June 23, 2008

Nix's Week

Keys to Kingdom - series by Garth Nix.
Reviewed by Joie

Mister Monday Keys to the kingdom ; bk. 1
On the first day, there was mystery. There was frogs hidden in throats, houses no one else could see, and a will. A boy is dying, only to be saved by the shrouded power of a key shaped like a minute hand on a clock. Slowly, a new world opens up to the Rightful Heir, and he must choose between fulfilling a changed destiny, or living in ignorance. The time is ticking, as soon, the day will be over, and Monday will end. Not before, however, Mister Monday has dealt his blow.

Arther Penhaligon is not your usual hero. He has asthma. And he's about to die. After foolishly defying the use of his inhaler, during a gym jog, he is dying of an asthma attack. Until two men appear. One gives him a key shaped like a minute hand. And, suddenly, his asthma disappears. He is pronounced the Rightful Heir, and the two men disappear, locked in battle. Now, however, a house has appeared on his driveway. A house no one else can see. If he is to enter it, his life will never be the same again.

This series, called Keys to the Kingdom, is written by the renowned Garth Nix, who also wrote the fabulous Abhorsen trilogy as well as the Seventh Tower series. Mister Monday, the first of seven books, is fabulously written and won't disappoint Nix's previous fans. It is a fast paced story, with plenty of drama and mysteries. In my school library, these books vanished off the shelves like free Popsicles on a summer day. The characters are, not necessarily human, but interesting and well constructed. This book is recommended any day, especially for fans of fantasy. And no matter what, Denizens agree that it is best read on Monday.

Grim Tuesday Keys to the kingdom ; bk. 2
On the second day, there was darkness. Deep inside a filth of soot, Nothing, and Void, the Pit, there is only death, payment, and no escape. Narrowly escaping death only hours ago, on Tuesday, heroes must face one of the catastrophes of the sin that Grim Tuesday wields. A mysterious seaman, a strange Nithling-like creature, and the disorganization of the Lower House has left everyone with only one choice. Take down Grim Tuesday.

Arther Penhaligon is satisfied that he gets at least six years of peace before he must be called back as Rightful Heir. He is also pleased that the Sleepy Plague is stopped by the Nightsweeper. What becomes terribly upsetting, however, is that a phone call from the emergency phone Dame Primus gave him, informs him, just hours after setting the Nightsweeper free, that Grim Tuesday is bombarding the Lower House with debts to be paid. And these payments are twisted so they appear in Arther's Earth, causing major damage to whatever normal life he might lead. Once again, he will dive into the House, to meet the worst, and hopefully emerge victorious.

This book was delightful to read after Mister Monday, as Grim Tuesday is Monday's sequel. The action keeps you going and it is nearly impossible to stop until you're done. Grim Tuesday is a expectation exceeding sequel, with plot twists and painful realizations. Garth Nix, once again, never fails to wow readers with new characters, strange beings, and the mysterious world of the House. If you've read Mister Monday, definitely stop by for a copy of Grim Tuesday. And, if all possible, adventures to the Far Reaches are best read on Tuesdays.

Drowned Wednesday Keys to the kingdom ; bk. 3
On the third day, there were pirates. A sea that reaches everywhere, from the Secondary Realms to the House itself. Except it's not supposed to. A Trustee's invitation, would it be a trap or a treaty? Questions still fade into the dark, however, no matter what happens, they are ready to face it now. If only a couple days of rest would be in order. They must march on, as Drowned Wednesday has come.

When the sea itself swoops in to wash away Arther and a mortal friend, they are swept into the House. Leaf, his mortal friend, is picked up by a ghostly ship with green sails, while Arther must cling onto a buoy in order to stop himself from drowning. He is marked, however, by the infamous pirate Feverfew, and soon, the mechanics of finding the Will and the Key is in hand. Arther has a lunch date with Drowned Wednesday, and what happens is up to you to find out.

