Warning!! – This review contains spoilers for Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked by Derek Landy.
Cold. Blooded. Thriller.
How do you make an already awesome series even more amazing? By adding parallel dimensional travel!
Kingdom of the Wicked is the 7th book in the series meaning we are getting close to the end, so this means there is no chill. There is action, drama and even more action crammed into the pages of this book, it was so hard to put down.
Apart from all the action and drama (and comedy of course) this book is where everything starts to get very political, we have other sanctuaries coming in and trying to mess with Ireland and even with all this going on we still have the major villain in the book, Argeddion and the small group of teenagers he has given magic to. Along with this we have Valkyrie jumping into another dimension thanks to a Dimensional Shunter called Silas Nadir, because this book wasn’t already hectic enough.
Now you might be reading this and thinking “oh, it sounds like Jess doesn’t actually like the book.” well that is where you are wrong. Derek has done an amazing job at getting all this to happen smoothly during the book, with everything happening at the right time and with the perfect pace. It was masterfully done.
The characters as always are creative and all in their own way different. We get introduced to so many new characters in this book that it is hard to choose who to talk about. All I can say is that they are all amazing and Derek is a master of character design and writing personalities.
Without further ado let’s get into the other part of the review.
Magic is a disease.
Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Infected by a rare strain of magic, they are unwittingly endangering their own lives and the lives of the people around them. Terrified and confused, their only hope lies with the Sanctuary. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever.
And then there’s the small matter of Kitana. A normal teenage girl who, along with her normal teenage friends, becomes infected. Becomes powerful. Becomes corrupted. Wielding the magic of gods, they’re set to tear the city apart unless someone stands up against them.
Looks like it’s going to be another one of those days…
If you would like a full plot summary I would recommend this one. It tells you everything you need to know if you don’t have time to re-read the book.
Even though this book is such a good read it is really had to pick out certain scenes that are my favourite, but with that said there are scenes that made me laugh and made my heart break. So I’m going to share with you all one scene that no matter what will always make me smile (and depending my mood cry… but like not sob…. okay I sobbed one!).
This scene is from the last part of Chapter 37.
After returning from her second trip to the parallel dimension and a long debriefing with the elders Skulduggery takes Valkyrie home to Haggard where she goes and talks to her parents and then has something to eat before retreating to her room to sleep.
As she lies in bed her thoughts wonder until she picks up her phone and calls Skulduggery who answers immediately and the following conversation ensues.
“Are you shunting?”
“No,” she said, “no, everything’s fine. But what if I do shunt again tonight?”
“I considered that, and without wishing to alarm you, I’m in your back garden.”
She laughed. “You’re what?”
“If your arm starts to hurt, open the window for me and we’ll go together.”
“You can’t stand in the garden all night.”
Valkyrie wraps herself in her blankets and goes and opens the window telling Skulduggery to come in.
After a small amount of banter Skulduggery comes in a closes the window behind him. He goes and rests against the opposite wall from Valkyries bed and slides down until he is sitting.
This is where this becomes my favourite scene and breaks my heart. While sitting in the dark Skulduggery says quietly to Valkyrie.
“Do you want me to tell you a bedtime story?”
She smiled. “No thank you. You can sing me a lullaby if you want.”
And that’s what he did. In a voice so soft it barely reached her through the darkness, he sang her ‘Me and Mrs Jones’, and she fell asleep to his voice.
This scene always makes me smile, Valkyrie is worried about shunting into the other dimension alone and even before she can ask Skulduggery is in her garden standing watch and waiting.
I can’t listen to Me and Mrs Jones without thinking of this scene and about just how damn sweet it is! My heart can’t take it!
Okay I know I said I was only going to do one scene but I need to address one more moment that I found highly amusing.
This moment took place at the end of chapter 24, Grand Mage Erskine Ravel and Elder Ghastly Bespoke have found The Accelerator underground and are returning to the main Sanctuary building when they are met by three Roarhaven mages (the same Roarhaven mages who made the map to the tunnels and hid certain pathways and rooms) who tell them there is an emergency call from Detective Pleasant
As they walk Ghastly checks the map before he puts it away and realises these were the Mages who made the map and they can’t be trusted.
This leads to why I love this small moment…
“Grand Mage,” Ghastly said, as he put the map away, “did you know that the sparrow flies south for winter?”
“What an odd thing to say,” Ravel said, and as he turned, he snapped his palm against the air and Paloma slammed into the wall.
There is a small fight where Ghastly and Ravel kick the other mages butts and ending with Ravel saying.
“What do you know,” Ravel said, breathing a little faster, “Skulduggery’s silly little code actually works.”
The reason I love this moment is not only the fact that they use the line “The sparrow flies south for winter” but the fact that either Skulduggery or Valkyrie had told Ghastly and Ravel the story of the origin of it and they then decided to use it!
I was not expecting it and found myself laughing so hard (in public might I add) that I had tears in my eyes thinking about them all sitting around and Valkyrie telling them the story of Skulduggery coming up with the phrase and punching a Necromancer in the face.
“You’re not the chosen one, Valkyrie. There is no Chosen one, there never was and never will be. The very idea is ridiculous. You’re your own person, independent and free to choose.” – Skulduggery to Valkyrie- Page 67
“You be sure to throw the book at him, you hear me? I feel violated, Detective. Violated.”
“I’ll throw this table at you if you don’t give us the names we’re looking for.”- Silas Nadir and Skulduggery Pleasant- Page 116
“Peace means nothing without freedom.” – Valkyrie Cain
“You can’t run from your feelings.”
“I can walk from them.”- Valkyrie Cain and Skulduggery Pleasant- Page 312
“Don’t worry. We don’t need anyone else. We’ve got suprise on our side, and a deliberate tendency towards extream violence. We’ll be fine.”- Skulduggery Pleasant- Page 315
Well, that concludes my review for Kingdom of the Wicked. With only two more books left in my reread things are about to get insane in the series and I don’t know if my heart will be able to take it.
I know too many things from when I originally read the series and all of those things flow into my head and as I hold Last Stand of Dead Men in my hand I am bracing for all these things to come about.
But enough about that! I will be back very soon with my next Skulduggery Pleasant review.
Rating: 5/5 stars- Amazing! I loved it!
Happy reading everyone!