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Customer Review

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning return to form in this inventive series, 26 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Kingdom of the Wicked (Skulduggery Pleasant, Book 7) (Hardcover)
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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