BookBrowse Reviews Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Skulduggery Pleasant

by Derek Landy

Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy X
Skulduggery Pleasant by Derek Landy
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Apr 2007, 400 pages
    Mar 2008, 416 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book



A satisfying blend of humor, magic and adventure for ages 12+

Although suggested for readers aged 12-15 years-old, Skulduggery Pleasant is likely to be enjoyed by many younger readers from about 9 years up. We read it as a family and, from 11 to 47, enjoyed it immensely! From the moment Skulduggery appears the action heats up and drives the reader relentlessly through the book. While comparisons with Harry Potter seem inevitable, this book has more in common with the Artemis Fowl novels - lots of action, snappy dialog and magic.

Despite most of the action taking place in Ireland, the writing has a distinctly English flair. Conversations between the principal characters sparkle with dry wit, sarcasm and understatement. Skulduggery has more than a little James Bond in his character, including a liking for well tailored suits and and a very fine vintage Bentley.

Occasionally some of the plot elements seem a little gratuitous, and there are a few discontinuities. Nevertheless, a good stage has been developed, with much promise for the future. It is to be hoped that Mr. Landy's vivid imagination and amusing writing style will be delivered even more smoothly in the anticipated sequel!

Key Characters

  • Stephanie Edgely, a.k.a. Valkyry Cain: Heroine
  • Skulduggery Pleasant: Snappy dressing skeleton hero with a tortured past.
  • China Sorrows: Who is anything but fragile and rarely sorry.
  • Ghastly Bespoke: Tailor to Skulduggery.
  • Sagacious and Meritorious: Magical elders
  • Mr. Bliss: Who terrifies most people simply by existing.
  • Nafarian Serpine: Evil incarnate.

This review was originally published in April 2007, and has been updated for the March 2008 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    A Land of Permanent Goodbyes
    by Atia Abawi

    When you're a refugee, everyone has lost, at least for the time being... And the journey ...

  • Book Jacket: Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Eat the Apple
    Eat the Apple
    by Matt Young
    Truth is stranger than fiction. Matt Young's memoir tackles the space in between truth and ...
  • Book Jacket: Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Tara Westover had the kind of upbringing most of us can only imagine. She was the youngest of seven ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Sometimes I Lie
    by Alice Feeney

    This brilliant psychological thriller asks: Is something a lie if you believe it's the truth?
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano

    A charming, bighearted novel starring Auntie Poldi, Sicily's newest amateur sleuth.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The Balcony

The Balcony
by Jane Delury

A century-spanning novel-in-stories of a French village brimming with compassion, natural beauty, and unmistakable humanity.


Word Play

Sorry, we do not currently have an active wordplay!

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.