The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

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The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

Category: Teens
Rating: 4.5/5
Reviewer: Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Reviewed by Nigethan Sathiyalingam
Summary: Maleficent Seven might be relatively short, but it is still classic Derek Landy: lots of humour, scintillating dialogue, and plenty of well-written action scenes. Recommended to all fans of the series.
Buy? Yes Borrow? Yes
Pages: 288 Date: March 2013
Publisher: Harper Collins
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780007500925

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First off, The Maleficent Seven, while being a spin-off that isn't part of the main Skulduggery Pleasant series, is set after book 7 (Kingdom of the Wicked) so this review may contain spoilers for earlier books in the series. You have been warned.

The arrival of Darquesse, the sorcerer destined to destroy the civilised world, is on the horizon. For most people, the obliteration of billions of lives might be something to worry about. In times gone by, Tanith Low would've been on the forefront of the side of good, fighting to protect the world from Darquesse. But now that she has a Remnant bonded to her soul, her conscience has been erased and she has become one of the worst of the bad guys, and all she wants to do is to usher in the end of the world. There are four weapons with the power to kill gods, scattered around the world, and two teams desperately hunting them down. Tanith Low leads a group of dangerous villainous misfits determined to find the weapons and destroy them, and it is up to Dexter Vex, good friend of Skulduggery Pleasant, along with a team of renegade sorcerers, to find these weapons before the others.

I'm proud to admit that I'm a Minion, through and through. I'm a massive fan of the Skulduggery Pleasant series, and it certainly helps that Derek Landy continues to produce story after brilliant story, as this wonderful series shows no signs of slowing down. The series boasts a wide cast of great characters and a top notch plot with plenty of kickass action, bucket-loads of hilarity, and stunning twists. In particular, it is the beautifully realised central relationship between Skulduggery and Valkyrie, built on utmost trust, compassion and humour, that really makes these books stand out above the pack. Thus, it's a real testament to Derek Landy's superbly assured and creative world-building, that a spin-off story with no sign whatsoever of our favourite central pairing, turns out to be such a satisfying read.

While this is very much still classic Derek Landy – the dialogue is as witty and funny as ever and the fight scenes are typically exhilarating and brutal – The Maleficent Seven does feel different to the other books in the series. Much of the story follows events from the perspective of the villains, led by the Remnant-bound Tanith. While I did miss Tanith in the last few books, it is only when the story is told from her perspective that you really come to realise just how much she has changed. Tanith has always been highly skilled in combat, but she now has a much more vicious and calculating streak to her. While she seems to take an almost childish delight in building up her team of misfits, you're never left in doubt that she has become a cold-blooded killer who cares for nothing but her ultimate goal. The author also gives readers a few more hints about the nature of Remnants, which provide some interesting food for thought.

Kingdom of the Wicked ended on one doozy of a cliffhanger, and reading Maleficent Seven after that definitely feels like things have slowed down a little. While the context of the mission is very much serious, the scale of the action is a step down from some of the monumental fight scenes of book 6 and 7. I personally enjoyed this change of pace which harks back to some of the earlier books in the series. In fact, there's a real sense of the author just having a whole lot of fun throughout this book. There are plenty of interesting links drawn to previous books and past characters, but also some hilarious references to Harry Potter thrown in there, as well as one bit of dialogue referencing shows such as Gilmore Girls and Firefly, which could've been taken directly from Derek Landy's blog. There is unashamed hilarity on both sides, from the witty banter between the sorcerers making up Vex's team, to the slightly disturbing love triangle that forms within Tanith's group.

All in all, while the plot is relatively straightforward, Maleficent Seven is a succulently action-packed story that stands well on its own, while also making a fine addition to the series. It adds just a little bit more to the volatile chaos that is set to explode into all out war in book 8. August couldn't come faster!

Thank you to the publishers for sending a copy to The Bookbag.

If you're a fan of Skulduggery Pleasant, then you should definitely check out Eoin Colfer's highly entertaining Artemis Fowl series, if you haven't already. Colfer is another author who never writes without filling a generous quota of jokes per page, and The Lost Colony is among the best in the series. The Ring of Solomon is a prequel to Jonathan Stroud's excellent Bartimaeus Trilogy, a fantasy series with plenty of humour and colourful characters that also comes highly recommended by The Bookbag.

Derek Landy's Skulduggery Pleasant Books in Chronological Order

Buy The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy at Amazon.co.uk.


Buy The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy at Amazon.com.


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