14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Arthur Penhaligon's week just keeps getting worse.
The Keys of the Kingdom series hits a turning point in the fourth book, "Sir Thursday." People are killed, new creatures appear, and Arthur finds himself in a lethal power struggle with the Morrow Days. Garth Nix is in fine form in this book, one of the best of the series, and it only promises to get better.
When Arthur and Leaf try to return to Earth, they are stopped by Dame Primus -- it seems that a Spirit-Eater (the Skinless Boy) has taken Arthur's place on Earth. If he goes back home, he might destroy the world. To make matters worse, he is tricked into accepting Sir Thursday's shilling, which means he's been drafted into the army... for a hundred years.
Leaf goes back to Earth, and tries to destroy the Skinless Boy, with the unexpected help of Suzy. Meanwhile, Arthur struggles in the Army -- especially since part of it is being "washed between the ears." As he tries to remember to remember who he is, Arthur becomes a part of the regiment fighting a new breed of Nithling -- and under the command of the berserk Sir Thursday.
Unexpected twists are the order of the day on "Thursday" -- Garth Nix serves up mind-reading spores, assassinations, new Nithlings, and the Piper (often mentioned, but never before seen). With a stunning ending and some otherworldly battles, this is probably the best book since "Mister Monday."
And Nix's detailed, dark-edged writing is given a full workout here.He does a great job of describing battles against Nithlings and Nothing, as well as the creepy invasion into our own world. It takes awhile for Sir Thursday to even become part of the plot -- much of the book, actually -- but when he does show up, he's a suitably nasty Day. Think a demented drill sargeant.
Since Arthur has already come to terms with being the Heir, Nix lets him focus on something even scarier -- using the Keys is slowly turning him into a Denizen. Since he has amnesia for a good chunk of the book, he's most afraid near the end. And Leaf gets some further fleshing-out, as she tries to destroy the Skinless Boy without being taken over by it.
Perhaps the worst part of it is that "Sir Thursday" ends on a double cliffhanger. It's going to be awhile before we're introduced to Lady Friday, but "Sir Thursday" was worth the wait. Chilling and wonderfully dark.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 30 May 2006
When Sir Thursday came out I was relectant to buy it after reading Drowned Wednesday, the book wasn't awful, but it was nowhere near Garth Nix's previous standard. I thought this book would be much the same.
I am glad to be proved wrong, this book is back to Garth Nix original high standard. Adding to that I am eagerly awaiting the release of Lady Friday because this is one of thouse delightfully annoying (but in a good way) books that leaves you wondering what on earth's going to happen next, unfortunately I may have a while to speculate.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 11 March 2006
Writing a series with seven books on seven days obviously limits the plots. On the last book, Garth Nix started to break free of a formula and this book showed he had the skills to allow him to tell a different tale to the previous books. Whilst reading this book, it was not until towards the end that I knew where the plot was going, half way through I was genuinely intrigued as to how the book would resolve.
So, no great characterisation in this book, but the plot moves along nicely and further elements of the whole puzzle are revealed. I like the way Garth throws some oddball imaginary invention in, yet it all seems to fit. Also, Garth knows not to labour a point, so unlike Harry Potter, we are briefly reminded of things, like missing home, without them being repeated; and Arthur is at peace with his fate so we don't have to put up with the moody teenager stuff.
Age range: not quite an adult read (unlike the Abhorsen trilogy), but worth borrowing off the kids!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2006
garth nix/s imagination has created another treat for those of us who have enjoyed the previous books in this series.If you've never read them- why not? Arthur Penhaligon continues his adventures to try and capture the key to the Kingdom from Sir Thursday, but has to contend with being drafted into Sir Thursday's army first! Garth Nix's books are intended for older children/teenagers but, as an adult, I can promise you an exciting read if you enjoy fantasy. Long may Garth Nix continue to delight his readers with his amazing imagination!!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 19 February 2006
Keys to the Kingdom is no longer a series for young readers. Murder, war, and anger plagues the book that will no doubt take this series to new heights.
In the book, Arthur tries to re-enter into the secondary realm, but to do so could cause disruption in the natural order of his world, because according to the house he is already there. Arthur cannot get back, but Leaf can, and she attempts to dispell the creature posing as Arthur before it can dominate his world.
In the meantime, Arthur is drafted by Sir Thursday into the Glorious Army of the Architect and is immediately trained in Nithling combat. Strange happenings have been going on the Great Maze. A great host of "New Nithlings" are on the move; Arthur is not as safe as he would have hoped. The story explodes as Sir Thursday himself commissions a band of Piper's Children to take on a most dangerous task. In the meantime, Arthur must find and release the fourth part of the Will and find a way to claim the fourth key.
