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on 25 October 2012
Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 7)
I have not personally read all the series, but my grandson began reading them as a grumpy pre-teen, scarcely putting them down except to eat!!!! I think this is high praise indeed and I believe is a good recommendation of the sheer reading pleasure these books generate. They are different and unusual. Let's face it, how often do you meet a detective who is a skeleton? This last one 'Kingdom of the Wicked' he requested as a gift, after obtaining 10GCSEs in August. He has been a discerning and avid reader since childhood, and hopes to teach English and History, and hopefully become a published author himself one day. I thank Derek Landy for the pleasure his unusual but very entertaining series of books has given my grandson.10/10
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on 9 September 2012
Derek Landy has milked this story for everything it has, and it just keeps on giving. A superb story, brilliantly worked personalities and enough twists and turns to keep you reading and refusing to set it down.
Derek, I take my hat off to you. Brilliant
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It's several months after SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT: DEATH BRINGER and Valkyrie and Skulduggery are busier than ever. The last thing they need is for an outbreak of magic to start infecting the `normal' population, giving them incredible powers that even they can't handle. The culprit appears to be a rogue Adept called Argeddion who disappeared after harnessing the power of his true name. Finding him won't be an easy task, especially when a trio of new teenage magicians led by the psychopathic Kitana are intent on wrecking havoc, Tanith and Billy-Ray Sanguine are back making trouble and the international Sanctuaries have decided that Ireland can no longer be trusted to run its own affairs and want to take over. Solving the mystery will involve parallel dimensions and it might just be that only Darquesse and Lord Vile can save the day ...

The seventh in Derek Landy's SKULDUGGERY PLEASANT SERIES is a return to inventive form in another dark and gory middle grade book with a non-stop, pacey plot filled with originality that successfully builds on the overriding arc and ends with a jaw-dropping ending that really sets up book 8 in the series.

Valkyrie finally gets a sense of what she's losing by working in the magical parallel world. I enjoyed her interaction with her reflection and the way she's losing touch with what her family are up to and it's good to see Ghastly Bespoke gently point this out to her. Her friendship with Skulduggery contains an element of co-dependence, not least because of their terrible alter-egos and their need to control them for the sake of the world.

Argeddion and Kitana are great villains. I liked the way Argeddion's pacifist intentions have been warped by his power and Kitana is a pure psychopath, driven by cruelty and a thirst to destroy. Yet Landy hasn't forgotten other villains such as Tanith and Billy-Ray who are working to another agenda and it's interesting to see Landy build up the conspiracy elements that began earlier in the series.

The plot itself is a rollercoaster and my favourite scenes involve the parallel world that Valkyrie finds herself in where the bad guys won. Landy's clearly having fun with the `what-if' scenario but still cleverly uses it to develop the main series arc.

In conclusion, this was a thoroughly entertaining read with a jaw-dropping ending that has me waiting impatiently for book 8.
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on 2 September 2012
For me the series got better with every book, with perhaps the exception of death bringer where i found valkyrie somewhat annoying. But Kingdom of the Wicked is just incredible... Amazing, exploring characters that we have met before and some completely new characters and i loved them all. I loved the dynamic between the characters and the end cliffhanger for me was slightly expected, but still had me gobsmacked because SPOILER!!!! the reflection isn't who you think it is, and even then it's not who you would think it is. Now i have to wait another year until the 8th book... but if its any good ad KOTW or better, then i can handle it
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on 22 October 2012
I began reading the moment i got my hands on this book!! I devoured it in a day. Totally gripping as all Landy's other books and my only criticism is the cliffhangher at the end because I don't think I can take the wait til the next one and have already started the series again. Keep writing Derek!!!!
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on 9 September 2012
To be honest I didn't find this book to be as page turning as Death Bringer, but that probably because of the setting of the book.
Don't get me wrong though I thoroughly enjoyed it. Kingdom of the wicked was fast paced and full of action.
You can clearly see how this is the begining of the end for Skulduggy and Valkyrie, that style of writing is very difficult to pull of and isn't very enjoyable, manly because it leaves too many questions unanswered. But in my experiance the books that follow this one are all the more better for it.
Apart from that I found the book to be full of suspense, a lot of blood and magic in just the right balance. Overall I think that Landy has done it again.
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on 17 October 2012
What can I say? Another masterpiece by Derek Landy here - and by far the best in the series yet. Any fan of Skulduggery Pleasant who hasn't yet bought this book definitely needs to; I won't give anything away, but "amazing" is just one small word to describe this latest installment. Just when you think you've figured something out about the plot when reading it, you'll be knocked away and given something completely different. I've never been more hooked on a book before and, honestly, I have no idea how I will stay sane until book eight is released.

You will not be disappointed.
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Has Derek Landy sold his soul to the devil? Or perhaps at some point he managed to capture a leprechaun? Surely writing talent this great is not gained through natural means? Surely there has to be some supernatural explanation as to how he continues to produce brilliant story after brilliant story, the latest weighing in at a hefty 607 pages?

I think this might just be my favourite Skulduggery Pleasant book so far. I say only think, as without re-reading the whole series it is nigh on impossible to state this with any certainty, and unfortunately at present I just don't have the time to revisit the other six books. Seven books in to this series I certainly did not expect a story that felt so fresh and original, especially given how superb the previous book was, bringing together so many different plot strands that had been created throughout the preceding instalments. Apart from the absence of Tanith in Death Bringer, long time fans had many questions answered regarding Skulduggery, Val, Darquesse and Lord Vile, and so this seventh book heralded a new plot arc for our heroes, and I have been wondering for some time how Derek Landy would have enough ideas left, or would we see a dip in form as we did with Eoin Colfer's seventh Artemis Fowl book?

