Skulduggery Pleasant (series)
|Country||Republic of Ireland|
|Genre||Fantasy, Children's literature , Teenage Fiction , Horror|
|Published||Skulduggery Pleasant (2007)
Playing With Fire (2008)
The Faceless Ones (2009)
Dark Days (2010)
Mortal Coil (2010)
Death Bringer (2011)
Kingdom of the Wicked (2012)
Last Stand of Dead Men (2013)
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)
Skulduggery Pleasant is a series of fantasy novels written by Irish author Derek Landy. The books chronicle the adventures of the skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant and a teenage girl, Stephanie Edgley (Valkyrie Cain) along with other friends. The central story arc concerns Valkyrie's struggle to stop evil forces threatening the world, finally find justice for her late uncle's death, and her internal struggle of keeping the darkness within her to stay within.
Since the release of the first novel, Skulduggery Pleasant, the series has been praised by both readers and critics.
The second novel, Playing With Fire, was released the following year, and the third, The Faceless Ones, in 2009. On 1 April 2010 the fourth book Dark Days was released, followed by Mortal Coil on 1 September 2010. Death Bringer, the sixth book, was released on 1 September the following year. A novella titled The End of the World was released on 26 February 2012, to coincide with World Book Day, and the seventh book in the series, titled Kingdom of the Wicked, was released in Australia and New Zealand on 24 July 2012, and the UK on the 30 of August.
Landy was initially contracted to write three books, with any further books depending on how well the first trilogy sold. The success of the first novels ensured that the deal was extended first to six books and in 2011, HarperCollins signed the deal for the final trilogy.
The unabridged audio versions of the books are available from Harper Collins Audio and the first four are read by Rupert Degas. Number five is read by Brian Bowles, six, seven and eight are read by Stephen Hogan.
- 1 Novels
- 2 Short stories
- 3 Novellas
- 4 New covers
- 5 Awards
- 6 Reviews and reception
- 7 Film adaptations
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Stephanie Edgely had once been a normal girl though following the death of her uncle, Gordon Edgely, Stephanie’s life had fully changed. Approached by a fire throwing, skeleton-detective named Skulduggery Pleasant, Stephanie takes on her own sorcerer name of Valkyrie Cain and assists Skulduggery in solving the murder of her uncle Gordon. Though when the signs lead to Skulduggery’s nemesis, Nefarian Serpine, and the notorious Sceptre of the Ancients, Valkyrie and Skulduggery are lead on a dangerous mystery of your face might not end as planned.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Playing With Fire
Valkyrie Cain and Skulduggery Pleasant return as the villainous Baron Vengeous escapes from prison to hatch a plan involving the rebirth of the Grotesquery. The Grotesquery, a dark creature formed from the limbs of the Faceless Ones, is a creature loyal to Vengeous himself. With the Armour of the Necromancer Vengeous will be able to bring him back. An army of vampires by his side, Vengeous seems unstoppable though Skulduggery and Valkyrie still have some tricks up their sleeves.
Skulduggery Pleasant: The Faceless Ones
A string of murderers involving the world’s final Teleporters leads to the return of the Faceless Ones once again. A team named the Diablerie are planning to use the Earth’s final Teleporter to open a gateway into the realm of the Faceless Ones and bring the evil gods back to the world. With information from the old Sea Hag and the assistance of the Teleporter, Fletcher Renn, Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain seek a way to prevent the return of the dark gods. Though what will happen when the Faceless Ones return shall change Skulduggery and Valkyrie’s world forever.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Dark Days
To save Skulduggery Pleasant from the world of the Faceless Ones, Valkyrie Cain must learn the art of Necromancy. Once the Skeleton Detective has been saved, Valkyrie and Skulduggery are met by a new mission: to defeat the Revengers Club. The Revengers Club, being made up of petty criminals such as Dreylan Scarab, Billy Ray Sanguine, Dusk, Springheeled Jack, Detective Crux and Vaurien Scapegrace, plan to take the ultimate revenge involving the mysterious Desolation Engine. On top of all this, the Sensitives are having visions of a dark messiah, Darquesse.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Mortal Coil
Learning her true name is that of the evil sorcerer, Darquesse, Valkyrie Cain seals her name with the help of Doctor Nye. However, Valkyrie has other problems as she and Skulduggery have to beat a new enemy – the Remnants, shadow-like creatures who latch onto people and change them into dark, vicious murderers. To stop their reign of terror, Skulduggery, Valkyrie and the survivors must find the key to the Giant Soul Catcher and lure the Remnants there. The only thing is that the Remnants are after Darquesse...
Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer
Melancholia St. Clair has taken the role of the Death Bringer and is willing to lead the Necromancers to their destiny. The Necromancer’s plan however is unknown to everyone and anyone who doesn’t serve the Necromancers and their temple. The Death Bringer is supposed to break the wall between life and death and begin the Passage. To defeat the Death Bringer however will need the Necromancer’s true messiah Lord Vile. Lord Vile is nowhere to be found however, as Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are about to learn an ancient secret that can change the chain of events.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Kingdom Of The Wicked
Magic is somehow spreading through the mortal world, infecting regular men, women and children. These actions are leading to one man and one man only. His name is Argeddion and his plan of an improved world is infecting the globe. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain must find a way to defeat this god-like sorcerer. Though Valkyrie’s frequent trips to another dimension where Mevolent is king might hold the answers to their problems. And then there are the three infected teens; Doran, Sean and Kitana, who plan to make everything more difficult.
Paperback Short Stories
The paperback releases of four of the eight novels so far have included an extra short story at the end.
- Skulduggery Pleasant included The Lost Art of World Domination
- Playing with Fire included Gold, Babies And The Brothers Muldoon,
- The Faceless Ones included The Slightly Ignominious End to The Legend Of Black Annis
- Mortal Coil included The Wonderful Adventures of Geoffrey Scrutinous.
These four stories will be published in the Untitled Short Story Collection in 2014.
As part of a competition, a short story was written in 2011 with the winning entry featuring as a character. Some European editions of Mortal Coil contained this story. It was re-released in the tour edition of the 2012 Australian Tour edition.
Trick or Treat
In October 2011, Derek Landy posted a Halloween special, a short story featuring Tanith Low and Billy-Ray Sanguine and titled Trick or Treat, on his blog. It is a prelude to The Maleficent Seven as it deals with The God-Killer Weapons.
Derek Landy announced on 14 December that available on his blog from 21–22 December 2012, would be a short story relating to the Mayan 2012 apocalypse theory. It is called "The Button" and feat it. It will be included in the short story collection. ...
The End of the World
In June 2011 Landy posted on his blog  that he would be writing a short story about Skulduggery called The End of the World. It was released in late February 2012 to coincide with World Book Day 2012. The Australian release of this novella came with an additional short story titled Just Another Friday Night. Deleted scenes from Skulduggery Pleasant were included. It is set a few months after Book 6. It will be included in the short story collection.
Tanith Low in... The Maleficent Seven
A novella featuring Tanith Low was published in 2013. The cover and title were released on 7 December 2012 after several delays. Landy stated it was his favourite book cover ever. The blog post revealing the cover and title is available here: http://dereklandy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/the-maleficent-seven.html. It was released on 28th March 2013 in the U.K & Ireland and 1st April in some other countries. The novella follows Tanith Low and Billy-Ray Sanguine as they form a team of evil villains to find the hidden God-Killer Weapons across the world as all round hero, Dexter Vex tries foiling the Remnant Tanith's plans.
Due to be published in early 2014, this will contain all of the previous short stories in the series, as well as many new ones.
Skulduggery Pleasant: Book 9
This will be the ninth and final book in the series due to come out sometime in 2014. The novel will follow the vision seen in 'Dark Days' of Valkyrie as Darquesse in a world of darkness and death.
As of October 2010, a series of new covers have been released. The first book's cover is more or less the back cover of the normal cover. The second cover is gold, the third is purple, the fourth is red, the fifth is green, the sixth is dark blue & the seventh is silver. The new mass market paperback edition covers all feature Skulduggery on the front and Valkyrie on the back. The new covers can be viewed at Waterstones.com. Some were released with a short story set a few months after the plot of the novel. Landy has said on his blog that these stories will be gradually removed from the reprints of the books and instead published in a collection of short stories in early 2014.
