Title: Drowned Wednesday
Author: Garth Nix
Series: Keys to the Kingdom #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Australian authors, Easy reading, Fantasy
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
5th sentence, 74th page: Arthur heard a muffled bang come from behind them and looked astern, just in time to see the flash of the Shiver’s bowchasers, followed by that same whistling screech.
Arthur Penhaligon has a broken leg and a bad attack of asthma, but there’s no time for recovery. Drowned Wednesday has sent a ship to pluck him from the safety of his bed, miles from any ocean, and sail him back to the House.
From hospital room to high seas, Arthur must battle pirates, storms, monsters made of Nothing and a vast beast that can’t stop eating. Arthur struggles to unravel the mystery of the Architect’s disappearance and the plotting of the Trustees. For the sake of all that dwell in the Secondary Realms, he must discover the third part of the Will and claim the Third Key.
But first… can Arthur trust the Raised Rats? Where are Leaf and Suzy? And how will he survive life aboard the ship on the treacherous Border Sea?
It’s taken me this long in the series to realise that each of the Trustees has one of the seven sins as their driver… Monday was Sloth, Tuesday – Greed and Wednesday is Gluttony. It makes me want to dive into the series even more since it is so subtly and beautifully done. The idea of Drowned Wednesday being a gluttonous whale and everything that follows worked beautifully in this nautical adventure, and I think that the twists and turns of this story were some of the most surprising yet!
After his first two ‘days’ of fighting for the good of the house and the future and blah blah blah, Arthur is finally realising that he must fight back. He is unable to just sit and wait for the Trustees to attack, and he must take things into his own hands. I actually really enjoyed this change in attitude. Although I liked his refusal to lose his humanity in the first two books, it was starting to feel a little childish and whiney. Working him into the realisation that he doesn’t have a choice was far more interesting, and it also showed the spine and strength of the character. Something that was subtly implied, but never investigated as much.
I don’t know much about life on the oceans, boats or really anything to do with living on a ship. But, after reading this, I almost feel like I could understand aspects of it – Nix obviously did his research and the fluidity with which this setting fits in amongst the series really helped to emphasise this aspect of his writing. Although, since I know nothing of life on the ocean, it could just sound impressively realistic…
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