Skulduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients

Skulduggery Pleasant- Scepter of the Ancients

book cover image from

Landy, Derek.  Skulduggery Pleasant:  Scepter of the Ancients. 392 p. Harper Collins. 2007.  ISBN 978-0-06-123116-2.

Stephanie Edgley, 12, meets Skulduggery Pleasant, a living skeleton, at her uncle’s funeral.  Skulduggery is covered head-to-toe in a hat, sunglasses, scarf, long coat, and shoes.  Stephanie doesn’t even realize he is a skeleton for quite a while!  After she realizes he is a skeleton, Skullduggery jokes that his current skull was won in a poker match.

Stephanie’s Uncle willed her his home and her boring life quickly changes into one of action and adventure.  Stephanie and Skulduggery get caught up in a fight to stop the evil Faceless ones from getting her uncle’s most valued possession—the Scepter of the Ancients. The Ancients were super magicians, and when they were alive,  they were the good guys.  Thee scepter was their most menacing weapon, one capable of killing anyone and destroying anything. Before they became extinct, the Ancients used it to get rid of the bad guys, the evil Faceless Ones. Unfortunately, the evil Faceless Ones are planning a comeback and only Stephanie and Skulduggery believe in the Faceless Ones, and their weapon, the Scepter.

So Stephanie and Skulduggery set off on their adventure to find the Scepter.  They fight off the bad guys “yes men”, beat down vampires, and prove the existence of the Ancients and the Faceless Ones.

My favorite part of this book is the way Stephanie and Skulduggery banter back and forth, each trying to one-up the other person with sarcasm and wit.

This book was originally published under the title Skulduggery Pleasant.  It was later changed to Skulduggery Pleasant:  Scepter of the Ancients.  There are now three books in the series.  There is a also a website, where you can get more information.  There’s even an interview with Skulduggery on the website and at the back of the book.

For a great read, I encourage you to read Skulduggery Pleasant:  Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landry.

Genre:  Fantasy, Magic, Mystery

Tags: magic, mystery, fantasy, skeletons, scepter, detective

Series: This book is the first in a series.  As of this review, the books in the series are:

  • Skulduggery Pleasant:  Scepter of the Ancients
  • Skulduggery Pleasant:  Playing With Fire
  • Skulduggery Pleasant:  The Faceless Ones

Author’s website:  Skulduggery Pleasant

A/R Reading level:  4.9

Interest level:  Grades 5-8

Link to Harvest Park Library catalog: Skulduggery Pleasant: Scepter of the Ancients

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