes with tears as he ate. And then there's the twin cities of Kurdsburg and Baronstown; Kurdsburg famous for its cheeses, while Baronstown is celebrated for its smoked and honey-roasted hams, bacon, sausages, and melting beefsteaks. A few hours from the twin cities lies Jeroboam that's famous for its wines. All the detailed description makes me drool and dream of enjoying those delicacies, and J.K. Rowling successfully sucked me in to the land of Cornucopia.
"Oh, if there's one thing you learn at cookery school," said Mrs. Beamish, with a shrug, "burned crusts and soggy bases happen to the best of us. Roll up your sleeves and start something else, I say. No point moaning over what you can't fix!"
Another thing that I love from this book is J.K. Rowling's ability to name the characters in this book. The best one of all is Tubby Tenderloin who lives in Baronstown, which was very fitting since he came from a town full of bacon and hams 🀣. Even though there are quite a lot of characters in this book, it wasn't difficult to remember all the names and their roles in the story. The villain of this book whose name is Spittleworth, definitely makes me want to spit in his face 🀣🀣. What surprised me the most was the fact that a children's book like this one have a lot of deaths in it 😱 I hope I'm not spoiling the story too much when I say that a lot of good people died because of Spittleworth's crazy schemes. I almost thought I was reading A Game of Thrones instead of The Ickabog 🀣.

I do have to admit that the characters are pretty two-dimensional: the good people are honest, honorable, and kind, while the villains are all greedy, corrupted, and malicious. But considering this is a children's book, I think it's quite understandable why the characters are created that way. And just like many children's book out there, this book offers some valuable lessons; one of them is about lying. Spittleworth's scheme begins with a lie and he needs to cover it up with more lies so that people will continue to believe him. I experienced it one time when I was still very young and it was a very tiring thing to do. I also love the life lessons that we learn from Daisy Dovetail. Even when she lost everything and almost without hope, she continue to extend kindness towards other people who needs it. King Fred is actually not a villain in this book; his consciousness was overshadowed pride and ego. So even when he wanted to do the right thing, King Fred decided against it. Lastly, Mrs. Beamish taught us that no matter how bad our circumstances may look, we can have a positive attitude and change things for the better 😊.
"Lies upon lies upon lies. Once you started lying, you had to continue, and then it was like being captain of a leaky ship, always plugging holes in the side to stop yourself sinking."
Overall, I had a really good time reading this book. I was so immersed in the world of Cornucopia and dreamed of eating all the delicious pastries and hams. Throughout the whole book, I was surprised by various twists and how different parts of the story came together in the end. I'm glad I decided to pick this book up because it's a page-turner that didn't take too long to finish. Am excited to see what J.K. Rowling is going to write next! 😊

by.stefaniesugia♥ .


  1. Thank you for review Kak!
    Aku udah penasaran banget sama buku ini karena berhubungan dengan makanan 🀣 Tapi baca reviewnya ya seperti yang Kakak bilang banyak yang malah kritik JK Rowlingnya daripada bukunya malah jadi gak ada gambaran sama sekali. Meskipun buku anak-anak tapi kayaknya yang dewasa juga tetep asik ya buat baca ini

    1. Iya bener bangettt, ak tetep asik2 aja sih bacanya, walaupun memang ceritanya sebenernya sederhana :D Thank you udah visitt!


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