Arthur and the Forbidden City by Luc Besson (2002)
Part two of the Minimoys adventure
Have you read Arthur and the Minimoys? If you have, you'll know that we left Arthur deep underground, shrunk to the size of a Minimoy, along with his two new friends, about to engage in a struggle to the death against the evil Maltazard!
I'll say this for the Princess Selenia and her chirpy brother Betameche, they certainly keep the action lively:
Betameche, Selenia's brother, lagged behind. He still had his backpack, filled with thousands of things, all of which were useless except in weighing him down so he wouldn't fly away.
'Beta, come on! Time is wasting,' his sister called out in the grumpy way she always spoke to him.
Betameche let out a huge sigh. 'I'm tired of carrying everything,' he complained.
'No one asked you to bring half the village,' the princess replied acidly.
'We could each take a turn carrying, couldn't we? That way I could rest a little, and we could move faster,' Betameche offered.
Selenia came to a sudden stop and looked at her brother. 'You're right. We'll save time. Give it to me!'
Betameche took off his backpack and handed it to his sister who, in one swift movement, threw it into the abyss.
'There! Now you will be less tired and we will travel faster,' the princess announced. 'Let's go!'
Of course, by now you will know that Arthur and Princess Selenia are more than just good friends. Arthur is so deeply smitten with the princess that he will willingly follow her to the ends of the earth. In fact, he's already done just that. Now all he needs to do is find Maltazard in the Forbidden City and prevent his evil attack on the Minimoy Kingdom, find Grandpa, find the family fortune, and find his way back to his own back garden - all within the next 72 hours.
Naturally it can't all go perfectly:
The door to the prison opened suddenly, so violently that everyone jumped. Darkos was very fond of this kind of theatrical entrance. He loved to play villains who came onstage always at the worst moment, throwing a monkey wrench into the plot.
'How are you all? Not too hot? he said, detaching a piece of ice that was hanging from the ceiling and putting it into his mouth.
'The temperature is perfect,' replied Selenia...
She's a cool customer, that princess. If you want to know how they get on you'll have to read the books. A quick and light-hearted read.
What can I read next?
This story is split over two books so you will need to read them in sequence:
- Arthur and the Minimoys
- Arthur and the Forbidden City
The flow of this story really reminds me of another successful film series by Walt Disney. You might like to have a look at this story by Margery Sharp, which amused me enormously:
Also, the Bookchooser has found these books with a similar profile:
- Sabriel by Garth Nix (Score: 89%)
- Count Karlstein by Philip Pullman (Score: 89%)
- Exodus by Julie Bertagna (Score: 89%)
- The Changeover by Margaret Mahy (Score: 89%)
- Stravaganza: City of Stars by Mary Hoffman (Score: 89%)
Arthur and the Forbidden City features in these lists: