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Lady Friday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 5) Paperback – 5 Mar 2007
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“[Garth Nix is] the coolest read in the playground.” Amanda Craig
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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Top customer reviews
The four parts of the will which make up Dame Primus have become cantankerous and vengeful. Superior Saturday is really trying to extend her power, the fact that she seems to have a constant shadow over events seems to indicate that she'll play an important role in the upcoming books. This book isn't as eventful as the previous four but it really is because it is the "middle book" in a sense. This is the book that has to set the events; it has to start themes and gets the plot really cooking. But this is what is so great about the book, when you finish reading it, you're left with questions.
I know some people have complained the characters aren't as developed and that Lady Friday isn't as explored as the other trustees but I disagree. The fact that Lady Friday acts the way she does (I'm refraining from giving the plot away) indicates much a about her character, and her lust for experiences also demonstrates the way her mind works in terms of morals etc.
I love Suzy in this book as always, she really adds humour to the darkest of situations. Hopefully in Superior Saturday the fifth part of the will would have balanced Dame Primus... but in this book I have to admit you start asking yourself why Arthur doesn't just destroy it somehow because Dame Primus really grates on your nerves.
At least, that's how it seems in "Lady Friday," the next-to-penultimate book of the Keys To The Kingdom series. Garth Nix's latest suffers from a bit of middle-book syndrome, but he keeps things interesting with a brewing three-way battle, a New Nithling ally, and a vampiric Trustee who sucks the experiences from her victims.
Arthur is struggling with a bunch of new problems, when he is given Lady Friday's resignation... and a transfer plate. The next thing, he's been transported to Lady Friday's frozen, mountainous realm. And unknown to him, Leaf has followed thousands of senior citizens (including her disabled aunt) into Friday's realm.
Arthur's dire situation becomes even more difficult when he learns that his friends Suzy and Fred have been forcibly drafted into the Piper's army (they're only allowed out with a New Nithling accompanying them). And Superior Saturday is claiming control over Friday's realm. Time is growing short for Arthur to find the fifth piece of the Will... but that can't stop Saturday and the Piper.
"Lady Friday" suffers from the "middle book" syndrome -- it's building up to the battle between Saturday, Arthur and the Piper, but not quite there yet. By the cliffhanger ending, Nix has spun up the beginnings of an epic conflict, which only promises to get nastier when Superior Saturday finally makes an appearance. And who knows what's going to arrive with Lord Sunday?
The plot is slower-moving and darker than the previous books, with lots of ruthless Denizens who want Arthur stopped, not to mention the haughty, cruel Friday stealing the good experiences from elderly mortals. And a measure of uncertainty has come into the plot, with the New Nithlings and their ambiguous loyalties. Even Dame Primus (four-sevenths of the Will) is getting unreliable.
But Nix includes the occasional quirky moment to lighten all this dark stuff, such as the rather funny Beast, and the fact that the New Nithlings just want to garden. It's a bit like Lewis Carroll writing a steampunk epic. And by the last few chapters, things speed up to breakneck pace, and even dealing with the latest Trustee won't fix things.
Arthur is under plenty of stress in this one, since every time he uses a Key, he comes closer to becoming a Denizen. So he has to rely mainly on his wits in this one, to deal with everything from savage Nithlings to Friday herself. And poor Leaf is even worse off -- she's far away from Arthur, and surrounded by some very nasty Denizens.
"Lady Friday" is the buildup to the grand finale of Garth Nix's newest series, and while it's slower than the other books, it holds the promise of a great "Superior Saturday."
Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday and Drowned Wednesday were 3 great books, combining a wonderful magic element of power and love to the books. They were a joy to read. Sir Thursday was intriguing but not as powerful as the other 3. Likewise Lady Friday fails to pack the punch of the first 3.
It's a very slow moving novel, focusing more on technicalities rather than the adventure with the characters all trying to find solutions to problems rather than being involved in adventures like in the other books.
However Nix writes with such an energetic style that the book is just a joy to read anyway. I must say that one particular scene towards the end was very tense.
I'm looking forward to the upcoming Superior Saturday next year and hopefully there will be more adventure and action to engage and surprise the readers.
You must read the books from the very beginning as they are brilliant.
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Most recent customer reviews
The Keys to the Kingdom series is by far the best of a fantastic bunch, I read them yearly.
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