Incredibly, the ideas are obviously still there, although like JK Rowling did as the Harry Potter series progressed, Landy has given this book a darker and more grown-up feel. It has all the elements we have come to expect from a Skulduggery story - great characters (new and old), a cardiac arrest inducing pace, and of course, Derek Landy's awe inspiring dialogue. I think I may have said this before - it is the dialogue in these books that sets them head and shoulders above most of YA fantasy/horror stories that have been written over recent years. However, added to these is a plot that is far more complex than usual, as new, seemingly unrelated strands are woven, and then gradually twisted together as the story progresses. For example, the book opens with a quartet of teenagers who have suddenly found themselves with magical powers, testing their magic and then using it in a diabolical way. We don't then read about this group until much, much later in the book, Landy keeping us on edge wondering when they will finally appear again, and when they do Val and Skulduggery may find they have finally met their match.

The plot is so complex in this book that to try to explain it further would either have me creating spoilers, or rambling on for another 500 or so words. Let's face it, if you're a Skulduggery fan you don't need me to tell you what happens in this books as you're going to be as eager to read it as I was anyway. I will tell you that you have one hell of an exciting literary ride ahead of you, and those of you who err more towards being horror fans rather than fantasy fans will delight in some of the more gory and gruesome scenes. There is one in particular, that had me grinning from ear to ear with devilish merriment (some might call me a little sick in the head for finding such delight in it) - page 576, if your interested. And then another corker on page 551/552. Poor Val!

The final chapter of the book will have you weeping - not tears of sadness but instead of frustration, as Landy brings his story to an end with a new plot strand that will have you desperate to read the next instalment, whenever that might be released. This new element to the story is something that I have been hoping would happen for some time, something I speculated about many books previously and I am really excited to see that Derek Landy has finally introduced it into his story. I'm sure I'm not the only one who has seen this coming, and many other fans will gasp with excitement as they turn those final pages.
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on 14 December 2012
I'll be honest. After the last Skulduggery Pleasant Book (Death Bringer) I was genuinely concerned that Landy had run out of ideas for this series. I actually said as much in my review on here. Because whilst Landy can clearly knock out sharp and witty dialogue until the cows come home, to be perfectly blunt the plot in the last book generally was below par for the series as a whole.

Fortunately, Kingdom of the Wicked is not just a return to form, for me it is the best book in the series. I actually didn't expect it to be when reading the preamble, which details a mysterious situation where ordinary people are suddenly gaining magical powers, including three teenagers who develop powers far stronger than ordinary magicians. In fairness, that description isn't particularly standout.

Fortunately, the description of the plot that the back/inside cover provides doesn't come close to even scratching the surface of where the plot actually goes in this book. The book does open with the 'humans are gaining magic' scenario, but Landy quickly throws out a number of distinct plot strands, all of which are intriguing. I'm sure other reviews will provide mini spoilers on what at least one of those strands is, because to be frank in the context of the series as a whole it will excite fans greatly, but I'm opting not to do that. Because if you've read the six books in the series up to this point, you deserve to read this book without anyone even hinting as to what happens.

All you need to know is this; the stall in the last book was temporary. Kingdom of the Wicked is in many ways the definitive book of the series so far. The plot is exciting, clever, and littered with Landy's trademark characters and dialogue. And perhaps most importantly, it sets up the final two books in the series in the best possible way. If you're a fan of the series you'll buy this anyway, but even against that backdrop I can't recommend it enough.
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on 17 September 2012
It's Skulduggery Pleasant!!!!! *Runs around excitedly clutching book* This is one of my all time favourite series and I always look forward to the release of the next installment, counting down the days until I can get it. I've met Derek Landy twice and he is so nice and genuine in real life and just as funny as his books make him seem, unfortunately he didn't come close enough to me on this tour for me to meet him again but the book was released the day after my birthday so my best friend bought it for me as a present.
So where to start, this book is full of so much Epicness it's hard to calm my thoughts and think rationally. I am going to try not to include spoilers as these are too good, they need to be read and discovered as you go.
What would you do if you woke up one day with magic? Well hundreds of seemingly ordinary people are waking up to discover their new powers, some use it for good whilst others get drunk on powers. Skulduggery and Valkyrie are once more on the case and still as kick-ass as ever. They have really become a team and they bounce off each other so well. I love the quick, sarcastic comments and witty remarks.
The new spread of characters was pretty cool, Kitana is a total psychopath and I love her! In a 'I want to kick her upside the head' kind of way. Argeddion, well what can you say about Argeddion? Nut-job? lol
Nearly all of your old favourites are back at some point and it was good to have them in it. Ghastly features quite a lot which I loves as he is one of my favourites! :D
The storyline is fast paced, action packed and just plain awesome. This book may be 605 pages but it will fly by in an instant! I couldn't stop reading and I didn't want to look away. The only complaint I have is how long we have to wait for the next one, and with that ending? Derek you are torturing us!!! I need to know what happens next. I always knew there was something going on there!
If you haven't ever read Skulduggery Pleasant, I don't know what you have been doing with your life, or how you manage to live in such an empty existance - trust me, your life is not complete until you have read SP! So go out, find a copy of all the books in the series (Skulduggery Pleasant, Playing With Fire, The Faceless Ones, Dark Days, Mortal Coil, Death Bringer, Kingdom of the Wicked) and get reading!!! You won't regret it, I promise. You'll be laughing your socks off.
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