Arthur faces his most difficult and dangerous enemy yet — Superior Saturday and her army of sorcerers, determined to defeat him.
Arthur has managed to get five of the keys to the kingdom, but Saturday is the is the most dangerous villain he's ever faced. She is the Superior Sorcerer of the House, and has been training her army of sorcerers to defeat Arthur and his friends. Her power is almost unbeatable, because she is also the oldest Denizen, one of the three most ancient entities in the Universe.
But Arthur is the Rightful Heir of the Architect, Commander of the Army of the Architect, and Possessor of all but two keys to the kingdom. He is not without power, himself. And he is also not without determination. He will do anything he can to get the other two keys from Superior Saturday and Lord Sunday. But at a terrible cost to him. With every battle, he is losing more and more of his humanity to the contamination of sorcery. When he loses more than sixty percent, he will become a Denizen, unable to ever return home to his family.
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After rescuing the sleepers from Lady Friday, he discovers that the Hospital has only ten minutes before it will be attacked by four micronukes launched by General Pravuil. Arthur has no choice but to act, and uses the Fifth Key to protect the Hospital by stopping time. It will work until he can find another solution. Looking for Dame Primus, the Will, he goes to the Lower House, only to find it deserted, and about to be swallowed up by the Nothing. He is able to get to Doctor Scamandros in the Deep Coal Cellar just as the Nothing breaks through and the Lower House is swallowed by the Void. Arthur hopes that talking with the Old One, imprisoned in the Deep Coal Cellar, will help him figure out what to do, but their conversation only makes things worse. Using the Fifth Key, he sends himself and Doctor Scamandros to the Middle House, where Dame Primus confirms that the Lower House and the Far Reaches have been destroyed by the Nothing, and that the rest of the House is in danger.
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Arthur has done so much, come so far — will he be able to succeed at this most difficult challenge, take the Sixth Key from Superior Saturday and then destroy her? And if he's able to, what awaits him in Lord Sunday's Upper House?
This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.