Lady Friday: The Keys to the Kingdom, Book Five
On the fifth day, there was fear…
Leaf wakes up in a hospital ward and realizes something strange is going on. There are several people with her, but they all appear to be sound asleep, and there are no medical items. Leaf remembers that Lady Friday was a nurse at the tent hospital, but it's not until a frightened hospital cleaner tries to save Leaf from being detected that Leaf becomes aware of the danger that she --- along with her Aunt Mango and several other sleepers --- is in.
Meanwhile, Arthur wakes up from a nightmare in the Citadel. The last battle has left him shaken, but he appears to have defeated the Piper for now. Unfortunately, the New Nithling army has control of the Great Maze, while Superior Saturday causes trouble by cutting off the telephone lines and controlling the elevators of the House. To make matters worse, the Dame Primus, since gaining the Fourth Part of the Will, has unwonted, barely-concealed moments of rage. Arthur isn't sure he can trust her, but he has no choice. He is trying to figure out what happened to his family in the week that has passed on Earth, as well as locate his friends who have been captured --- or worse --- by the Piper.
Then, a messenger from Lady Friday arrives bearing a letter and a gift. Lady Friday has apparently abdicated her position and will turn it over to whoever can find the Fifth Part of the Will and the Fifth Key. For Arthur, this means he has to go against the Piper and Superior Saturday and possibly gain control over them. However, the week hasn't been going well for Arthur, and it gets worse when he is unexpectedly transferred to somewhere within the House, with no known way of getting back to the Great Maze or to the Secondary Realms.
While Arthur tries to make his way to Lady Friday's Scriptorium, he encounters some familiar enemies and meets a few new characters, including the Paper Pushers, who have an unusual but interesting line of work. Arthur has more work cut out for him, but when Leaf discovers Lady Friday's real motive --- "experiencing" --- the day is further seeped in the fear of the unknown.
LADY FRIDAY, the fifth book in Garth Nix's The Keys to the Kingdom series, adds another dimension to an already exciting and at times scary adventure that will have readers looking forward to the weekend.
Reviewed by Sarah Sawtelle on January 17, 2007