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"The seventh installment in Derek Landy’s Skulduggery Pleasant series, the biggest, funniest, most thrilling comedy-horror-adventure series in the universe…"
— The Skulduggery Pleasant US website.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked

Kingdom of the Wicked Front Cover

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Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked
Author Derek Landy
Cover Artist Tom Percival
Date Published 24 July 2012 (Australia, hardback),

30 August 2012 (worldwide, hardback), 28 February 2013 (paperback)

Date Set In April/May 2012
Publisher HaperCollins
No. of pages 607
ISBN 978-0007480227
Publication Order
Preceded by
Death Bringer
Followed by
Last Stand of Dead Men

Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom of the Wicked[1] is the seventh book in the series, the title of which was announced to the public in March 2012. It was released in September 2012, and will begin the final trilogy of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, the Darquesse trilogy.[2] Derek Landy announced on his blog that he has finished the book and that the book has around 134,729 words.[3][4] The cover was released on Friday, 25 May.[5] The first chapter was released early, linked on the official website.[6] Kingdom of the Wicked was officially released in Australia on the 24th of July in 2012.

Official Synopsis

"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…"

— Synopsis on the Skulduggery Pleasant Website

Plot

This section is currently unfinished. Please be patient.

The book begins with four teenagers: Kitana, Doran, Elsie and Sean. They suddenly developed magical powers with no explanation, after previously living normal lives. While practising them carelessly on a roof, they are found by a discovered called Patrick Xebec who is agitated at their reckless attitudes. He begins to report them to the Irish Sanctuary, but — not wanting the 'magical police' to find them — Doran and Kitana murder him.

The four are not the only mortals to gain magical powers overnight. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are tasked with finding and bringing in any supernatural mortals, witnessing several unnerving events such as a man who is able to fly and a werewolf (which has been extinct since the 19th century) named Ed Stynes. The werewolf tells Skulduggery that he was given the powers in a dream by a man called Argeddion. As a result of the influx of magic, Quintin Strom and Bernard Sult (representing the Supreme Council) pressure the Irish Sanctuary into accepting 'help' after too many crises that put the world at risk. While this is occurring, Eliza Scorn requests the help of Christophe Nocturnal — the leader of the American Church of the Faceless — to merge the American church with the Irish church. He replies that as the American church is much bigger, the Irish church must instead be merged into the American one.

Skulduggery and Valkyrie research the location of Argeddion. They meet Greta Dapple, a woman who Argeddion used to date. She tells them that Argeddion used to be called Walden D'Essai: a pacifist whose greatest wish was to discover his True Name. After discovering it was Argeddion, he talked about an approaching event called 'The Summer of Light'. However, he soon disappeared and the event never occurred.

Asking the Irish Elders for help, they find that Walden D'Essai was handed over to detective Tyren Lament to ensure Argeddion could never use his powers. Deciding to find Silas Nadir — a serial killer and one of the last arrested by Tyren Lament — Skulduggery and Valkyrie travel to Hammer Lane Gaol (ran by warden Delafonte Mien), hoping to question the serial killer about Lament's work.

Mien states that since his foolproof security system was created, no prison breaks have occurred. He details how the prison is shifted through eight different dimensions per second, meaning that any escapee would be torn to shreds. After inquiring about Silas Nadir, Mien nervously states that Nadir died of a heart attack years ago. Skulduggery eventually works out that Nadir is still alive, being forced to shift the prison through the dimensions using his ability to 'shunt' through dimensions.

After a prison riot occurs, Valkyrie is separated form Skulduggery and is forced to run alone through the hordes of prisoners. After almost being killed by a man called Hutchinson, she manages to stab him and crawl on, leaving him to be killed by the prisoners. Finding the basement, she and Skulduggery come across Silas Nadir strapped to the machine responsible for making the prison travel through different dimensions. After unhooking him, he attacks Valkyrie and grabs her arm, but he is quickly removed and detained for questioning. He provides them with names of Lament's group, who are all — (coincidentally) missing and presumed dead.

