Arthur and the Forbidden City
Arthur's backyard looked like an ordinary garden—until he discovered the Minimoys and their vast world where fierce battles are fought, ferocious monsters are faced, and one evil wizard, Maltazard the Cursed, rules from his terrifying stronghold: Necropolis, the forbidden city.
Now ten-year-old Arthur—magically transformed into a Minimoy—must help them find a way into this forbidden city in order to rescue Arthur's grandfather, recover a stolen treasure, and save the land of the Minimoys before it's too late.
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In this sequel to, or more properly continuation of, Arthur and the Minimoys, Arthur, whose grandfather Archibald had disappeared some four years earlier and whose grandmother is now in danger of losing their home to Mr. Davido because she can’t pay the mortgage, has been reduced in size so that he can journey underground to the land of the Minimoys in hopes of rescuing his grandfather and finding the jewels which Archibald had hidden in the garden so that the mortgage can be paid. The Minimoy king, Sifrat de Matradoy, has sent his daughter, Princes Selenia, and son, Prince Betameche, with Arthur to defeat the evil wizard Malthazard who appears to hold the key that will solve all these problems.
Meanwhile, Arthur’s parents, who have been away trying to find jobs, return home to see their son for his birthday and are dismayed to learn that he’s disappeared like his grandfather before him. But when they hear about the treasure, they immediately begin frantically digging in the garden. Arthur, Selenia, and Betameche continue their travels, meeting all sorts of creatures and beings along the way, and eventually reach the forbidden city of Necropolis. Unfortunately, all three are captured and thrown into a deep, dark dungeon where they find Arthur’s grandfather. Then all of a sudden Malthazard just lets them go. What kind of evil plan does the wizard have? Will the travelers actually be allowed to escape? And what will happen with Grandma and the house?
Middle-school aged readers will likely find the story of Arthur an enjoyable fantasy. There is very little objectionable. Some parents may question the advisability and age-appropriateness of the “love angle” between Arthur and Silenia with their “first kiss” and getting married, since Arthur is only ten years old. It is interesting that the Minimoy’s “second commandment was taken from a book that Archibald also often spoke of, but that had a title no one could remember” and is “love and respect your neighbor as yourself.” However, the first commandment is “Nothing justifies the death of an innocent.” The only reference to any kind of deity is in a “prayer” by the King, “May the gods hear you.” All in all, it seems to be a fairly likeable tale. There are two more sequels, Arthur and the Revenge of Maltazard and Arthur and The War of the Two Worlds. The four novels were originally published in France by Intervista. Both of the last two have been made into English speaking films (Arthur 2 and Arthur 3), but the books are apparently available only in French.