New Delhi: Author J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame has released the first two chapters of her new book ‘The Ickabog’ online for free.
Announcing this on her website Tuesday, the British author said she would publish one or more chapters daily on the website, beginning from 26 May to 10 July.
The first two chapters titled ‘King Fred the Fearless’ and ‘The Ickabog’ were posted online Tuesday.
The first chapter is about King Fred and his country Cornucopia, surrounded by “acres of orchards, fields of shimmering golden wheat, and emerald-green-grass on which pure white dairy cows graze”.
The second chapter introduces the story of Ickabog, the monster, which “had been passed down by generations of Marshlanders, and spread by word of mouth all the way to Chouxville”.
Rowling also plans to release the book as a print book, e-book and audio book formats in November, and will donate the royalties to groups that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Explaining about the book, Rowling said ‘The Ickabog’ is a story about “truth and the abuse of power”.
“The idea came to me well over a decade ago, so it isn’t intended to be read as a response to anything that’s happening in the world right now. The themes are timeless and could apply to any era or any country,” Rowling wrote in her website.
She also wrote she began working on the book “in fits and starts” between Harry Potter books.
But after finishing Potter, she decided to take a break from publishing. The first draft of ‘The Ickabog’ “went up into the attic”, where it remained for nearly a decade.
Rowling said the story, which she initially wrote as a read-aloud book, belongs to her two younger children because she would read it to them in the evenings when they were little, which has always been a “happy family memory” for Rowling.
The author also announced an illustration competition for each chapter of the book, which will be used in the print and e-book editions.