The first chapters of the fairy tale were published on The Ickabog website on Tuesday.

A logo of The Ickabog, a new children's book by British author J.K. Rowling, is seen in this handout illustration on May 26, 2020 by theickabog.com via Reuters.
A logo of The Ickabog, a new children's book by British author J.K. Rowling, is seen in this handout illustration on May 26, 2020 by theickabog.com via Reuters. (Handout by theickabog.com via Reuters)

British author J.K. Rowling published the first chapters of a fairy tale about a monster known as the Ickabog on Tuesday, an allegory about truth and abuse of power that is free online so that children can read it during coronavirus lockdown.

The story concerns rumours of a fierce child-eating monster with extraordinary powers which lives in the northern tip of an imaginary land known as Cornucopia.

Further chapters will be published every weekday until July 10, Rowling said on Twitter, adding in capitals: "THIS IS NOT A HARRY POTTER SPIN-OFF".

The “Harry Potter” author said Tuesday she wrote the fairy tale for her children as a bedtime story over a decade ago. Set in an imaginary land, it is a stand-alone story “about truth and the abuse of power” for children from 7 to 9 years old and is unrelated to Rowling’s other books.

Rowling said the draft of the story had stayed in her attic while she focused on writing books for adults.

She said her children, now teenagers, were “touchingly enthusiastic” when she recently suggested retrieving the story and publishing it for free.

“For the last few weeks I’ve been immersed in a fictional world I thought I’d never enter again. As I worked to finish the book, I started reading chapters nightly to the family again,” she said.

“’The Ickabog’s first two readers told me what they remember from when they were tiny, and demanded the reinstatement of bits they’d particularly liked (I obeyed).”

The first two chapters were posted online Tuesday, with daily installments to follow until July 10.

The book will be published in print later this year, and Rowling said she will pledge royalties from its sales to projects helping those particularly affected by the pandemic.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies