Home > Book Reviews > Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

Grim Tuesday by Garth Nix

Garth Nix continues his series, The Keys to the Kingdom, with Grim Tuesday, a direct sequel to Mister Monday (see my comments here).

Only a few hours after returning from the House and obtaining a cure for the sleepy plague which was spreading through his home town, Arthur Penhaligon, the Rightful Heir, must return to the House to wrest the second key from the next Trustee, Grim Tuesday.

Unlike the first domain of the bureaucracy, the Far Reaches is made up of indentured miners and craftsman.  Nothing is a mined substance which can be crafted into all sorts of useful items for the House, from Metal Commissionaires to teapots; but, Nothing is also a corrosive substance into which the entire House could fall and be destroyed.  Greedy and acquisitive Grim Tuesday is a master craftsman but sadly lacks a creative spark in himself; instead he can only copy works (beautiful though they may be) from the Secondary Realms, such as Earth.

Arthur becomes an indentured servant and is forced to walk a long road to the Pit.  His faithful companion, Suzy Turquoise Blue from his first adventure, helps him to reach Tuesday’s treasure tower, where priceless gems and works of art are housed.  From there, Arthur must find and free the second part of the Will of the Architect and take Tuesday’s key.

One character that I particularly enjoyed was the Mariner, who appears to be vaguely based on The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.  Although constrained by his word to obey Grim Tuesday, he appears very noble and is a refreshing straight talker.

It was also somewhat novel to have Arthur’s sojourns in the house directly impact his life back home, rather than have every change reverted back to normal (a la Narnia’s wardrobe):  in the first novel, the First Key partially heals one of his lungs from asthma and in this book, his leg remains broken.

I liked the book slightly less than the first one, but I continue to be impressed by Nix’s consistency and the progression through the days, the seven deadly sins (this book covers Greed), and virtues (the Will is shown as prudent).

The books in the series:

  1. Mister Monday
  2. Grim Tuesday
  3. Drowned Wednesday
  4. Sir Thursday
  5. Lady Friday
  6. Superior Saturday
  7. Lord Sunday

4  out of 5 stars (finished December 6, 2010)

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