This review does not contain spoilers.
Arthur Penhaligon doesn’t expect to be a soldier—after all, he’s the Rightful Heir, he wields the first three powerful Keys to the Kingdom, and he has a broken leg. But when he returns to the House, determined to defeat the Morrow Days, there’s no escaping Sir Thursday’s inexorable plan. Forced into the Glorious Army of the Architect, Arthur is drafted to serve for a hundred long years.
Back home, a Spirit Eater has stolen Arthur’s place and is rapidly corrupting the minds of his family and friends. With Arthur gone, only Leaf can stop this sorcerous clone.
But will Leaf be in time? And how will Arthur find the next part of the Will, claim the fourth Key and defeat not only Sir Thursday but a marauding army of savage Nithlings?
This is, without a doubt, my favourite book so far in The Keys to the Kingdom series. For the first time, events on Earth do not stop in their tracks while Arthur is away, which means there’s a wonderful balance between Arthur’s adventures in the House and Leaf’s adventures on Earth.
For the first time in the entire series, I actually felt a twinge of worry for Arthur. This book steps so far away from the familiar formula that everything feels fresh and exciting. We finally get to see some key characters and the darker elements of the House in action.
While most villains in the House have been comically evil, Sir Thursday delivers two intimidating and complex characters. The Skinless Boy is a ruthless creation with truly frightening consequences. Sir Thursday himself is the most intimidating Trustee yet. It has become evident that all the Trustees’ fatal flaws have been enhanced by sorcery, yet Thursday’s wrath borders on being uncomfortably human.
As far as I’m concerned, Sir Thursday has surpassed all other books in this series; the story captivated me even more than Mister Monday. Now past the halfway point, I think that the somewhat rocky start is over and that Drowned Wednesday and Sir Thursday are an indicator of things to come. With ever-evolving tone and depth, the final three books in The Keys to the Kingdom should be a force to be reckoned with.