Derek Landy has kept us well entertained before and since the record-breaking success of Skulduggery Pleasant (2009) - Demon Road, Desolation, American Monsters, to name a few. Understandably, you might not have been able to read all of the books, but Skullduggery Pleasant: Resurrection, released today, is definitely not to be missed.
If you feel you're in need of a refresher, don't worry! We have you covered with an A-to-Z guide to the world of Skulduggery Pleasant.
Argeddion is the main antagonist of Kingdom of the Wicked. He is a pacifist who wanted to bring magic to every mortal in the world, which would drive every mortal insane. His personality was overwritten (reset) in the same book, but Darquesse absorbs his energy in The Dying of the Light.
Billy-ray Sanguine is a self-proclaimed Hitman Deluxe who helps form the Revenger’s Club/Vengeance Brigade in Dark Days, and later became the fiancé of a possessed Tanith Low. He is killed by the Black Cleaver in The Dying of the Light.
China Sorrows is a collector and often provides information to and helps Valkyrie and Skulduggery. She is described as extremely beautiful and equally untrustworthy, and is later revealed to be the person who led Skulduggery Pleasant's wife into Serpine’s trap.
Darquesse is Valkyrie’s true name and the destroyer of worlds. She is the main antagonist of The dying of the Light and is first mentioned in Dark Days She possess an unknown type of magic and is incredibly powerful; capable of manipulating matter, she even reconnected her own severed head.
Erskine Ravel was one of the Dead Men, a special task force of seven established in the War, and became Grand Mage in Mortal Coil. A handsome and competent combatant, he is revealed to be the traitor when he kills Ghastly Bespoke and Anton Shudder, two of his fellow Dead Men. He is killed when Skulduggery uses his soul to deactivate the Accelerator, a magic enhancing time bomb.
Fletcher Renn is the last teleporter and Valkyrie’s boyfriend from The Faceless Ones to Death Bringer. He is very arrogant but has matured throughout the series, and has spiky hair that ‘defies both gravity and reason’.
Ghastly Bespoke was a Dead Man in the war and was an elder from Mortal Coil to Last Stand of the Dead Man, when he was killed. His mother taught him boxing and his father taught him tailoring, and he excels at both. The clothes he makes are nearly indestructible, and both he and his clothes have saved Valkyrie’s life more than once. He has symmetrical scars covering his face due to his mother's curse, is a close friend to Skulduggery and cares a lot about Valkyrie. He appeared in every book in the series and is one of its most significant characters.
Hollow Men are humanoid skin bags inflated with a foul gas that animates them. The are very easy to create and makes up the bulk of Serpine’s army in the War. As gas-filled leather beings, the can’t be harmed by clobbering or any blunt weapon. However, their skin and gas is flammable and can be set alight easily. They walk slowly and have weighted fists and feet.
Isthmus Anchor is an object that belongs to a dimension but resides in another which allows a teleporter to open a portal between the two dimensions. The first Isthmus anchor is the torso of a Faceless One that was killed a long time ago. It was used by the Diablerie to open a portal to the Faceless Ones. The second Isthmus Anchor is Skulduggery's skull. It was stolen during a mission and Skulduggery didn’t bother to find it. Valkyrie used it to open a portal to Skullduggery when the latter was pulled into another dimension.
Jitter Girls are six-year-old Triplets possessed by a dark being in the 1930s. They were thought to be possessed by the devil, and Skulduggery was called in but he couldn't help. They trio died in an asylum but returned from the dead and started killing people. They can reach into a person’s brain and wreak havoc.
Kitana, Doran and Sean are three teenagers who were given magical powers by Argeddion as an experiment. They become psychopathic and developed powerful magic, and are the secondary antagonists of Kingdom of the Wicked. They agreed to help defeat Argeddion, however, after witnessing Argeddion take back the magic he gave to other experimental subjects and mistaking it for murder. They defeat him but then turn on Skulduggery. When Argeddion’s personality was overwritten, they lost their magic and were imprisoned for murder.