Skulduggery Pleasant won the Red House Children's Book Award, the Bolton Children's Book Award and the Staffordshire Young Teen Fiction Award. The book was also recommended for confident readers (9+) by the Richard & Judy Children's Book Club in 2007. It also won the Portsmouth Book Awards in 2008, having been selected by school children in Portsmouth, as well as winning Irish book of the decade in 2010. Also, in 2009, it won the Kernow Youth and Grampian Book Awards by a majority vote. It had also been nominated for Young Reader's Choice Awards 2010 in North America and it won Irish book awards in 2009 and 2010
Reviews and reception
As the first four novels released, immense popularity and positive reviews have been given to the novels. Many critics praised Derek Landy's way of writing due to his large gallery of characters. Some critics and their comments are below:
- Phillip Ardagh (The Guardian):
- It's exciting, pacy, nicely handled and it's fun. There's nothing worthy about it, and it's all the better for that. And, I might add, it's self-contained. Landy may well revisit these characters – I sincerely hope he does – but it's a pleasingly rounded tale, which is refreshing in these days of endless open-ended books of never-ending series.
- Nathan Nicholls (Whitby Gazette):
- There is no expense spared by Landy in this book and I would have to say that everyone who could be bothered to read it, would definitely be drawn into it and certainly enjoy it. (…) Something for everyone and everything for someone, Skulduggery Pleasant is easily my book of the year so far. Read it!
- Christina Hardyment (The Independent):
- Landy is an established horror writer, and the combats between Skulduggery, Serpine and his legions of Hollow Men and vampires rival the climaxes of the Potter films for hair-raising effects; it isn't often that writing makes you feel as if you are watching a film.
- Derek Landy’s debut, Skulduggery Pleasant (…) has a distinctly Horowitzian humour and verve to it, being a detective story featuring a wizard’s skeleton as hero. When Stephanie’s uncle dies, she discovers his horror stories weren’t fiction, and that evil forces are after her for a mysterious key. Wisecracking madly, the duo must survive each other as well as Hell. At the end of it, readers of 12+ may well be regretting their consumption of chocolate eggs.
The immense popularity and extremely positive reviews of the first three novels have caught the attention of people worldwide. Warner Bros. also caught the attention and were at one point in talks for film adaptations of the novels. Author Derek Landy has expressed interest and welcomed film adaptations for all of his novels. However, as of late 2010, the movie rights have reverted to him.
Derek Landy has indicated that his preference for the movie is live action: "the movie will probably not be coming out in 2010... we have a director and are working on the script...but if the movie's made, it will be live action."
- "Kingdom Of The Wicked: Skulduggery Pleasant Book 7 by Derek Landy". Dymocks.com.au. 2012-07-24. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "HarperCollins extends Landy deal". Thebookseller.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Blog Post - Trick or Treat". Dereklandy.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "The Button", Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress, 21 December 2012.
- "Blog Post - The End of the World". Dereklandy.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "KOTW Paperback", Derek Landy Blogs Under Duress, 13 November 2012.
- "Books, Textbooks, eBooks and eReaders at Waterstones.com". Waterstones.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Red House Children's Book Award". Redhousechildrensbookaward.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Bolton Children's Book Award 2008 at Bolton Literacy Trust". Boltonliteracytrust.org.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "YTF 2008". Staffordshire.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Longer novel section for year 8/9 pupils". Portsmouth.gov.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Ardagh, Philip (7 April 2007). "Review at The Guardian". London.
- "Review at the Whitby Gazette". Whitbygazette.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- Hardyment, Christina (20 April 2007). "Review at The Independent". London.
- "Short Review at the Times". The Times (London). 31 March 2007.
- "Blog Post - No Movie News". Dereklandy.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-11-18.
- "Skulduggery Pleasant - Coming Soon Film Database". Comingsoon.net. Retrieved 2012-11-18.