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4.6 out of 5 stars
Drowned Wednesday (The Keys to the Kingdom, Book 3)
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on 20 July 2017
pleased with this book
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on 9 December 2012
Not quite as great as book 1 and 2! But it won't disappoint fans of "Mister Monday" and "Grim Tuesday"
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on 8 June 2005
I have to say I find Garth Nix's books refreshing, he creates a fantasy world which have fantastic but consistent rules. The Keys to the Kingdom Series is a lighter weight, brighter story than the Abhorsen trilogy, but he is not averse to a bit of mortal peril here and there!
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.
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 18 January 2006
It's hard to be Arthur Penhaligon. As if moving and being asthmatic wasn't bad enough, now he has had two nightmarish adventures, and dealt with the malevolent Morrow Days. In the third book of Garth Nix's dark fantasy series, "Drowned Wednesday," Nix spins his best story yet in this series.

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.
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on 26 October 2005
This is the next installment of the Keys to the Kingdom Septology and is a brilliant read. What makes this book different from the rest is that the plot is unpredictable unlike the other two prequels where you can almost guess whats going to happen. What makes the downside to this is that the start is a bit hard to follow but otherwise it flows. This book has many more different character personalities and unlike the first two, Aurthur isn't with Suzy for most of the story. Overall a brill read and I can't wait for Sir Thursday.
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VINE VOICEon 4 July 2006
Wednesday being the third day of the week (if you don't start at Sunday of course), there are no prizes for guessing that this is book three of The Keys to the Kingdom series. If you haven't read Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday, please look no further - without the two preceding books you'll be up a creek without a paddle if you try this one on its own.

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.

Amanda Richards
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on 23 July 2005
Well how would you feel if you had just made it back to your realm and to the comfort of a hospital bed (the broken leg has slowed you down) when the room you and your friend leaf are in fills up with water. A lot of it.
Well add in the fact your bed is washed outside to be met by a pirate ship then you begin to understand the position that Arthur Penhaligon finds himself in. The week so far hasn't really been a good one in all honest, finding out you are the true heir to the Upper and Lower houses of the Architect as well as the other realms is a pretty big responsibility. Finding out all the guardians (now corrupt guardians) of the house - the morrow days - are now after you to stop you taking up your rightful position, makes things a lot more problematic.
The morrow days can only act on their given day, that's why this book allows Drowned (once Lady) Wednesday to come into play. For reasons that will soon be understood Drowned Wednesday cannot be there to meet Arthur herself, as such her servant s come abroad a pirate ship. Should Arthur trust her though? Mr Monday and Grim Tuesday weren't exactly trust worthy individuals themselves and will this morrow day be any different?
The style of writing of the book is very similar to the previous stories and is very easy to pick up. It's clean, sharp and to the point, choosing to really develop characters over many books rather than over many chapters. We do see Arthur facing up to his responsibility more in this novel, as well as Arthur realising the responsibility he has to his travelling companions and it is this that tends to dictate his decisions more and more as the story goes on.
We have another wonderful interjection from the inimitable Suzy Blue who takes on a guise not before scene when we first meet her, has the change been permenant, has she had the dreaded "clean between the ears"? Well to answer these questions, and the others, I will leave you to read the book, but suffice to say it's a cracking bit writing and one I strongly recommend.
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on 10 June 2009
Arthur Penhaligon and Leaf are swept away into the Border Sea where Arthur must locate the giant whale Lady Wednesday and gain the third key.

The third part in the Keys to the Kingdom series sees the return of Arthur go down a storm in the Border sea when after a drastic turn events, sees him become involved with pirates as he struggles to find a way to rescue his friend and draw on the possibility of fighting the biggest whale to ever grace the universe. Drowned Wednesday is literally, flowing and slick, throwing no sails to the winds in an attempt to generate full action and mystery to the series.

Grim Tuesday after all was a let down when juxtaposed with the first book Mister Monday. The first revitalized the concept of existence and brought comedy, adventure and enough genre to make a soap opera but when Tuesday came around, the spring was adjusted and we were overwrought with too much information and a heavy dollop of significant discussion that was too hard to remember all the fine details. Good book but when trying to piece it all together, you were left scratching your head. The action never disappointed however and thankfully Nix regurgitates that sense of adventure and suspense in the second sequel that sparks the series back into the rightful fantastical state.

