This article is about the book. For the character, see Cobra King.

The Cobra King of Kathmandu is the third novel in the Children of the Lamp series written by British author P. B. Kerr.

The Cobra King of Kathmandu
The Cobra King of Kathmandu
Author P.B. Kerr
Publication Order
Preceded by
The Blue Djinn of Babylon
Followed by
The Day of the Djinn Warriors

Book coverEdit

Fiery magic in a land of ice, midnight intruders and murder by snakebite sweep John and Philippa Gaunt into their third fantastic adventure. After their friend Dybbuk Sachertorte sends an email pleading for help, the twins go save him; they cannot refuse. Dybbuk gives a mysterious painting leading them to Nepal to save their friends. In 哥哥哥哥哥哥哥哥哥哥ng with Mr. Groanin, face the ultimate test of their amazing Djinn powers. Can they uncover the venomous secrets of an evil Cobra Cult to find the long-lost talisman of the Cobra King? Meanwhile, at home, their mother prepares to follow her destiny, which she has still kept secret.


In the beginning, the setting is at the home of the British Prime Minister. A djinn is possessing him and by the sounds of the voice, the djinn is about 12 years old, a girl, and very mischievous. Dr Ruchira P. Warnakulasuriya recognises it as a djinn and goes to Nimrods house to ask if he can perform the exorcism. Nimrod agrees to go with Dr Warnakulasuriya and upon arriving asks to see the cat, Boothby. Eventually, Nimrod is able to pull of the seven whiskers required for the exorcism. The he goes into the room where the Prime Minister is being possessed and starts burning the cat hairs underneath the nostrils of the Prime Minister. Because all djinn hate the smell of singed cat, after the seven whiskers have been burnt, the mischievous djinn escapes.

In Palm Springs Dybbuk has stolen the questions and answers to the test they are about to have. He goes back to his friend, Brad's house and studies the answers. After passing the test with the highest marks in the class, Mr Blennerhassit, Brad's father, takes them to a celebratory lunch. Brad and his father are so close that Brad feels comfortable enough to tell his dad how he passed the test with flying colours. Instead of lecturing them both about the seriousness of cheating, Mr Blennerhassit asks Dybbuk if he can pull of another heist. Dybbuk agrees to go to a military museum to swap the baton once belonging to Hermann Goering with a fake one. Mr Blennerhassit bought some sketches and learned that the baton is actually hollow and has a mechanism to open it. Mr Blennerhassit shows Dybbuk the baton and demonstrates that if each Brazilian nut that is in the baton was a diamond then there would be 35 diamonds. Mr Blennerhassit, Brad and Dybbuk go to the military museum in Europe to swap the batons. After the night in the museum, Dybbuk returns to the hotel to the relief of Mr Blennerhassit. They open it and find that it actually contains several Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael sketches. Together they could fetch a price of about 75 million dollars. There is also a much more recent painting in it that is only worth 1500 dollars so Mr Blennerhassit agrees that Dybbuk can keep it as a souvenir. Brad and his father get killed by king cobras when some intruders come into their house. They let the snakes bite, then and offer them some antivenom if they tell them where the Company picture is. Mr Blennerhassit tells them that Dybbuk has it, but still the intruders let them die. Before they were killed, Brad father learns that Hyman Strasberg, the maker of the fake baton is also dead due to several snake bites. Dybbuk escapes to Bannermans Island and waits there until John receives his email and comes to help him.

After John and Philippa's first djinn birthday, John wakes up as always thinking that there is an intruder in the house. This time he is right because he can see a light in the behind the library door. John alerts his parents and Layla Gaunt immediately goes to the intruders. John and his father go down after her and were just in time to see Layla flick the switch. There were to men in orange suits with yellow paint on their faces. Mrs Gaunt turns them into two bottles of wine and the next morning Phillipa inspects the scene. Then she finds a stone medallion. They go up to their mothers dressing room to see the piranha fish she has in a tank. She tells them that they will attack anyone but John, Phillipa and herself. Then they see a smaller tank and their mother tells them that it has an air-lock door. Inside they can see the key to the family safe which once belonged to Napoleon Bonaparte III. Then Layla taps the top of the glass and immediately two Brazilian Wandering Spiders try to attack her hand. Their mother also tells them that is has a powerful djinn binding on it. Then Phillipa shows her mother the medallion she found and she sends it to Nimrod via djinnternal mail.

