If you have enjoyed the first two books in The Kingdom to the Keys series, hang on to your hats! Book three steps up a notch in excitement and comedy, exploring yet another vice and realm hidden within the House.
Nix has moved into the challenges of pirates, monsters, missing friends and tales of the high seas with this episode in the complicated life of Arthur Penhaligon.
By now, readers will be accustomed to the bizarre events and will think nothing of a hospital room filling with water and turning into the menacing Border Sea complete with sailing ships, but this is just the starting point for the story.
As Nix has taken a sidestep in location, he has also done so in his writing style, not being as succinct as in previous works and sometimes giving the impression that he was not sure where he was going. Having said that, the story hangs together well with storms, monsters, pirates and explanations of some elements of the whole story that will get the reader wondering whether Arthur is being told the whole truth. The inclusion of a new character, Leaf, based in Arthur’s original world, gives him a tether and also bonds his two realities tightly together.
The intent and truthfulness of the Will, the Trustees, and, in fact, Arthur’s role in the survival of his realms, is quietly insinuated throughout the tale as he begins to take charge of his own destiny and sets the stage for further character development and quests to come.
I must admit, I took my time reading this book, knowing that the next will not be available until July and look forward to continuing the journey when I am able.
Reviewed by Leanne Caune
Rating out of 10: 9
Distributed by: Allen & Unwin
Re-released: March 2018
RRP: $ 16.99