This review does not contain spoilers.
Sunday is not a day of rest for Arthur Penhaligon. He may have wrested the Sixth Key from Superior Saturday, but he has fallen from the Incomparable Gardens; fallen to somewhere entirely unexpected. Alone in enemy territory, Arthur must battle not only Lord Sunday—last of the Trustees, and most powerful Denizen in the house—but also himself, as his mind and body are transformed by the power of the Keys.
Meanwhile, Suzy Blue plots an escape from her prison in Saturdays’ tower, as battle rages above and below; Leaf has to cope with the aftermath of a nuclear strike; and the tide of Nothing continues its unstoppable surge through the House, destroying everything in its path …
I don’t know how to feel about this one. It let me in a daze and even now, when I’ve had time to collect my thoughts, I can’t decide whether it was a great ending or the most annoying thing I’d ever read.
This book feels much slower than Superior Saturday and I was constantly frustrated by the characters’ actions. Everyone’s trying to get Arthur on their side and yet they never once sit there and explain everything to him. Things may have turned out very differently if Arthur ever had the full story. But he didn’t, because why reveal big secrets when you could remain ambiguous and sit back as your world is being eaten by Nothing?
With Lord Sunday I returned to being bored by Arthur’s story and wanting to hear more about Leaf. She’s just more engaging than Arthur, even when she’s not near any of the action. I haven’t actually mentioned Suzy in any of my reviews, even though she’s one of the main characters. That probably says a lot about my love for Leaf as well. Sorry, not sorry.
The overall outcome was hinted at throughout the series, though very subtly. All the snippets of allegory came together in almost the way I expected, but not quite. I won’t say how it ended because it’s something you really have to read for yourself. It’s an ending of contradictions: a blockbuster finale and an underwhelming end; filled with limitless possibility yet too neatly tied up. Whichever way the scale tips, I can’t say that I was satisfied.
The Keys to the Kingdom series has been a rollercoaster of fantastic and mediocre books and I don’t know how else it could have ended. But I know that the ending doesn’t sit right with me. I wanted more action and a final book that lived up to the standouts of the series (Mister Monday, Sir Thursday, and Superior Saturday) but instead it was one of the not-quite-there instalments.
One day I will probably muster the energy to reread all these books and try and see everything objectively again. Until then, I’ll fondly remember the bits that thrilled and enchanted me and try not to dwell on the ending.