Knock Three Times by Cressida Cowell
The Wizards of Once book 3. Hodder Children's Books, 2019.
(Age: 10-13) Recommended.This is the third book in the Once series and continues the adventures of Xar and Wish who are from opposing kingdoms. Xar is a boy wizard who has struggled with magic and Wish is a warrior girl with magical gifts that are not appreciated by her people, especially her mother, the indominable Queen Sychorax. In previous novels, Xar and Wish became friends, much to the horror of their parents.
In the exciting opening to book 3 the children, Xar, Wish, her not so fearsome bodyguard Bodkin and an assortment of magnificent and magical creatures are escaping from Xar and Wish's parents, King Encanzo the Enchanted and the warrior queen, Sychorax. Unbeknown to them, they are also being pursued by the witches they accidentally released in book 1.
Xar and Wish's mission is to try to find all the ingredients to make a potion that will rid their kingdoms from the evil of witches forever.
I feel this series improves with each sequel. I found the characters endearing and humorous and enjoyed the close escapes and high action in this book. More of the background story of their parents is revealed and many previously unconnected events are brought together.
This book is a chance for Bodkin the fainting bodyguard to shine and prove his worth to himself and the group.
I loved all the magical characters, although my heart belongs to the adorable, tiny "Squeezjoos" a hairy fairy, with his comical antics and comments and the beautiful and loyal snowcats.
Cressida Cowell's artwork is a constant throughout the novel and adds a wonderful layer to the whole story.
The story is unfinished and a fourth sequel will be forthcoming.
Lovers of fantasy books will enjoy this story and I recommend this book to children aged 10 to 13 years old.
Small trailer here.