A stunning, plot twisting book after Grim Tuesday. The third installment to a seven part series, Garth Nix still hasn't run out of fresh plot twists, clever hiding places, and new secrets about the not so trustful Trustees. The series, Keys to the Kingdom, and Garth Nix has outdone himself again in the strange world of the House. I suggest it for anyone who enjoys fantasy and adventure, especially if they've read the other Keys to the Kingdom books. Packed full with interesting plot devices and other fulfilling fantasies, and best read on Wednesdays, this book is sure to please.

Sir Thursday Keys to the kingdom ; bk. 4
On the fourth day, there was war. A force of creatures, unlike any Nothing Creature seen before. An army, the Glorious Army of the Architect, receiving strange and mysterious orders to open the gates to Nithlings. War is soon upon them all, and nothing will stop it. Separated from friends and allies, the hero must forge on. It is Thursday, the time of Sir Thursday.

Whisked away to the Glorious Army of the Architect, Arthur finds himself struggling to avoid Sir Thursday's eye, while training in the Army. A various amount of mishaps befall Arthur and his new friend Fred, as they are drilled as Troopers. But slowly, something is messing with the Great Maze, where the Army lives, drills, and fights. The Maze isn't functioning anymore, and Arthur, who is trying to find the Will before trying on Sir Thursday, is horrified when a new enemy appears. And all during this time, back at Earth, a doppelganger of Arthur is spreading the mind controlling Grey spot mold. A Nithling of a higher order, Leaf is the only one able to find the item to destroy it and save her home.

This action paced book whisked off the shelves when it came out. Full of new surprises and a new, lasting antagonist, this book has more plot twists then any of the previous. It surpasses the previous books in terms of new characters and character developments. It also makes one feel as this is the turn point for the entire series. A wonderful addition to the fabulous Keys to the Kingdoms, Garth Nix makes this story begin to build up, and hopefully wowing us to the final book. A breath holding book, Sir Thursday is in power on Thursday, so read it then!

Lady Friday Keys to the kingdom ; bk. 5
On the fifth day, there was fear. A deadly lady, Lady Friday, who took all memories and experiences from a person, leaving them like an empty shell. Humans dragged away to be sampled and then tossed away. A throne to be fought over, and a vicious Piper that binds his subjects are in play here. And even on the hero's side, there is one vindictive lady with wishes of execution. What is Lady Friday's true plan? Has she given into her desires? Friday has come, and it seems, there is no stopping her.

A long and weary day has past after the Newniths' attack to Thursday citadel. Unfortunately, it seems no sorcery wishes to allow Arthur peace. Shortly after speaking to Dame Primus, whose nasty plans are quickly punctured by Arthur, a messenger arrives. She supposedly was relinquishing her power over the Middle House to whoever could claim it first, Arthur, the Piper, or Superior Saturday. She would retreat to some Secondary Realm and remain there for her own pleasures.

Against his will, Arthur is transported to the Middle House and must begin his campaign to find the Fifth Part of the Will, and, supposedly, Friday's Key. Meanwhile, back at home, a new doctor, named Lady Friday, is taking sleeping patients into some sort of portal. Leaf, who is currently hospitalized, sneaks into the legions of sleep walkers, in attempt to figure out what is going on. A fight for memories is about to begin, and everyone must do their part!

Lady Friday was an excellent book. Though it lacked some of the action of the fourth book, the plot brought us through tight clinches and wary decisions every time. Not only are there elegant new characters, but the true nature of the Piper is revealed. Two tales woven into one, Arthur and Leaf must make their decisions to trust, or not to. Friday's desires are insatiable, and this book, read on Friday, may be your key to your survival.

Librarian's notes:

  • Sir Thursday has disappeared. Perhaps a Bibliophage got it. We will get a new copy.
  • Superior Saturday has been released in Australia, and will be released in the US later this summer. Nix is Australian.
  • Garth Nix is probably writing about Lord Sunday who will likely be afflicted with pride. Here is the list:
    2003 Mister Monday - sloth
    2004 Grim Tuesday- greed
    2005 Drowned Wednesday - gluttony
    2006 Sir Thursday - wrath
    2007 Lady Friday - lust
    2008 Superior Saturday - envy
    2009 Lord Sunday - pride?

Posted by library at June 23, 2008 03:22 PM
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