The good thing about fantasy is that the author can bring back dead characters.
The bad thing about fantasy is that the author can bring back dead characters.
So basically, you’re only as dead as Derek Landy wants you to be. In Skulduggery Pleasant, Kingdom of the Wicked, Derek kills and revives his characters at an astonishing speed, even for him.
Valkyrie and Skulduggery have their work cut out, when lots of people suddenly find they have magic powers. That is not good. Colleagues overseas don’t think what is happening in Ireland is terribly good, either. And Valkyrie really would like to spend more time with her family (before she, as Darquesse, kills them), but she is needed elsewhere.
Heads roll. People come back. Skulduggery and Valkyrie do that humourous banter thing they always do. There is more than one reality. (And I really do wish authors could agree on whether abominable snowmen are good or bad!) This is gruesome stuff. Whether it’s worse than normal, or if I just never noticed quite how gory before, I don’t know. But I love it!
I shouldn’t, though. There is absolutely nothing about the book that would tempt me – in my role as an old woman – if I came to it now. I don’t particularly like the cover (I used to) and the blurb is like any other fantasy blurb. Even the old trick of reading the first chapter wouldn’t do it for me. If I wasn’t already a fan, obviously. Perhaps we need an adult cover, like HP?
But I do like the dedication. That alone would sell the book. Derek has dedicated Kingdom of the Wicked to the publisher’s PR department. I know most of them. He has a little personal bit for each and every one. It’s very nice, done with just the right level of love and humour.
(But dearest Derek, there is no such thing as the wrong train for you to get on. If you’re on it, how can it be the wrong train?)
Ending with a cliffhanger, this is worse even than when we ‘lost’ Tanith. That thing I’d been concerned about for some time, really happens. And after kind, sweet Derek had lulled me into a false sense of security, too.
How could you?