British fantasy novel writer JK Rowling announced back in May that she was releasing The Ickabog for children as a novel to be first published online. This will be withdrawn in November 2020 when it will be published in print, ebook and audio.

After releasing it chapter by chapter in serial form, the full 64 chapters are now online, starting with chapter 1 King Fred the Fearless. The chapter introduces the main protagonist five-year-old Bert Beamis and King Fred who rules Cornucopia.

The Ickabog is a fantastic gift to kids and came to life a decade ago when Rowling wrote the story, intending to publish it after Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. She used to read the story to her own young children and decided to keep it a precious family memory instead. It was then stored away while she concentrated on her novels for adults under the pen name Robert Galbraith instead.

Rowling decided to release the book for families and children in lockdown. The author worked with her now teenage children to finish the book, she took their feedback on board to ensure it encaptured childhood magic. She has confirmed that it is a story about truth and the abuse of power, so has a moral undertone which she at pains confirmed is not connected to recent events.

The standalone story is about rumours in the imaginary land known as Cornucopia of a fierce child-eating monster with extraordinary powers, the Ickabog. The target audience is 7 to 9-year-olds who can read this themselves, and is not about magic like the Harry Potter series of books.

Joining Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffer as popular authors to in 2020 to bring out free online children books during the lockdown first published online.

Still running is a drawing competition for the chance to have your illustrations in the book when published in November, with competitions running for the different language versions for UK English, USA English, Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Russian, French, German and Portuguese.

Rowling is well known for her philanthropy and charity donations and has announced all royalties from this book will go to coronavirus sufferers.

Rowling wrote the Harry Potter fantasy series, the best-selling book series in history selling more than 500 million copies. Well known for her philanthropy and charity donations, she announced all royalties from this book will go to families impacted by Coronavirus.

JK Rowlings Harry Potter series
You can read the full story on The Ickabog website for free for a limited time.

The Ickabog story

When a shepherd from the Marshlands begs the king to rid the country of the Ickabog, Fred leaps at the chance to prove himself, riding to the North immediately.

Daisy is sent away to be murdered, although she ends up in Ma Grunter’s orphanage.

Bert meanwhile escapes the city with the help of an incorrupt guard as Major Roach leads soldiers to arrest him.

Arriving in the city of Jeroboam, Bert meets Roderick Roach, who tells him that Spittleworth killed Major Roach and imprisoned his family upon the latter’s failure to capture Bert.

Bertha Beamish has had the dungeons transformed into a kitchen, where, with the help of the prisoners, she continues in her old job, while slowly pulling Dan Dovetail back from his insanity.

They plan to meet the soldiers of the Ickabog Defence Brigade there, tell them their stories, and sway them to their side.

Goodfellow becomes Prime Minister and marries Lady Eslanda, Roderick Roach marries Martha, and Bertha Beamish marries Dan Dovetail.

The Ickabog Characters

  • King Fred the Fearless: The ruler of Cornucopia
  • Lord Spittleworth: King Fred’s right-hand man
  • Lord Flapoon: Spittleworth’s friend
  • Captain Roach: Spittleworth’s henchman

The Beamishes:

  • Major Beamish: Head of the Royal Guard
  • Bertha Beamish: His wife
  • Bert “Butterball” Beamish: Their son

The Dovetails:

  • Dan Dovetail: A carpenter at the Palace
  • Dora Dovetail: Head seamstress at the Palace
  • Daisy Dovetail: Their daughter, and Bert’s best friend

Other characters:

  • Lady Eslanda: A lady of the court
  • Millicent: Lady Eslanda’s maid
  • Hetty: A maid
  • Roderick Roach: Captain Roach’s son and Bert’s friend
  • Private Prodd: a private tasked to kill Daisy Dovetail
  • Ma Grunter: Runs an orphanage in the North
  • Basher John: Ma Grunter’s deputy
  • Herringbone: Chief Advisor
  • Cankerby the footman: Spittleworth’s footman and spy
  • Martha: Daisy’s friend
  • Otto Scrumble: Spittleworth’s butler
  • The Ickabog: As tall as two horses, the last of its kind.

The Ickabog chapters

Chapter 1 – King Fred the Fearless
Chapter 2 – The Ickabog
Chapter 3 – Death of a Seamstress
Chapter 4 – The Quiet House
Chapter 5 – Daisy Dovetail
Chapter 6 – The Fight in the Courtyard
Chapter 7 – Lord Spittleworth Tells Tales
Chapter 8 – The Day of Petition
Chapter 9 – The Shepherd’s Story
Chapter 10 – King Fred’s Quest
Chapter 11 – The Journey North
Chapter 12 – The King’s Lost Sword
Chapter 13 – The Accident
Chapter 14 – Lord Spittleworth’s Plan
Chapter 15 – The King Returns
Chapter 16 – Bert Says Goodbye
Chapter 17 – Goodfellow Makes a Stand
Chapter 18 – End of an Advisor
Chapter 19 – Lady Eslanda
Chapter 20 – Medals for Beamish and Buttons
Chapter 21 – Professor Fraudysham
Chapter 22 – The House with No Flags
Chapter 23 – The Trial
Chapter 24 – The Bandalore
Chapter 25 – Lord Spittleworth’s Problem
Chapter 26 – A Job for Mr Dovetail
Chapter 27 – Kidnapped
Chapter 28 – Ma Grunter
Chapter 29 – Mrs Beamish Worries
Chapter 30 – The Foot
Chapter 31 – Disappearance of a Butcher
Chapter 32 – A Flaw in the Plan
Chapter 33 – King Fred is Worried
Chapter 34 – Three More Feet
Chapter 35 – Lord Spittleworth’s Proposal
Chapter 36 – Cornucopia Hungry
Chapter 37 – Daisy and the Moon
Chapter 38 – Lord Spittleworth Comes to Call
Chapter 39 – Bert and the Ickabog Defence Brigade
Chapter 40 – Bert Finds a Clue
Chapter 41 – Mrs Beamish’s Plan
Chapter 42 – Behind the Curtain
Chapter 43 – Bert and the Guard
Chapter 44 – Mrs Beamish Fights Back
Chapter 45 – Bert in Jeroboam
Chapter 46 – The Tale of Roderick Roach
Chapter 47 – Down in the Dungeons
Chapter 48 – Bert and Daisy Find Each Other
Chapter 49 – Escape from Ma Grunter’s
Chapter 50 – A Winter’s Journey
Chapter 51 – Inside the Cave
Chapter 52 – Mushrooms
Chapter 53 – The Mysterious Monster
Chapter 54 – The Song of the Ickabog
Chapter 55 – Spittleworth Offends the King
Chapter 56 – The Dungeon Plot
Chapter 57 – Daisy’s Plan
Chapter 58 – Hetty Hopkins
Chapter 59 – Back to Jeroboam
Chapter 60 – Rebellion
Chapter 61 – Flapoon Fires Again
Chapter 62 – The Bornding
Chapter 63 – Lord Spittleworth’s Last Plan