Author: Garth Nix
Series: Keys to the Kingdom (book 4)
Publisher: Harper Collins Children's Books
Release Date: 6 Mar 2006
Get ready for more brilliant page-turning fantasy from master, Garth Nix. On the fourth day there was war! Pick up with Arthur Penhaligon as his Keys to the Kingdom adventures continue in the mysterious House.
Following their adventures in the Border Sea, Arthur and Leaf head for home. But only Leaf gets through the Front Door. Arthur is blocked because someone – or something – has assumed his identity and is taking over his life.
Before Arthur can take action, he is drafted by Sir Thursday and forced to join the Glorious Army of the Architect. The Army has its headquarters in the Great Maze, a defensive area of the House. Half of the Maze has already been dissolved by Nothing, and hordes of Nithlings emerge regularly to attack the rest. If the Nithling invasion can overcome the Army and the Great Maze, the House will be lost and the whole universe with it.
While Leaf tries to banish Arthur's doppelgänger on earth, Arthur must survive his basic training, avoid getting posted to the Front and work out how he can free Part Four of the Will and gain the Fourth Key from Sir Thursday. If the latest, strongest and most dangerous Nithling offensive doesn't break through first…
After struggling a bit with book 3 I wasn't sure what I was going to get from this one, I didn't remember ever having read this one so I was coming to it fresh. But I was pleased to find that some of the magic was back, I found myself racing through it. I kept saying I would put it down and get on with other things then another hour would pass and I still hadn't moved.
I ended up having to put it down so I could get some sleep, but I picked it up again as soon as i could today to finish it.
Arthur is stuck in the house as a creature of Nothing has taken his place back in our world, Leaf leaves to try to stop him, but she has to be careful, one touch from the creature could mean she loses control and he could take over. Meanwhile Arthur is drafted into Sir Thursdays, whether by accident or by deliberate plot, but with a 100 year service hanging over him he needs to find a way to escape and free the fourth part of the will and get the next key all without losing anymore of his mortality.
I liked the whole army setting, it was well created and I felt myself pulled in, once in the army Arthur meets Fred, a fellow recruit and they strike up a friendship and try to help each other out.
I found Leaf's storyline quite exciting, it's very fast paced and you can feel her desperation and urgency, it flows through the pages and has you gripping the edge of your seat hoping she succeeds.
This one felt a lot more thought out than the last and made me excited about the series again.