by Garth Nix, narrated by Allan Corduner
New York: Listening Library, 2007.
As the fifth in the Keys to the Kingdom series, there are necessarily **spoilers** for the earlier titles.
Arthur Penhaligon is fresh from his triumph in the Great Maze, taking control of the fourth Key and fighting the Piper and his band of New Niths. He received a missive from Lady Friday saying that she has abdicated, leaving the Will and the fifth Key for Superior Saturday, the Piper, and Arthur to duke it out. Arthur must continue on his journey to take control of the keys, all the while trying to use as little sorcery as possible so that he can stay human, and trying to figure out if he can trust his old friend, Suzy Turquoise Blue, since the Piper could potentially control her actions.
Looking back on my reading log, I realized that I had only read the book before and had never listened to the audio. So this was a reread but a first-time listen for me, though I had forgotten most of the story since. Allan Corduner narrates these stories pitch perfectly, and I was initially surprised that I had remembered not liking the book as much as the others. The story moves along at a steady clip, Arthur's struggle to do the right thing while avoiding becoming a Denizen is compelling, and then I got to the end and realized why I had liked it less than the others. For the most part, this is an excellent book but the ending fell rather flat for me. Still, I have Superior Saturday at the ready, and I'm looking forward to finishing the series with the two books that I have never read.