Sunday, March 28, 2010

Review - Lord Sunday

Lord Sunday (The Keys To The Kingdom)The tide of Nothing rises, and the House is coming to its end...


This is more or less what you need to know about Lord Sunday, the stunning conclusion to Garth Nix's Keys to the Kingdom series. That, and that Arthur Penhaligon can possibly save the whole universe if he recovers the Seventh Key Lord Sunday. To do that, he has to free The Seventh Part of the Will of the Architect.

Initial thoughts on the book? Okay, so I had to read it with an Austrailian accent in my head every time I had trouble getting into it, but that wore off very quickly once the pace had been discovered again. The plot fits in well, up until the ending, which I felt was a bit of a let-down. Not entirely bad, but it could have been written better. It served its purpose though, and that was to successfully conclude the bestselling series.

How does it fit with the other books in the series? Considering it begins exactly where Superior Saturday left off, quite well. In fact, each of the books does this, and by successfully linking with each other, the seven book series can almost be read as one book, in seven volumes. The template for the books is the same throughout too - find the Will, get the Key, put the Trustee in his place. More or less.

Major themes explored... please? From my own experience, a question along the lines of "So what's your book about?" must have been asked of Nix at some stage by a curious friend, family member or acquintance. If I might interject and answer for him, it's a tale of epic proportions, demonstrating the problems with ultimate power, infused with Christian idiologies.

Each of the books demonstrates a Deadly Sin from Christian Theology. Mister Monday shows the title character as a lazy being of power, a victim of sloth. In Grim Tuesday we meet a man who aims to take much more than he aught to have - greed. The Trustee of Drowned Wednesday is a glutton, eating everything she can, while just ahead of her, in Sir Thursday, a wrath-filled general wages war against a being from a nursery rhyme. The vain mistress of Lady Friday brings us into the darker parts of the tale as far as Earth is concerned, while the green-eyed antogonist of Superior Saturday wishes to steal all the power she can within the House - you guessed it, envy. Then we meet Lord Sunday, a being of such unwavering pride that he refuses to help fight the tide of Nothing in the House, until it would destroy him too.

These are contrasted with the seven virtues of Christianity, found in the Parts of the Will. There's not much point listing them, as some are difficult to tell from the others within the book - the Sins are better seen in the Trustees than the virtues are.

Then there's the ending, which I won't spoil. I'll just say this - you can tell Nix is a Christian.

What's it most like? If I'm to ignore the fact that it's a series book, I would say the ending most resembles Hell's Heroes by Darren Shan. (see the Reviews page for a link) You'll understand when you've read them both. Which you really should.

Overall opinion? Fantastic! Nix should be proud to have created such a gripping tale. Aside from the times when I had to prepare food or use both of my hands for something else, I couldn't put it down. Literally, from... I'd say half ten, but it was probably later than that, to eight, or a bit earlier, I was reading it, with my lunch and dinner in between, and a number of chores. Not many books can get me to do that.

Now, why are you still reading this review? Go get the book! (though you should start with Mister Monday, or you'll be a bit lost as to what's going on.)


Kate Coombs said...

Wow, I had no idea about the 7 deadly sins themes, and I've read the other 6 and just bought this one. Thanks for enlightening me!

Paul Carroll said...

Hi Kate,

Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I had noticed the 7 Deadly Sins when I read Mister Monday, but it wasn't until I got onto the Garth Nix forums that I really thought about it.

Hope you enjoy Lord Sunday!

Anonymous said...

Hi my name is nathan, and I found your review while doing a random google search. I must admit, find that your review pretty well sums up the book( I liked the "Steve Irwin" esque read through as well, ill have to try that).
Just one question though, I dont see how the ending is related to christianity. While yes he uses a lot of chrisitan themes in the story I just dont see how the ending is related to that motiff.

besides that, Excellent review I now have a new site to bookmark!!