Soon after, Valkyrie is attacked by an old lady in a coffee shop, but Tanith Low intervenes and kills the woman. She informs Valkyrie that she and Billy-Ray Sanguine have returned from America and that the woman was sent by Christophe Nocturnal. After finding a murder victim from the four unstable mortals, Michael Delaney, Skulduggery and Valkyrie return to the Sanctuary. Valkyrie sees Christophe Nocturnal trying to run from a Cleaver, but the people of Roarhaven attack him and the Cleaver arrests him. Skulduggery realises that Lament and his group aren't dead, but guarding Argeddion so that he doesn't use his powers. Skulduggery works out that in order to transport something big enough to contain Argeddion, they will have to have used a freight company, most likely the company owned by Arthur Dagan. Remembering Dagan from the previous year, they decide that Valkyrie should talk to his son, Hansard Kray, and ask for information.

After boarding a train and speaking to Hansard, Valkyrie learns that Tyren Lament and his team had some cargo delivered to a location in the Alps, where Skulduggery and Valkyrie decide to set off to. Meanwhile, Eliza Scorn has enlisted the help of Tanith Low and orders her to murder Christophe Nocturnal in his cell, so all the people from his Church of the Faceless can be dissolved into hers. Tanith swiftly kills him and takes her leave. Later, after visiting Patrick Xebec's wife, Valkyrie starts to feel her arm hurt in the place Silas Nadir grabbed her. She is then 'shunted' into another dimension, with different surroundings. Everyone he wears brown and is scared of talking to others. Valkyrie sees sensitives patrolling the road, surrounded by Cleavers dressed in red. A man nearby tells her that the sensitives are called Sense-Wardens, and the Cleavers are Redhoods. Valkyrie and the man are then attacked by Redhoods,with Valkyrie mentally attacking the Sense-Wardens and escaping, but the man is killed. Running along the rooftops, she meets Alexander Remit, a Teleporter who attempts to arrest her. She fights him off but is re-shunted back into her original universe but not before she hears Remit say that Mevolent rules this dimension. Meanwhile Scapegrace and Thrasher meet with Clarabelle. She is so relieved to see them as she thought that the White Cleaver had killed them. They go to the Dr. Nye who agrees to help them for a price.

Scapegrace had put the White Cleaver back together and offered that. Nye accepts and takes the White Cleaver's corpse to be its assistant. Meanwhile Ghastly makes some special clothing items for Valkyrie as Skulduggery and Valkyrie are jumping from an aeroplane into the Alps. After Valkyrie and Skulduggery fight a Yeti they find Kalvin. He runs away but they catch up with him. He tells them where Lament is and that he will not be pleased to see them. Lament does not allow them to see Argeddion. Then they meet a blond haired girl named Lenka. She is so excited and hugs Valkyrie madly. In the morning she had a nice breakfast with Lenka. She leaves Lenka and meets up with Lament with Skulduggery. He agrees to show them Argeddion.They find that the prison he is contained in, the Cube when powered by the Accelerator could imprison Darquesse if she is released again, and they hatch a plan to contain Darquesse in the Accelerator.

Meanwhile, Doran, Kitana, Sean and Elsie go to Doran's house and find Doran's older brother, Tommy, and Doran kills him for being a bully to him. Seeing that their immense power is causing them to have a change of thoughts, Elsie leaves the others because she would rather be at home with her family then hanging with her friends. After the murder, Valkyrie and Geoffrey Scrutinous question Doran about the murder and Valkyrie suspects he is involved with Tommy's death. When they follow Doran to a coffee shop, Skulduggery follows him in. Not long after, Skulduggery is shot through the front window inside and Kitana blasts the car Valkyrie is in, and when Skulduggery tries to shoot them, the bullets ricochet off a shield they just learned to make. Skulduggery and Valkyrie try to run but Kitana shoots a blast of energy at Skulduggery, and he collapses. Mad, Valkyrie attempts to stop them, but she fails and they break her lungs and ribs but she is saved by Skulduggery. They escape but Valkyrie loses her jacket in the fight to Kitana.

