The Cobra King of Kathmandu
Author: P.B. Kerr
Publisher: Orchard Books
The third book in the The Children of the Lamp series brings back 12-year old djinn children John and Philippa Gaunt on yet another adventure. This time they are trying to uncover a murderer and protect their friend Dybbuk or Buck as he likes to be called, all the time unaware that their mother, Leila Gaunt has agreed to become the new Blue Djinn of Babylon and will be leaving soon – forever.
The book starts with an exorcism by the children’s cigar smoking Uncle Nimrod on the day the children were born. The story then hurtles forward to the present day when Dybbuk seeks the children’s help as he is hidden on a small island after finding his best friend and his father murdered. As the story progresses, the children find themselves in India on the trail of a creepy cobra cult led by an equally creepy (not to mention gross) evil villain that wants to steal their wisdom teeth and thus control the children for their own evil purposes.
The Cobra King of Kathmandu is a fast-paced and wild adventure written with P.B. Kerr’s usual fascinating style. It doesn’t disappoint or feel stale. If anything, it gets the reader more excited about these amazing children.
Why hasn’t anyone made movies of these books yet? I find them exhilarating, educational and fun, fun, fun.
John and Philippa are great characters. They’re good children, they love their parents, they care enough about their friends (even if their not the best of friends) to try and save them. The other characters - Uncle Nimrod, the one-armed butler Mr. Groanin, Mr. Rakhasas, the Indian djinn with an Irish accent who lives in a bottle, Mr. and Mrs. Gaunt, the other djinn children all are so complex and interesting. They are constantly developing and the reader is finding out more and more about them with each book. I see this as a series of movies in the style of Harry Potter. They just have that feel but are something completely original and wonderful.
The imagery in this book is wonderful as well. I love when John, Philippa and Dybbuk go into Mr. Rakshasas’ bottle and find it to be absolutely huge and very well appointed – complete with an astounding library. I love that the djinn are claustrophobic and have to eat charcoal to help the feeling go away. There’s just so much to love in this series and in this book alone that I could go on for days. The Cobra King of Kathmandu (don’t you just love that title? It’s so fun to say out loud.) is highly recommended for anyone who loves a good mystery and adventure galore.
Fans of The Children of the Lamp series will adore this third installment and newcomers to the series will find that it works very well as a stand alone novel. It will however, infect the newcomer to seek out and read the first two books.