Sunday, 7 March 2010

Superior Saturday by Garth Nix

July 2008, HarperCollins
336 pages, Paperback
Review Copy

Children's, Fantasy

Cushions: 5
Daggers: 5
Smiles: 5
Tissues: 3
Yunaleska's recommended rating: ♥♥♥♥♥+

Summary from HarperCollins

Garth Nix is back with the sixth explosive title in his gripping fantasy series, The Keys to the Kingdom.

On the Sixth Day, there was Sorcery Arthur Penhaligon has wrested five of the Keys from their immortal guardians, the Trustees of the Will. But gaining the Sixth Key poses a greater challenge than any he has ever faced before. Superior Saturday is not just one of the Trustees, she is also the oldest Denizen and the most powerful and knowledgeable sorcerer within the House. She has tens of thousands of sorcerers at her command — and she has been preparing her forces all along for the Will’s escape and the activities of the Rightful Heir. Everything is all just part of a greater plan she has been hatching for ten thousand years. As Saturday’s schemes become evident, Arthur is beset on all sides. Nothing is eroding the House, and only the power of the Keys can hold back the tide of destruction. His mother is still missing. His home city is under attack. His allies are unreliable. He can’t even get into the apparently impregnable Upper House and even if he does, finding the Sixth Part of the Will and gaining the Sixth Key might not be enough to counter Saturday’s sorcerous hordes or stop her bid for ultimate power.

I fell about laughing when I saw the illustration for this book. An umbrella with rain! Remember Leaf's use of an umbrella, andy why I find it such an amusing object? This is my favourite illustration yet. Although I do wonder if it will have an evil purpose. (It doesn't - not exactly.The reason behind the umbrellas is imaginative).

Saturday is the third female of the Morrow days. I know from events in Lady Friday that she is a force to be reckoned with. She has dreams that are beyond her social standing. This over ambition tendency will possibly be the end of her, but I think she will wreck a lot of damage before losing her position.(Spilling any details would spoil the story, so I'm not). Not that Arthur needs more trouble with the destruction of the world near his home looming up.

Events force Arthur to think about his destiny. The decisions he makes are good ones. I felt sorry for him, having to use a power he had no idea how to control. His current viewpoint on his situation will probably make him more able to face the challenges ahead, because through acceptance comes an increase of bravery. The end of chapter two moved me to tears. There's an almost equal amount (in both numbers and strength) of inner and out conflict in this book. More so than previous books Arthur doesn't have access to advice and help when he needs it. He has to rely on himself more. This shows how much he has grown as a character throughout the series. If he'd had to face all this at the beginning, he would have crumbled under the pressure.

As much as I enjoy experiencing more of the House, I hope that substantial time will be spent in Arthur's world because I want to know, like Arthur, what's been going on. Note: this sort of happened. By the end of the series I was content enough knowing what happened in both worlds (although technically they aren't worlds...).

My suspicions about Dame Primus are bearing fruit. She is one to watch, perhaps more carefully than the Morrows. For more details regarding this matter, see My Thoughts on Keys to the Kingdom series.

I like how disguises used in previous stories are used again, but this time are jazzed up. The magic behind it is quite advanced, and the disguises don't always stay in place as intended.

Pg 281 brought about a truth that had been hidden from Arthur. A truth that could drastically change the course of action he chooses to take.(Note: it doesn't. Not really).

More than ever I am beyond glad that I have Lord Sunday beside me. The ending for Superior Saturday isn't really an ending, more like a suspension of action. Little is resolved, apart from Arthur gaining the sixth key.It feels as though it should be the end of part one in a larger book.

Also in the book: a drill, a pyramid, flowers, cheese, automaton (although totally different from the one in Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore),

Garth Nix can be found on his site here.

For a peek of this book, click on the link below.
Make sure you've read the other five books: Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, Drowned Wednesday, Sir Thursday and Lady Friday.

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