‘Tanith Low in the Maleficent Seven’ by Derek Landy

This book is from Derek Landy’s world of Skulduggery Pleasant. This is a well written book. I’ve read all the other Skulduggery books, so I am familiar with the setting of the book. The storyline is a bit nuts: I like it. I read this book quickly. It has all the ingredients. It will, I’m sure, be another hit book for a writer who knows exactly how to create fantasy and adventure stories for kids my age.

The book’s full of cool characters who all have powers and abilities. The way the book is set up is great. It is told from a crazy bad girl’s perspective. This makes the story better. The magic in the book feels real, as it does in Landy’s other books.

The book is about an English woman named Tanith Low who is usually a good character, but here she has been possessed by a ghost thing which wants the world to burn. To help her, she recruits a team of seven people who all have weird talents (some are in the other Skulduggery books like Black Annis, Sabine and Springheeled Jack). They are called the Malificent Seven. They are kind of the opposite of the good guys.

There are good guys. They are the Magnificent Seven, another group put together and led by Dexter Vex, an energy thrower.

Tanith’s goal is to find four God-Killer level weapons and destroy them. Why? Because her ultimate objective is to unleash a god (Darquesse) who also wants the world to burn. Darquesse can’t be killed very easily – only with these weapons. Tanith is willing to do anything to achieve her goal. Dexter is the same. The difference is, he wants to keep them, not destroy them.

The Malificent Seven agree a plant that uses their particular skills and abilities. Dexter Vex finds out about the plan and race to stop Tanith. Tanith also can’t trust her own team and has to stay ahead of all their scheming. Who will emerge triumphant? There’s a lot going on the book. Tanith has to work hard to stay ahead. I don’t want to give away too many spoilers as for a Skulduggery book, it’s a simple enough story.

Tanith is a great character. I’d happily read more books about her. She is a great baddie with skills in fighting, scheming and plotting! The book tells you she was trained as an assassin.

The book is full of adventure, action and funny bits. You can’t help reading it all once you start. It’s not a long book for a Derek Landy story, so I read it quick. I am not sure I’d have enjoyed the book without knowing the Skulduggery world first – so read the other books!

Review by Finn Buck

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‘Skulduggery Pleasant’ by Derek Landy

This is a brilliant, action-packed, fantasy book. Derek Landy pulls you in and traps you in this book’s claws. I recommend it to kids who like magic, action and danger, as this book is full of these. The book has great characters and it is even quite funny for what is. Well, the story is about a 12 year old girl called Stephanie Edgly. She is a bit bored with her life, then her Uncle Gordon dies. She inherits his big house and everything in it. But an old friend of Gordon’s turns up at the funeral – his name is Skulduggery Pleasant. He saves her life while she’s home alone at her uncle’s house and somebody (a mystery man!) tries to kill her. She finds out Skulduggery is a skeleton and that there is a whole world of magic out there. Soon she is tied up in that world. There people have to take a name to stop other people from controlling them, so Stephanie becomes Valkyrie Cain. Here’s the plot. A man, Nefarian Serpine, has taken the Sceptre of the Ancients, which has extraordinary power – it can kill gods (the Faceless Ones), making him almost unstoppable. Valkyrie and Skulduggery are the only ones who can stop him from controlling the world (with a little help from friends in small places). They also want to solve her Uncle’s murder. I don’t want to spoil the rest of it for you. This is the first in a series of books (there are ten at the moment). I recommend them all; I’d read them again!

Review by 12 year old Finn Buck

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