John and Phillipa set up their laptops that they got for their birthday with no help from a helpline that is situated in India(it seemed to John that they had no idea what they were talking about). That is when John receives Dybbuks email and Phillipa agrees to go with him. They sneak out of the house in search for Uma Karuna Ayer. She has become an Eremite, and John and Phillipa find her in a sleeping bag next to a filthy tramp. Uma introduces the tramp as Afriel. He is the angel of youth and supplies John and Phillipa with two Elsewheres when they are kind to him. Afriel warns them not to let the Elsewheres go near their soul mirrors because they don't have a soul. If they go near their soul mirror then their mother, Layla Gaunt, will find out. The Elsewheres will disappear after an aeon which is 11.57407407407407407407407407407 days or one million seconds. John and Philipa tell the two Elsewheres to go and take their places at home while the real John and Phillippa go to Bannermans Island. They find Dybbuk there and he tells them about what's been happening. John nearly sets the Company Painting on fire but Phillipa takes it away. A secret message is revealed but they have no idea what it means. Then they decide to go to London to see if Nimrod is back yet.

After Nimrod received the djinnternal mail he went with Mr Rakshasas to Calcutta together but they leave no contact numbers or even tell anyone where they are going. After they visited the Green Dervish (an angel) they set off to capture two tigers that are actually djinn. Mr Rakshasas formed a plan and the tigers then get drunk and fall asleep because they drank milk that had lots of brandy in it. Nimrod put them in a thermos and goes out for dinner with Mr Rakshasas. They ate the hottest phal ever eaten by human or djinn. Concealed in the curry was a strong yet slow, sleep potion. When the pair of adult djinn got back to their suite, they were so tired that they forget to lock the door and windows, which was advised by the Green Dervish.They get abducted and taken away in freezers so they can't use their power.

As it turns out, Nimrod and Mr Rakshasas are not back and Phillipa comes up with the idea to use Mr Rakshasas library. They go to Kew Gardens to warm up. After an hour and after heat has been restored to their bone marrow, Dybbuk, John, and Phillipa transubstantiate into Mr Rakshasas lamp. Once inside, John goes to the bottom level, Phillipa stays on the level she's already on, and Dybbuk goes to the level above. Phillipa becomes scared when she realises that someone, or something else is in the library other than John, Dybbuk and herself. Then she hears a voice and she turns round and sees an ugly reptilian figure. The figure reveals himself as a bottle imp and when John and Dybbuk arrive at the source of the commotion the bottle imp tells them that all you have to do to get a book is to go to the Reading Room and wish for it. The companions go to the Reading Room and after wishing for books on art, Hermann Goering, snake cults and codes and ciphers some books appear. Each djinn grabs a book and starts to read. After their session in the library the djinn and Mr. Groanin go to India and in their hotel, the travellers work out what the code of dancing snakes says. It says:

I scotched the snake not killed it. And fled to this terrible place of misery where I shall probably die at the hand of my enemies. But I am in luck now. And you, too, would do well to come down here and discover a king's ransom in the green eyes of the Cobra King of Kathmandu. Look for the third snake. But beware the eighth. M.W.K.

M.W.K. stands for Mountstuart Wavell Killiecrankie and although John, Phillipa, Groanin and Dybbuk know what the message says, the meaning of the message still eludes them. Then Dybbuk realises that Killiecrankie didn't mean But I am in luck now.. It was a pun and what he meant was But I am in Lucknow. Lucknow is a town in Uttar Pradesh, in northern India. John conjured up a whirlwind and went over to Lucknow with his companions. They experience some trouble when they fly over the southern edge of the Annapurna Conservation Area. After Groanin's complaints the travellers see the Abominable Snowman. The Abominable Snowman turns out to be a djinn; Baron Reinhold von Reinnerassig. The Baron tells them that djinn are immune to the poison of snakes but not arachnids. If a djinn is inhabiting a snake then the poison will still affect a djinn.

Back in New York John 2 and Phillipa 2 are actually literally like angels. This is noticed first by Mrs Trump, then their father Mr Gaunt and then by Mrs Gaunt. Layla calls the djinn doctor Jenny Sachertorte, who is Dybbuks mother, and Jenny Sachertorte thinks that Mrs Gaunt is becoming a little too neurotic. When Layla Gaunt agrees, Mrs Sachertorte asks why. When Layla remains silent Jenny says it's because she feels guilty about leaving them when she becomes the Blue Djinn of Babylon. A couple of days later Ayesha dies and Mrs Gaunt tells her children's Elsewheres that she must leave. After telling them the same way Ayesha told her and Nimrod, she leaves forever to become the next Blue Djinn of Babylon.

