This was the seventh (and final) book in the Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. This was the first book that I read; the previous six I listened to on audio book. I have to say that these books read a lot better than they listen to…if that makes sense. Anyway, this book was an excellent conclusion to a great series. I actually thought it was the best book of the series. You do need to read all of the previous books to have this book make any sense to you at all; if you start with this book you will be at a total loss.
We pick up right where book 6, Superior Saturday, leaves off…with Arthur falling after having claimed the sixth key. In general everything is falling apart. Superior Saturday’s forces are attacking the Improbable Gardens (Lord Sunday’s domains), Dame Primus is leading an assault on Superior Saturday, the lower house is being claimed by Nothing, and the human world is being plagued by strange sicknesses as things deteriorate in the House. In general things are not happy. How will it all be resolved? Arthur has given up his humanity but is there a way for him to save the House, and hence the universe, while retaining some contact with his family?
This book was very well done. The story is jam packed and fast-moving. Nix does an excellent job of making every word in this book count; there was no fat in this story every page goes towards resolving all the issues and bringing the story to a satisfying conclusion. All the characters you know and love are in this story. The action is non-stop and very well done. Lord Sunday is a fabulous character, and not at all what I expected.
Nix did an excellent job portraying Arthur’s fight to retain some humanity. Arthur’s denizen personality often starts him on a rash course of action that his human side will counteract…although as Arthur spends more time wielding the Keys you can tell he is having trouble remembering what it is to be human. Suzi remains her lovable self and is more competent than ever in her own conniving way.
I think that readers of the series will have little to complain about with this spectacular, fast-moving, and action-packed conclusion. If there is one thing to complain about it is the ending. I was a little upset at how things all ended, but upon spending a bit of time thinking about it I think Nix ended everything the best way he could given the situation the characters were in. The only thing that might really make readers mad is that a major death occurs at the end which is given little thought; in fact only a sentence or two is given to this major life-changing event in Arthur’s life. Should that prevent you from reading the book? Of course not, overall it was very well done.
I was pleased with this series as a whole and thought this book was fantastic. I was happy that Nix concluded the series with a tight book that didn’t drag on and on and did an excellent job of concluding the story. I also really liked Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy. So, I will definitely be picking up his future works. I am curious to see what his next project is.