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Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 3) Paperback – 6 Jun 2005
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“[Garth Nix is] the coolest read in the playground.” Amanda Craig
PRAISE FOR MISTER MONDAY:
"I just loved Mister Monday, which is an amazing, no-holds-barred fantasy by Garth Nix. This is destined to be a cult series. Every chapter seems to bring something new and wonderful and ends with another surprise. In all honesty, I've never read anything quite like it and I simply can't wait for Tuesday." Anthony Horowitz
“Magic splashes across every page… With a likeable unlikely hero, fast-paced plotting and a plethora of mystical oddities, this series is sure to garner a host of fans.” Publishers Weekly starred review
From the Publisher
Question and Answer with Garth Nix:
What is your favourite piece of clothing?
My R. M. Williams elastic-sided boots
If you were stranded on a deserted island, what 3 things would you want to have with you?
I presume a satellite phone is out of the question, so:
1. "The How to Survive on a Deserted Island Manual"
2. A knife or machete
3. A very large clear plastic tarpaulin
Describe yourself in 3 words.
Absent-minded writer guy
What time do you get up in the morning?
Usually between 4:45am and 7:00am depending upon my young son. Preferably closer to 7:00am!
Do you have any pets? What are their names?
No pets, unless you count the two swallows that are building a nest under the canopy above my office door. Maybe I should give them names.
What are 3 things you love about where you live?
The sea, the trees, the birds
What makes you most happy?
A cup of tea, a good book and my family around me
Did you like school? What was your favourite subject?
I sometimes liked school. My favourite subject was History. Or maybe English. Or Drama.
When did you start writing and what gave you the inspiration to start?
I started writing stories when I was six or seven, but didn't seriously try to write and get published till I was nineteen.
What do you like to read? And what book are you reading now?
I like to read all sorts of books. I'm currently reading a history of Venice by John Julius Norwich.
What was the first book you can remember reading?
The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
What is your favourite TV programme and pop band?
My favourite TV program is an old one, Dr Who. My favourite pop band changes, but I guess my all-time favourite would be The Beatles.
What is your perfect holiday?
Taking it easy at a beach house on the NSW South Coast in late Spring, before lots of people go there
If you could travel back in time, who would you be and why?
I would like to be all sorts of people, but I wouldn't mind being a long-lived, healthy medieval king who died in bed at an advanced age, mourned by all.
What is your favourite food?
Sausages and mash
What would you do if you won the lottery?
Give some of it away, invest the rest in interesting projects like making films, or producing a play, or re-publishing some old books that have disappeared
What is your favourite sport?
If you could be invisible for the day, where would you go?
The Invisible Club, though it's a pain to find and you keep bumping into people
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Where I live now, near the beach in Sydney
What is your ideal Saturday/weekend?
To be at home with my family, with no obligation to do anything or be anywhere
If you had 3 wishes from a genie what would it be?
That would depend upon the nature of the wishes. If I could make really big wishes for other people I would wish:
* For everyone in the world to be healthy and vigorous (and if that was too hard for the genie, then I'd try for all children to be healthy and vigorous)
* For all the weapons in the world to turn into flowers
* For everyone to be able to experience compassion and understand kindness
If the wishes had to be for myself, I would wish for:
* A really good singing voice
* Extremely good health for my whole family
* A small very comfortable castle on a large private island in Sydney Harbour
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Anyone reading the first two books will be expecting the Wednesday baddy to battle on, but fortunately there is a change in plot, which is a relief. There is a certain inevitability about the plot - we know Arthur is going to get to Sunday don't we? - but even Arthur appears to acknowledge this.
The fun is in the telling, so though this day of the series isn't the strongest, it is an entertaining read.
Arthur and his pal Leaf are recuperating from the strange events of Monday and Tuesday... until suddenly the hospital is flooded. Leaf is abducted by a strange boat, and Arthur finds himself adrift on the Border Sea, on a hospital bed. After he's picked up by a shipful of friendly Salvagers, he finds that he's inadvertantly become the target for the malevolent pirate Feverfew, a mortal-turned-Denizen on a ship of bone.
He also encounters Drowned Wednesday, who has invited him to lunch. But unlike Grim Tuesday and Mister Monday, Wednesday needs his help, because she is cursed: she takes the form of a whale, and has a monstrous appetite. She's willing to give him the Key, but he has to deal with the malevolent Feverfew first, and rescue Leaf. Unfortunately to do that, he will have to take a rescue submarine to a seaport... which happens to be inside Wednesday's stomach.
For some reason, after the publication of "Grim Tuesday," the publishers decided to halt production and rerelease the two previous books in hardcover. As a result, "Drowned Wednesday" took forever to come out. Fortunately, it was worth the wait: as writing and characters go, "Drowned Wednesday" beats the second book and equals the first.
"Drowned Wednesday" more or less fits the mold of the previous novels: Arthur deals with the strange residents (rats and Denizens) of the various worlds, while trying to avoid being killed. It sounds grim, but Nix spices it up with plenty of humor, such as the stamp-collecting Salvager captain. One of the funniest moments has Arthur looking at a book about his adventures, which shows him as a buff action hero.
Fortunately, Nix keeps the story from getting formulaic by giving new twists to the story. Not only is it a seafaring tale, but he portrays the Morrow Day Wednesday as a victim, not a villain. Though Arthur is initially suspicious, it turns out that she's actually rather pitiful. And the final chapter of the book ends on an eerie cliffhanger involving the Skinless Boy.
The biggest change is in Arthur himself. In the previous two books, he was a reluctant hero. But now he is beginning to use the power of the Keys without worrying about it, and he is determined to deal with the other Morrow Days. Okay, he still worries a lot, but he's overcoming that; by the finale, he is much more comfortable as the Heir.
"Drowned Wednesday" equals "Mister Monday" for humorous dark-fantasy goodness. Here's hoping that "Sir Thursday" doesn't take long to get here.
Arthur is still recuperating in hospital from his adventures in book two when he is summoned for lunch by Lady Wednesday, Trustee of the Architect and Duchess of the Border Sea. A ship is dispatched to pick him up, which is an unusual mode of transport seeing that he is in a hospital far away from any major body of water. Arrangements are made to resolve this minor inconvenience, and soon Arthur is adrift on his steel bed accompanied by his friend Leaf who was visiting at the time.
Unfortunately the crew of the Flying Mantis picks up the wrong passenger, and Arthur is left adrift, broken leg and all, and with sinking bed and spirits. His spirits are "buoyed" in the nick of time when he discovers a convenient flotation device, but this turns out to be a not a blessing in disguise, but a disaster in the making.
Caught red-handed fooling around with pirate treasure, he is picked up by the crew of a ship named the Moth, and barely escapes being captured by the dread pirate Feverfew (owner of said treasure) and his ship of bone, the Shiver. Soon it's time for lunch with Lady Wednesday, who is cursed with the sin of gluttony, and has been transformed into a creature worthy of her voracious appetite. Barely escaping being a part of the menu, Arthur agrees to an alliance for ownership of the third key and sets off on his third quest of the week in the name of the Will. This proves to be a huge pill to swallow, and gives him a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.
The most exciting adventure of the series so far, this one is heavily laden with sea-faring rats with both two and four legs, sorcery and heroic deeds, and the humor is at its very best. It will be very difficult for Garth Nix to top this one.
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