On the way home Valkyrie meets Carol, her cousin and they a frank talk about life, magic and the future. Nye makes progress with her patients, Scapegrace gets a woman's body attached to his head and is quite embarrassed by it while Sanguine is refurnished with a very muscular body appealing him and thanks Doctor Nye who further gains the brains and the remainder of the White Cleavers body, this is discovered by Valkyrie later in the book but she keeps quite about the whole ordeal. The Sanctuary develops a plan to get back the Scepter of the Ancients in order to erase Argiddeon from existence.  Upon Argiddeons return he threatens to eliminate all his experimental geniuses as he observes them massacring a large number of people and to conclude he steals the souls of a few of his test subjects which threatens Kitana and her squad. Taking advantage of the situation, Skulduggery and Valkyrie enlist them to help them in order to imprison Argiddeon. Hesitantly, they agree and get enough power supercharged into them to kill of Argiddeon. During these past events, Valkyrie is shunted twice over into the parallel dimension i.e. 'The Kingdom of The Wicked' The first she meets an official and extracts information regarding the location of Argiddeon's mom's murdered in order to earn the three words he said but is dismayed upon finding him at the 18 Mount Temple Palace because the words were 'I'm Sorry' which makes no sense. Skulduggery devIses that they have fallen into Argiddeon's trap as he wanted them to do exactly that but later come up with a new plan about retrieving the Scpeter of the Ancients/ The second time Valkyrie is shunted, she, with the help of Nefarian Serpine who has a fallout with Mevolent due to his exist worship of the Faceless Ones rescue her reflection and manage to fight off the Mevolent's horde successfully and escape with the Sceptre only to see China (from the alternate dimension) hijack them. Valkyrie transports to her reality mistaking that the Scepter was lost in the 'Kingdom of Wicked'. Her reflection grabs the Scepter and scurries without anyone realizing. The Grand Mage from the global community threatens Ghastly and Raven that they will be dissolving the community because f the incapabilities shown by the council but Raven and Ghastly temporarily subdue the outbreak by securing the grand mage until things become cool.

Kitana executes Greta Dapple, thus weakening Argeddion's morale and the entire Sanctuary attack him with the combined power of the discs and manage to make him unconscious only for Kitana to reveal her true colours and turn on them. Skulduggery and Valkyrie bring out Lord Vile and Darquesse respectively and beat the hell out of Kitana and her crew who actually regret getting magic but continue to taunt Darquesse only to be shunted back again. Mevolent almost decapitates Darqusese when both indulge in a legendary battle but Darquesse manage to trick him and escape. Lord Vile and Darquesse once again, head against each other when Skulduggery returns to his senses and rolls out a rhythmic light presentation which induces a change in Valkyrie who returns to her true self. The Grand Mage is released and agrees to a truce only to be killed later by Tanith low who runs away with Sanguine. Skulduggery, Valkyrie and the Council of Elders prepare for a global scale unsanctioned war between the sanctuaries due to Tanith's execution of the grand Mage. In the epilogue, Valkyrie's reflection murders Carol after hiring her reflection to take on Carol's identity and refrin from interacting with Valkyrie. She hopes to murder Valkyrie and take her rightful place in the Edgley family, a place he much deserves and is fond of by murdering her true self. 

Chapter List

Character List


Trivia

  • It was nominated for Senior Irish Children's book award in 2012.

References

  1. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: Book 7
  2. Amazon.com
  3. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: Mmmmm Violence...
  4. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: TV and Me
  5. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: This Is Awesome...
  6. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: Chapter One
  7. Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress: Ireland/UK Tour
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