Thoughts on The Ickabog: Week Two (Chapters 11-19)

Transfiguring Adoption’s Overview:
While the story started out very fancifully, it has grown rather darker over this week’s chapters. We see several more character deaths and it feels as though the ‘bad guys’ are winning despite the efforts of good people. There seems to be nothing anyone can do to stand up to them and every time they try something bad happens, which is very frustrating for the reader. However, given the overall tone of the story it seems likely that things will improve and heroes will emerge in the coming chapters! The two children, Daisy and Bert, who were major players in the first week’s installment are largely absent this week while the story focuses more on King Fred, his army and their quest to find the Ickabog.


** Spoilers Could Be Ahead **


A few Cautionary Points to watch out for in these chapters:

  • Bert’s father is killed– while hunting the Ickabog one of King’s friends panics and fires his weapon, which accidentally kills Lord Beamish, Bert’s father. Again while the death itself is fairly quick there is repeated mentions of the army carrying his body back to the palace and storing it in cellars along the way. We also see Bert and his mother find out about the death by seeing his body and it’s quite a shock.
  • Being Punished for doing the Right Thing– The King’s friends throw several men in prison who object to the lies that are being told and even kill one of the King’s advisors when he tries to fire Lord Spittleworth and uncover the lies.
  • Animal Cruelty– Patch the dog is found to be alive and while the King’s men free it from the brambles its caught it in there is also a brief mention of them kicking the dog.
  • Lying- In order to protect themselves the King’s friends and some of his men being to lie about a myriad of things including seeing the Ickabog, how Lord Beamish died and a number of other things.

Possible Discussion Points:

  • How quickly a lie gets out of control– King Fred’s two friends decide to lie about Lord Beamish’s death to protect themselves and the lie continues to grow the more they try to cover things up and it begins to include more people and become more of a tangled web.
  • Not Being Believed- King Fred is convinced he saw the Ickabog but none of the other men will believe him. How might this make him feel?
  • Parent Loss– This time it’s Bert who loses a parent as his father dies. We see a small glimpse of how and his mother feel and also see Daisy, his friend who lost her mom, react to the situation. How is Bert’s loss similar and different to Daisy’s?
  • What Makes a good partner/friend– Lady Eslanda is made fun of for loving a man of a lower station but says she values more important qualities.
Written by
Jenn is a central Virginia native who received her BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia in 2012. Since then she has worked for a local mental health agency and the Department of Social Services in various capacities and has been involved in her community’s efforts to create a Trauma Informed Network. Currently Jenn works in vocational rehab and mentors youth in foster care. When she isn’t working, Jenn enjoys writing stories, anything and everything Harry Potter, and spending time with her niece and nephew.

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