In February of 2008 my 1998 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera died. I was devastated. I loved that car and I truly believed we were meant to be together. Afterall, it had been stolen and returned to me not once, but twice. But, I learned the hard way that an oil leak, no matter how small, is not something to ignore, especially in the middle of a harsh Cleveland winter. The engine will eventually seize and leave you stranded on the roadside in need of a ride, a tow, and a new car. If you are wondering what this sad, sad story of automobile neglect has to do with books, relax, I am getting there. Just as I was working myself into a full-on panic about not having a car, a miracle happened. One of my sisters (I have 5) was getting a new car and was willing to give me a super-sweet sister deal on her old one. Yay! The car itself is not important. What is important is that I was now riding around with modern audio equipment-I could listen to books on cd! Oh, how my life changed. In the three years since then I have listened to 64 books on cd and missed countless hours of horrible radio commercials. So in the spirit of new things for the new year, I present you with my first ever Audio Alert.
Sir Thursday is book four in The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix and stars Arthur Penhaligon, and ordinary teen with an extraordinary destiny. These books really need to be read or listened to in order, starting with Mister Monday, Grim Tuesday, and Drowned Wednesday. The fourth adventure finds Arthur enlisted in The Glorious Army of the Architect, led by Sir Thursday, who possesses the fourth key and the fourth part of the will. Back in the “real world” an imposter, known as the Skinless Boy, is taking over the minds of Arthur’s friends and family.
At the mid-point of this series Arthur is finally becoming a good hero. He is making more decisions for himself, rather than just following the orders of The Will. He is also facing his own mortality as it is revealed that he is gradually turning into a denizen whenever he uses the magic of the Keys. He is making smart choices and putting the needs of many before his own needs. He is proving to be a wise teen with obvious leader potential.
This series is cool on a couple of levels. There is plenty of action and adventure and the world-building is complex and detailed. The characters are interesting and engaging. These are all-around good stories. But then, there is another level with subtle religious undertones. For example, the Architect who created the worlds represents a supreme being and each of the seven Trustees represents one of the deadly sins (Monday=Sloth, Tuesday=Greed, Wednesday=Gluttony, Thursday=Wrath).
I have only listened to these books and I really like the narrator, Allan Corduner. Audiobook fans may recognize his voice from Inkdeath or The Book Thief. He is also the narrator of Magyk, a Septimus Heap book. I just love his deep, rich voice and his lovely British accent!
I will wrap this up by saying these are great “guy” books and I would recommend them to middle school readers who enjoyed the Percy Jackson series and Pendragon.