Acclaimed “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling will release chapters of a new work unrelated to the magical series called “The Ickabog” online beginning Tuesday.
“The Ickabog” is a “story about truth and the abuse of power,” Rowling wrote in a blog post. Rowling promised, “it isn’t ‘Harry Potter’ and it doesn’t include magic… this is an entirely different story.”
The book will be released in installments for free on “The Ickabog” website until July 10, and will be published in print and e-books in November. Rowling said all royalties from the published book will be donated to COVID-19 relief efforts — with more information about donation recipients to come “later in the year.”
Rowling said she began writing “The Ickabog” while she was still creating the “Harry Potter” series. It was intended to be published after “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” was released in 2007 but Rowling decided to take a five-year break from publishing after the Potter series concluded, and then came back to writing to focus on adult fiction. The draft of “The Ickabog,” which Rowling first read to her children, sat in her attic for years before being revitalized.
“I think ‘The Ickabog’ lends itself well to serialization because it was written as a read-aloud book (unconsciously shaped, I think, by the way I read it to my own children), but it’s suitable for 7-9 year olds to read to themselves,” Rowling said.
Rowling said translations of the book will be announced later this year and also encouraged fans to share their artwork for the book on Twitter with the hashtag #TheIckabog — with the promise that some fan art will be included in the published novel.
“This lockdown happened (and) it’s been very hard on children, in particular, so I brought ‘The Ickabog’ down from the attic, read it for the first time in years, rewrote bits of it and then read it to my children again,” Rowling wrote Tuesday. “They told me to put back in some bits they’d liked when they were little, and here we are!”
— The Ickabog (@TheIckabog) May 26, 2020