The beginning is well scripted as Arthur and Leaf are strangely swept away off Arthur's very own hospital bed into The House's Border Sea, a place which brings adventure and fatigue to the Rightful heir and once more, Nix depicts a wondrous catalogue of challenges and fantasy images to the story.

From the strange Doctor to the evil Feverfew, Nix has brought a wide collection of intriguing protagonists to his narrative that sparks debates, generates action and significantly fulfils reader's requirements for a fantasy adventure.

One main problem with this series, and it is only minor, is because of the determined nature to invent new mysteries and new characters on a continuous basis, there is always a lapse in the action which slows it all down when we readers want it to move right into the fantastic action. There is always something to learn, which is good, but there is not as enough oomph as say the Potter series as a means to really gain that reading style of not putting the book down.

What is important to remember is the action always comes in whatever situation the character is currently in, which therefore makes it a good intentioned book that will always pack that vital punch.

Wednesday has plenty of colourful imagery with the Raised Rats taking centre stage right after the horrific depiction of Lady Wednesday.

This third part therefore is a big step up from Tuesday and as soon as that last page is turned, you will be dashing for Sir Thursday.

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on 7 November 2014
The plot twists in "The Keys to the Kingdom" are incredible - reading them for the first time I have (for the most part) no idea what will happen on the next page! Garth Nex sets up expectations, but meets them with something quite different - and then something quite different again. For example, Arthur's first encounter with Leaf and Ed in "Mister Monday" is reminiscent of Harry Potter's first meeting with Ron and Hermione - you expect them to become major characters - and yet they become almost irrelevant to the plot of the first book. Leaf appears briefly in the "still-in-Arthur's-world" section of "Grim Tuesday", but in "Drowned Wednesday" the pattern changes utterly; she is swept (quite literally) along with Arthur into the very heart of his adventures in The House. As for Lady Wednesday - the third of the villainous "Morrow Days" - she is more shocking than either of her predecessors, and yet we feel some sympathy for her. Though terrible, she hs a victim herself of the greed of the other Trustees. Having wrought terrible harm on her subjects through her unsolicited gluttony, she is redeemed (as it were) by her own destruction through alliance with one who should have been her enemy. (To be honest I did have some inkling of what had happened to Lady Wednesday before Dr. Scamandros tells he story - but the full horror of it was as much a surprise to me as it was to Arthur.) This is as far as I've got into the series, but I'm sure there are plenty more twists to come!
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on 1 April 2011
Firstly, I'll just say that this series has to be read in order, and attempting Wednesday without already knowing Monday and Tuesday will make it virtually impossible!

So, we all know the drill, Arthur is back on Earth barely a day when he is 'summoned' back to the House, but this time, dragging along his mortal friend Leaf (from Book One) and his hospital bed. He is of course charged with finding the Third Part of the Will and appropriating Wednesday's Key but here is where Nix' storytelling trimuphs: neither Drowned Wednesday, the ultimate villain or the overriding danger Arthur faces are not what the reader would expect after reading Monday and Tuesday. Furthermore, the tale is not completed in the usual way, with a delicious twist at the end leaving readers uncertain about where Nix will develop Arthur's story from here :)

Most clever on the part of the author as both the readers and our protangonist have triggered onto the fact that he is indeed The Rightful Heir of the Kingdom, and will HAVE to make it through to Sunday, and so therefore a sharp right turn in the storytelling is just what is needed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

What's more, this book has a whole host of new and intricate characters (the highly intelligent Raised Rats, with a thirst for knowledge; the sorcerer Dr Scamandros; and the pirate Sunscorch) alongide significant development of established characters such as Leaf, Suzy Turquoise Blue and the amalgamated First and Second Parts of the Will, and as we have all already guessed that Arthur is going to have to face all the Morrow Days up until Sunday, our attention is turned to the surrounding characters, wondering who, amidst all the cleverly planted suspicion and differing advice, may ultimately betray, assist, educate, endanger, rescue, trick or sacrifice themselves for, Arthur.

Finally, I am very impressed with the author's ingenious development of the Kingdom itself, setting each day (and therefore each book) in a different domain of the world. Monday happens in the main House and its administrative core, Tuesday was under the ground in the Pit used to mine and manipulate Nothing, and Wednesday takes place on the Border Sea. This makes for both renewed interest in each book, and also works to enhance the reader's understanding and perceived realism of the Kingdom itself.

Absolutely BRILLIANT series, can't heap it with enough praise!
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