With this middle book, Garth Nix is sure to leave his readers in shock so reserve your hospital bed in advance and dive into Arthur's latest adventure. --.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2006
I have really enjoyed reading the books in the 'Keys to the Kingdom' series and would definitely recommend the series. Although it had been a long time since I had read the first three books I easily slipped back into Nix's enchanting writing style that helps me greatly enjoy his work.
Arthur, the main character, is appealing and easy to relate to Nix's other characters have a great variety to them though all have some realism to them. Also the settings are detailed and realistic and an amazing atmosphere is set. I think that the ending is good because it gives you a lead into what the next book will be about without giving too much away. As I said at the beginning they are fantastic books would definitely recommend them especially to people who enjoy escaping to another world with magic and colossal creatures and marvellous monsters!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2006
I have to admit, from the moment I read the first few pages of Mister Monday I was hooked, Grim Tuesday only fed that hunger, and by book three, Drowned Wednesday, I was getting all too greedy. I was less happy with the third book, it is not any less than good, but it felt anticlimatic - creative all the same...
So I am very happy to say that my faith in the series, the characters and the plot are returned after reading Sir Thursday. The fact that we find out more about one of the major, but thus far undermentioned characters (a big one), was a very pleasant surprise. The book manages to strech out the events well, and in traditional Nix fashion, not too much time is spent on adding obtuse detail - he has style of writing that does not bore you by slowing the pace, but still keeps you very well involved. I must say that Nix's writing has improved since he wrote his "The Old Kingdom" books, and he is now an extremely accessible writer where in Sabriel he would drag things out past their welcome.
The series continues to be imaginative, intelligently written and desturbingly more-ish... And at this price it's a steal!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Another exciting installment in this series from the outrageously creative and slightly warped mind of Garth Nix, where Lord Arthur, Rightful Heir of the Architect etc. etc. finds himself drafted into the Glorious Army of the Architect under the command of the highly strung Sir Thursday. Starting at the bottom, Arthur changes his name to Ray, and undergoes basic training in weaponry and warfare before being led off to battle.
There are actually two stories going on simultaneously in this book. In one of them, Arthur has been replaced in the real world by a doppelganger, which has used a personal item of Arthur's to spawn the perfect image. Having infiltrated, the Arthur-copy is running around infecting people with a gray mould, which allows it to read their minds gathering information to complete the take-over. Arthur is much too busy to deal with this matter, so his friend Leaf steps up to the plate and goes on a clone-hunt.
Back to Arthur, he's a pawn on a chessboard-like battlefield, with one significant difference - the squares move around at dusk. (Pity the unfortunate soul who's stuck half-way on the boundary of two squares when this happens.) The enemy is a horde of souped-up nithlings who've undergone extreme make-overs to become battalions of uber-nithlings, led by a mysterious yet familiar figure.
There's fighting and bloodshed and lots of other good stuff in this one, which should make an excellent adventure movie. Although a little slower than Drowned Wednesday, this one is an equally entertaining read, but should not be attempted without reading the first three (each sold separately)
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 9 April 2006
I have heard a lot about Sir Thursday being the 'weakest' book to date in the Keys To The Kingdom series, but after reading it, personally I feel that my faith in the series has been restored! Of course this is only my opinion so do as you will. I thought Wednesday was a bit of a mish mash and I was confused about the overall direction of the series. But in Sir Thursday, Nix hints of some much bigger and darker plot threads (I won't spoil it for you), which makes me very intrigued about what will happen on Friday!! After all, isn't Friday the best day of the week anyway? :)
on 9 June 2013
After struggling a bit with book 3 I wasn't sure what I was going to get from this one, I didn't remember ever having read this one so I was coming to it fresh. But I was pleased to find that some of the magic was back, I found myself racing through it. I kept saying I would put it down and get on with other things then another hour would pass and I still hadn't moved.
I ended up having to put it down so I could get some sleep, but I picked it up again as soon as i could today to finish it.
Arthur is stuck in the house as a creature of Nothing has taken his place back in our world, Leaf leaves to try to stop him, but she has to be careful, one touch from the creature could mean she loses control and he could take over. Meanwhile Arthur is drafted into Sir Thursdays, whether by accident or by deliberate plot, but with a 100 year service hanging over him he needs to find a way to escape and free the fourth part of the will and get the next key all without losing anymore of his mortality.
I liked the whole army setting, it was well created and I felt myself pulled in, once in the army Arthur meets Fred, a fellow recruit and they strike up a friendship and try to help each other out.
I found Leaf's storyline quite exciting, it's very fast paced and you can feel her desperation and urgency, it flows through the pages and has you gripping the edge of your seat hoping she succeeds.
This one felt a lot more thought out than the last and made me excited about the series again.