After landing in Lucknow the young djinn turn themselves and Mr Groanin into Indians. Mr Groanin was the most excited because for the first time in his life he didn't have to eat baby food. He was able to eat the foreign food without damaging his fragile stomach (when they were turned into Indians their insides changed as well as their outside). The next day, they went on a bus to an ashram where a sannyasin named Joey is headed. He is the disciple of the Guru Masamjhasara. After reaching the pink fort that was painted on the watercolour painting Dybbuk had, Groanin wasting the three emergency wishes he had on wishing he was at the top a cliff instead of going up slowly in the basket, wishing it wasn't so hot, and that he felt much happier, they join the ashram. After a terrible meditation session in which Dybbuk turned their teacher into a crab, they had to go to the computer helpline center. The goal of the ashram is to give the callers misleading information in hope that the callers will lose patience and smash their computers and not by another one. Dybbuk enjoys this but after Joey leaves Phillipa alone she secretly tells her caller how to correctly connect her printer after giving her some seriously bad information.

As things unfold John, Phillipa, and Dybbuk give Groanin a new arm so he can lift the young djinn up a well they are about to enter. In the well are King Cobras that are scratched into the brick. They have only counted two cobras when they reach the water. After Groanin lets go of the rope because some people come to talk to him on the orders of Guru Masamjhasara, the children climb up the rope into a small cave that came to be when some of the bricks fell out. When Dybbuk throws down some bricks it hits the torch and falls into the water. John goes after it and then he discovers the third cobra. Phillipa is starting to worry about her brother, when John rises and calls out to them in triumph. He has obtained the Cobra King of Kathmandu which is a talisman with a huge emerald at the head of the talisman and Mr Rakshasas's wisdom teeth on the tail of The Cobra talisman. After drying out the torch the children realize that the reason the bricks seem to be getting lighter (they are excavating for more space) is because they are actually excavating the human skeletons of the Indians that were thrown down the well about a century ago. Then they find a staircase which leads them into the hollow head a King Cobra.

As they look into the room, they see that the room is being kept cold artificially. The Guru shows his disciples that he is immune to snake venom by letting himself be bitten numerous times a several King Cobras. Then to prove that the snakes have still got their fangs and that they are actually poisonous, he brings in a prisoner: Groanin. The children of the lamp reveal themselves, and they are forced to reveal that they are djinn. That is when the Guru has the djinn tied to a table and reveals his plan. He is going to replace his entire blood supply with djinn blood. The children also see that Nimrod and Mr Rakshasas are almost totally frozen. Guru Masamjhasara takes one to two pints of djinn blood from each child each day. He thinks they are fine because djinn replace their blood supply much faster than humans. He doesn't know that if has to be hot for this to occur. Slowly the children are starting to die.

When Guru Masamjhasara does the replacement, he suddenly catches fire. John thinks that it is spontaneous combustion. The Guru then goes over to the chair near Nimrod and Mr Rakshasas. He doesn't do this purposely, but still the heat is enough to thaw out Nimrod and Mr Rakshasas after a few hours. Nimrod thaws first because he is much younger and fitter. Nimrod releases the children and puts the Cobra King of Kathmandu in Mr Rakshasas hand. Then he becomes conscious and after a while he is able to walk. The flame from Guru Masamjhasara has set the floor above the laboratory on fire and the whole ashram is about to go up in flames. The djinn rescue Groanin from a room and they all make their escape.

After taking Dybbuk home to palm Springs, John and Phillipa see Dybbuk looking at his soul mirror. He looks extremely sad and when Dybbuk realizes that John and Phillipa are there he quickly covers it again. After saying their goodbyes John and Phillipa travel west towards New York. Over Oklahoma the whirlwind becomes a tornado until Phillipa can bring it under control. When they get back home they realise that their mother is gone. The Elsewheres tell them that she has gone to Babylon when Nimrod comes up to their room. He tells them that he came over as soon as he found out. Then he comes up with an idea. if he can return Dybbuk sister, Faustina, to her body she might become the Blue Djinn in place of Mrs Gaunt. Then maybe Layla Gaunt may come back to her loving family once more.

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