Monday, May 08, 2006
I just adore The Keys to the Kingdom series! Garth Nix is incredibly imaginative, and the books just keep getting more exciting. It would be too easy in a series like this to fall into a routine, where each book follows basically the same pattern. But Garth Nix is far too brilliant to fall into that trap; each book is unique and advances the story in a meaningful way. Sir Thursday is no exception; it may just be the best in the series so far.
In Sir Thursday, Arthur finds himself drafted into the Glorious Army of the Architect, under the command of Sir Thursday. Is this a random event or an intentional move by Sir Thursday and the other morrow days? Whatever the reason, Arthur finds he has no choice but to report for training as a new recruit, just as an invasion of Nithlings is gaining a foothold in the Great Maze. Arthur can't even use magic - he's in danger of becoming a denizen and losing his humanity if he uses too much magic. Meanwhile, back on Earth, Leaf confronts a dangerous near-denizen, known as the Skinless Boy, who has taken Arthur's place and begun to take control of the people around him, including Arthur's parents!
I've particularly enjoyed watching Arthur grow as a character throughout the series. He's begun to stand on his own two feet and take responsibility for himself and for those who depend on him. No longer does he docilely depend on the Will, following its instructions. In Sir Thursday, he begins to take charge and do what he believes is right, even if it means going against the Will.
The story itself is suspenseful and exciting, and we learn a little bit more about the players in this "game," and the mystery behind it. The book ends with a cliffhanger that will leave you screaming - literally. My son and I were listening to the audio in the car, and it ended just after we pulled up to the house. We looked at each other and yelled simultaneously!