The King of the Copper Mountains


For a thousand years, ‘gentle and beloved‘ King Masolain has ruled over the animals and dwarfs ‘and the dragons too when they were in existence‘. However, now, only his servant, the hare, remains. What’s more, it seems that Masolain is failing. In fact his Wonder Doctor diagnoses that only a potion brewed from the elusive Golden Speedwell will cure the king. Therefore, he will undertake the perilous journey to its source. What’s more, en route, the doctor will tell those he passes along his trek of the king’s condition. It seems that the doctor further diagnoses a story every night that might keep the king alive until he returns with the remedy. However, will the doctor succeed on his journey and then to alert others who might come to the palace door? Then again, who might arrive and what stories will they share? Once again, what does it all mean?

From sheep to lion, beetle to dragon, to the swallow or the ‘poor old donkey’, creatures knock at the palace doors. What’s more, they stay to become a company about the king. Then again, we follow the journey of the Wonder Doctor.

However, by the morning following the twelfth day, it seems as though the Wonder Doctor’s quest is in vain. King Masolain requests that he is taken, finally, to the mother-of-pearl room. Yet what is the meaning of the message the hare passes from the king’s failing lips about the ‘four books- missing from under [his] statue’? Could these have something to do with the final knocking at the door? What’s more, will the potion ever reach the king?

Bookwagon loves and recommends The King of the Copper Mountains. This classic story sings of loyalty, intrepidity, courage and love. Bookwagon suggests this beautiful story as a tale to read aloud, linger upon, know and love.

Add to Wishlist
Add to Wishlist


The King of the Copper Mountains

Paul Biegel

(Pushkin Press)

‘Gentle and beloved‘ Masolain, The King of the Copper Mountains, is ‘close to death’, his heart failing and beating slowly. It seems the only possible cure is potion brewed from the rare Golden Speedwell. However this is found deep within the mountain ranges. It means a dangerous journey for the Wonder Doctor. Meanwhile, the doctor’s tasked his only remaining servant, the hare, with a story told every night. Is this possible? What’s more, who will tell these stories? Then again, will the king of a thousand years stay alive to await the arrival of this remedy? Furthermore, the journey is unknown…
Pushkin Press has revised a 1963 story from the Netherlands. It seems it emerged from stories told by the author’s father. However these stories that are shared for the dying monarch emerge from animals who knock one-by-one at his door each night. Little by little they gather about him, in the court where only the hare remains in attendance. It seems there is a history between this regent and his realm, that travels to a land of dwarves. However as he grows weaker and the Wonder Doctor’s quest seems more impossible, the king’s wish is to be taken to the mother-of-pearl room. It seems his faint mention of Idur and the books ‘in the other room‘ are nonsensical. Yet might there be a final revelation? What is the real story of The King of the Copper Mountains.
Rather like classic stories of daring and honour as included in Arthur the Always King, this superb story offers us something magical, courageous, impossible and longed for. Altogether, Bookwagon loves and recommends this story as a read aloud, rather as the animals gather each night to share their tales.

Awarded Best Children’s Book of the Year, in the year of its original publication.


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “The King of the Copper Mountains”

Your email address will not be published.

You may also like…