Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series keeps getting better and better (as well as each book getting bigger and bigger). We find out more about our favourite characters with each new adventure and get introduced to new weird and wonderful ones. Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked is Derek Landy’s latest and greatest Skulduggery book and he sure doesn’t let his army of minions down.
Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Somehow 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, which is having problems of its own. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever – not only to find out what is causing the infection, but also to prevent the take-over of the Sanctuary by a consortium of international sorcerers.
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 …
CAUTION: While I do my best not to mention any spoilers, if you don’t want to know anything about Kingdom of the Wicked, please don’t read on. You have been warned!
Kingdom of the Wicked delivers everything I’ve come to expect from a Skulduggery Pleasant book – brilliant characters with the best names around, witty dialogue, magic creating havoc, and violence aplenty. This book could almost be titled, Valkyrie Cain: Kingdom of the Wicked, as the story focuses mainly on her, with Skulduggery popping up every now and again to help save the day. Valkyrie has grown in confidence and can now handle situations by herself, and in this book, she doesn’t have much choice as Skulduggery often isn’t around to help.
Many of Derek’s best characters are back, including Scapegrace and Thrasher, who were real highlights in this book for me as they provide some hilarious comic relief in amongst the death and destruction. We meet some new characters (with awesome names) and some old characters that have only been mentioned in other books in the series.
Derek Landy doesn’t just write a good story, he’s also fantastic with dialogue. The interaction between characters, particularly the banter between Skulduggery and Valkyrie, is one of the reasons why I love the Skulduggery books so much. You can always rely on Skulduggery and Valkyrie to see the humour in a situation, even if they may be facing death.
Kingdom of the Wicked is probably the most violent, and at times revolting, book in the series so far. There were several parts that made me cringe, especially towards the end. When Derek describes a tendon ripping in someone’s neck of someone’s ribs shattering you almost feel it yourself.
The shocking conclusion to Kingdom of the Wicked made me desperately want to read the next book. However, with only two more books left in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, I’m willing to wait because I don’t want to say goodbye to Derek’s fantastic creation.
5 out of 5 stars