Title: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author: Derek Landy
Genre: Fantasy/ Children Literature/ Adventure
Publication date: 2012
Magic is a disease.
Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. 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. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever.
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…
Oh, how I missed Skulduggery and Valkyrie. It has been a long time since I read the last book and now that I am thinking about it I am not sure why I allowed such a big break between them. Derek Landy is definitely one of my favorite authors – his humor, his easy-going style and the numerous adventures packed tightly in single book do not allow room for boredom. I have felt many thinks reading the books of the series but boredom was never one of them.
In Kingdom of the Wicked we are facing a new end-of-the-world situation as it often is with our favorite heroes. Random humans are suddenly developing magical abilities thus threatening the magical world with exposure to the rest of the world. To top it all off, representatives of other Sanctuaries breathe in the neck of the Grand Mage Ravel and the Elders looking for a way to assume control one way or another. Oh, and yes, Valkyrie gets zapped by a dimensional shunter which sends her travelling between her own dimension and another. All fun and games 😀
Behind it all is a man who has learned his true name and thus become almost all-powerful. For those of you who don’t know or remember, every person with magical abilities has three names – the name they were given(usually by their parents), the name they have chosen and their true name. By choosing a name you prevent anyone else from controlling you. By finding your true name, which is almost close to impossible, you tap into powers beyond one’s biggest imagination – you can even become a god. Valkyrie knows her true name which is another problem on its own but over the course of history we find out that no more than ten people found out theirs and they were a major problem or a disaster causing death and destruction in their wake.
So basically our favorite duo is again facing insurmountable odds and in all fairness, it is understandable that they get their asses kicked on every turn. Eventually they realize that to win they may need to fight fire with fire which means god against god. No normal human, or sorcerer for that matter, can take down the enemy alone. So here Darquesse comes to play.
I don’t know about you but apart from destroying the world part, I’m a big fan of Valkyrie’s alternative ego. She is powerful, no-bullshit-I’ll-break you kind of person and in this book we come to realize she is not as crazy as they make her – she doesn’t want to kill everybody, just those who threaten and annoy her. Let’s be honest – if you had her powers wouldn’t you too? Her only bad threat basically is that she doesn’t want to let Valkyrie have control.
All in all, with Kingdom of the Wicked you’ll get exactly what you’ll expect plus more. You’ll get fighting, unbelievable magic, mystery and even dimensional travel to alternative worlds. And the book reads so easily that I ate 600 pages like it was nothing. And now that Valkyrie is seventeen there is no trace of the childish feel of the story. It’s pure badassness and witty humor.
I’m giving the story 5/5 rating without a second thought. The whole series is a must-have and must-read and it would be entertaining for adults just as well as children.
What about you? What rating would you give? What are your thoughts and takes on Kingdom of the Wicked?