Tanith Low in The Maleficent Seven by Derek Landy

27 04 2013

The Maleficent Seven has been dubbed as book 7.5 among the Skulduggery fandom, simply because it is released between book seven ‘The Kingdom of the Wicked’ and book eight ‘Last Stand of Dead Men’ in the series Skulduggery Pleasant. But this novella (shorter then a novel, longer than a short story) has nothing to do with the mother series. And yet it has some nice ties to the main series also.

This novella is based around a now evil Tanith Low. She was a good guy and a really kick ass good guy until the explosive events of book five ‘Mortal Coil’ turned Tanith’s world upside down as well as causing distraught to some of her best friends. Now as a bad guy, Tanith is out on the hunt to retrieve a set of four weapons named ‘The God Killers’. Her new inner conscious has seen the coming of Darquesse, a being more powerful than any the magical world has encountered before and has been seen destroying the planet. And Tanith wants to make sure that there is nothing left to kill Darquesse, Tanith wants to see this destructive being destroy the world.

So Tanith, along with her new sociopath boyfriend Billy-Ray Sanguine, decide to recruit a team of villains to retrieve these God killing weapons. A team of seven. Included in that team are many of the villains that have appeared in the mother series including Spring Heeled Jack and Dusk. Also new to the team are Black Annis and Sabine, a magical con-artist.  Oh… wait that’s only six? Well the seventh member is a secret 🙂

But little does Tanith know that trailing behind her are a group of seven Sanctuary agents, looking for the God Killers as well. Among this team of good guys are Dexter Vex and Saracen Rue, members of the Dead Men. There is Frightening Jones, Aurora Jane, Wilhelm Scream and a pair called the Monster Hunters, Gracious O’Callaghan and Donegan Bane. The good guys are on a mission to obtain the God Killers and have them locked and ready for when Darquesse makes her appearance.

So now, not only is Tanith Low battling with her fellow team mates cause you really can’t team up bad guys without them all feeling the need to kill one another, but she is now in a race to get the weapons before the good guys do.

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Like the seven other Derek Landy books that came before ‘The Maleficent Seven’ was even a twinkle in Derek’s eye, this one was packed full with witty comments, banter between all the characters and action scenes packed so tightly that you can feel yourself catching your breath. And even though the two main protagonists that are Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are not in this book, you still are given those smart alack  quick witted statements thrown in by the likes of Dexter Vex or Saracen Rue who would have been around Skulduggery while they were all part of the Dead Men.

What I liked about the book, is not only have we got this great race between two teams and Tanith who is so thorough with her plans and operations but we also get the story behind Tanith Low which includes her almost near death scene from book one! When you read it, you see how that scene in particular ties into the book now. But in the other books, the fans never knew much about Tanith’s background, how she is as skillful as she is. All we have ever really known is that she has a brother. But now, Derek has been kind enough to offer this information to all his fans and make Tanith’s background a bit more clearer so us all.

OH!! You need to watch out for a tiny sentence in this book. It is between Saracen and Aurora. He say’s ‘We might die tonight.’ and just read what happens after. It is so… self explanatory to an already tainted mind such as myself and many other of the minions (Derek Landy fans)

I really enjoyed it more than I thought I would. As a character, I liked Tanith when she was a good guy but I wasn’t exactly crazy for her. I preferred the likes of China Sorrows but Tanith as a bad guy has raised my expectations of the character so high because she is so suited to the role of a bad guy. You almost start to wonder if she already had this level of evil locked away inside her but was never given that chance to release it properly. Plus at the end, there is a bit of an ‘oh my god’ moment that you have to sit and think what the whole plot was in aid of really.

So all in all, the novella was a great success as us minions wait in anxiousness to the bloody carnage that is waiting for us as Mr. Landy is locked away in his man cave, writing and finishing book 8 ‘Last Stand of Dead Men’. This is the penultimate book of the Skulduggery Pleasant series and he has already warned us of so many deaths. There will be a lot of broken hearts when this book comes out. So I guess ‘The Maleficent Seven’ was to tide the fans over so they wouldn’t eventually storm the house of Derek Landy.

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