Book: Skulduggery Pleasant (Scepter of the Ancients)
Author: Derek Landy
Pages: 398 (Paperback)
Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Mystery / Adventure
Age Recommendation: 12+
Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
“There’s no such thing as winning or losing. There is won and lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for”
Skulduggery Pleasant is a series of books written by author Derek Landy. The first was released in 2007, the final and ninth book is released on 28th August 2014. The first book is known simply as Skulduggery Pleasant or more recently as Skulduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients. This book follows the life of 12 year old Stephanie Edgely. She is tired of her boring life until a man breaks into her recently deceased uncle’s home and attempts to kill her. Stephanie is rescued by an arrogant, 400 and something year old skeleton detective called Skulduggery Pleasant. At this point, she is thrown into a life of danger and magic as she teams up with Skulduggery to unravel the cause of her uncles death and much more.
Skulduggery Pleasant is another book I was introduced to back in the Hampshire Book Awards in 2008.UnlikeMaximum Ride however, this book did win and I was lucky enough to meet the author Derek Landy, attend one of his talks about the book and have my copy signed. I think this might be part of the reason why I love the series so much – the author is brilliant. He is not only an amazing writer who can destroy your soul and make you cry with laughter all in one book… but he is absolutely crazy. I’m sure Derek Landy would love it if I continued to talk about his greatness for the rest of the post but there’s obviously more to it than his madness. [See Derek’s blog here: http://dereklandy.blogspot.co.uk/]
Since the beginning I have been hooked on these books. I’ve even had a few more copies signed since because I love them so much, but it has really helped that I have grown up with the characters. In most stores you will find Skulduggery Pleasant in the children’s section which makes sense, in this book Stephanie is 12 years old. I was 13 when I read this book and since then I have aged with the character. This means that as I aged the content of the books was also starting to change to appeal to a slightly older audience. I guess what I am trying to say is I would recommend this first book to a 12 year old but I would not recommend the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th books to a 12 year old because it becomes more complex.
Skulduggery Pleasant is a little tricky to keep up with. It includes different types of magic, vampires, werewolves, gods, warlocks etc. (It’s pretty handy if you try and read them all one after another). Chapters also change point of view occasionally however this is pretty easy to keep up with once you’ve learnt who the characters are. Aside from how complex some of it can be, the characters the story follows are brilliant. Stephanie is witty and intelligent and will make you pretty jealous of her far-from-average life and Skulduggery is extremely confident and very funny for a skeleton detective… If I’m honest, most of the characters are extremely lovable.
The story is also brilliant. It is just what you want from a book – it is pure entertainment and perfect escapism from everyday life. I’d definitely recommend it if you like fantasy stories with prophecies, different dimensions and teleporting. Its romance sub-plot is extremely limited as well so there’s not really a great deal of romance to keep up with which is plus in this book. Not to forget – it is so exciting. This August really will be the end of an era for me.