Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix Review

Scholastic, March, 2005
Hardcover, 389 pages
ISBN: 0439700868
Ages 9 and up

Drowned Wednesday by Garth Nix

Arthur Penhaligon is flat on his back in a hospital bed with a painful broken leg and the aftereffects of a rather bad asthma attack. After his adventures defeating Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday, he knows that it won't be long before he is swept back into the alternate dimension known as the House, where he must confront Lady Wednesday. After all, the Will has declared him to be the Rightful Heir and he has conquered two of the realms of the House. But Lady Wednesday surprises Arthur by sending him an invitation to tea on Wednesday, which happens to be today. He's not sure how he's supposed to get there with a broken leg. But when his good friend Leaf shows up to visit, suddenly his room is in the middle of a large sea and the hospital bed is their raft. Leaf is found and taken onto a ship called the Flying Mantis, while Arthur is left adrift on the Border Sea wondering if he'll meet Lady Wednesday (she's been turned into a ravenous whale, by the way). Not to worry, soon he's picked up by pirates and hurled headlong onto a high-seas adventure full of danger, magic and thrills.

This third book takes "The Keys to the Kingdom" series to an entirely new level. Australian author Garth Nix is one of the most inventive and talented young adult authors writing today. He apparently has an inexhaustible trove of inventive ideas that he draws on at will. Heaven knows what will happen to Arthur on Thursday (the hair-raising last scene gives a bit of a clue), but whatever happens, Nix's legions of fans will be there.

--Claire E. White

Ordering information: Amazon.com

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