Review: Skulduggery Pleasant Playing with Fire

First I am going to apologise as I didn’t publish this yesterday, I sat down to publish after dinner last night and a migraine hit me.  I did try but the migraine go the better of me,  

In other news I finally finished a book from my massive pile of currently reading! While I was hoping to have a break in between posting about Skullduggery Pleasant I have been focusing on reading what I enjoy or have been most in the mood for recently, so here I am writing my review of Skullduggery Pleasant Playing with Fire. 

Skulduggery Pleasant Playing With Fire, By Derek Landy, Book cover

This is the second book in the Skullduggery Pleasant Series by Derek Landy and is based about a year after the first book.  We get to see how Stephanie, now known as Valkyrie Cain and Skullduggery along with a couple of other friends solve another mystery, putting their lives on the line so everyone they know can be safe.  

We see in this book that the relationship between Skulduggery and Valkyrie has evolved due to spending a lot of time together in between the two books.  While Valkaryie is reliant on Skulduggery in the magical world, he clearly trusts her to survive anything that occurs.  The first scene in the book clearly demonstrates that.  The two also have much more witty or sarcastic banter showing that the two characters clearly know where they stand with each other. 

We also get a deeper insight into the supporting characters history, For example China Sorrow’s past love of the harsh gods that exist in the magical world. We are also exposed to new special magical skills such as the runes that China has or the tunneling ability of one of the other characters.  

In really like how Skulduggery treats Valkyrie like an adult  despite her age.  This works for their dynamic and I am sure that there are a lot of teens who would feel the same way.  This book also highlights that for the great adventure that Valkyrie is having she is having to make a sacrifice which a lot of people can forget when they think about changing their lives for a live of adventure.  

I love the writing style for this series.  Derek Landy uses a wide range of vocabulary for the age range that the books are aimed at which encourages younger readers to widen their vocabulary in a unique way. Skulduggery Pleasant’s character is a verbose and this understandably means that the language used is wide ranging.  In addition a lot of the characters are older than the reader tends to recognise which can lead to newer words being added in a natural way. 

This book explores the theme of family as Valkyrie is not spending much time with them busy with her new and excising life.  Playing with Fire sees a family reunion of Valkyrie’s family  and while she does not spent a lot time with them she realises that she has been missing them.  This realisation shocks Valkyrie and it allows the reader to see some character growth for her.  

Another theme that this book is friendship.  We see the development of Valkyrie and Skulduggery relationship, we also see the improvement in Valkyrie’s relationships with Skulduggery’s long term friends.  

This book made me feel that with the right friends anyone can achieve anything. I felt that the group of people who came together to fight all had different morals, and in the case of some of them are actually on opposite sides of the lawful line that they all try to keep to.   This shows that sometimes the saying ‘the enemy of your enemy is your friend’ can be true.  I looked at the relationships that the characters have and realised that sometimes all you need is your good friends, So don’t forget to let them know you care.  

I am giving this book 4 stars,  while I really enjoyed it, and there are still plot points to be solved I was happy to read something from a different author for my next read, but there is enough mystery for me to want to continue the series. 

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