Lord Vile is Skulduggery's alter ego. He was formed after Skulduggery returned from the dead in the War, consumed by rage, and learned necromancy to deal with his anger. Skulduggery donned the armour and became Lord Vile. He joined Mevolent, Skulduggery's enemy in the war, and became one of Mevolent’s Three Generals for a few years, then Skulduggery reasserted control. Lord vile is an extremely powerful psychopath who killed millions in the War and helped defeat Darquesse on three occasions.
Melancholia St. Clair is a necromancer. She was considered to be the death bringer and is the main antagonist in Death Bringer She had her Surge looped using sigils and had her power greatly increased - although the power sometimes drops and leaves her very weak. She is very sadistic at times and was put in an induced coma at the end of the book and revived in Dying of the Light to help fight Darquesse, who kills her in an explosion.
Necromancy, also known as death magic, is the magical discipline of drawing power from death. Necromancers can make weapons using shadows, teleport short distances and sense death. Powerful necromancers can even draw life energy into themselves using the ‘death bubble’. Auron Tenebrae, who was charged with teaching Serpine necromancy, changed his teachings to keep Serpine from killing Skullduggery, which resulted in Skulduggery's resurrection after Serpine used his necromancy to kill Skullduggery. Necromancers believe life and death are a continuous cycle and that the Death Bringer, a very powerful necromancer, could block the flow and immortalise all living things by killing half the world’s population.
(The Faceless) Ones are Gods of pure evil from another dimension. (We had trouble finding something for "O", okay?? Shhhh!) They came to our world when the first trace of magic appeared in our dimension. They came and were driven back by the Ancients, the world’s first sorcerers from which Valkyrie is descended. They have a lot of believers see them as saviours and even have a religion devoted to them. The believers have repeatedly opened portals to the Faceless Ones, who were driven back every time. As their name suggests, they have no face and no form, and even if they possess a person, that person’s facial features will melt away. It is said that staring at the natural, paradoxical form of a Faceless One will drive one insane.
Patrick Slattery and Kenny Dune are journalists who discovered the existence of magic in the world and want to reveal it to the world. Patrick believes in the project but after not getting results for a long time, he gives Kenny three months to get sufficient evidence. This makes Kenny desperate and he follows Valkyrie to the Irish Sanctuary. When the warlocks wage a war on the Sanctuary, Patrick and Kenny go to film and document it, but Patrick is killed by a stray energy stream. Kenny decides to dump the project but gives the recording of the war to Valkyrie’s parents.
Quoneel is Tanith Low's mentor, a master assassin and a teacher at the school where Tanith Low and other assasins are trained. He may not have a large role in the series, but he is very important to Tanith’s past. He is merciless, yet kind, and always puts his students first.
Rippers and Cleavers are highly-skilled soldiers who were brainwashed from an early age. Cleavers undergo behavioural indoctrination, also called voluntary brainwashing, which turns them into soldiers who follow orders blindly. They are used as guards, enforcers, bodyguards and in armies. Rippers, however, are either retired cleavers or cleavers who aren’t succeptible to or haven’t been indoctrinated.
Skulduggery Pleasant is the title character of the series. He is a genius detective and sorcerer, oh, and he's dead. He died about 300 years ago, but due to necromancy tinkering by Auron Tenebrae, his spirit didn’t leave the body. He pulled himself back together as a living skeleton and rejoined the fight. He took up an unnamed partner who was killed soon after, then took up Valkyrie as his partner in the first book. He is extremely attached to materialistic things like his 1954 Bentley R type continental, and is something of a dapper gentleman.
Tanith Low is a master assassin and one of Valkyrie’s closest friends throughout the series. She is like an older sister to Valkyrie and helps her in every adventure until she was possessed by a Remnant in Mortal Coil. She is smart and outgoing, and showed signs of a crush on Ghastly in Mortal Coil. She often wears a brown leather waistcoat and rides a motorcycle.
Unnamed was the master of Mevolent before Mevolent took over and started a war. He did not have a large role in the series but it has been hinted that he may have some relation to Darquesse due to both of them using black fire as a weapon.
Valkyrie Cain is the main character of the whole series. She is excellent in combat and has showed signs of an above-average intellect and advanced detective skills. She can also be quite selfish at times and likes to tease Skullduggery. Her true name is Darquesse and when Darquesse left her and after her Surge was kick-started, she developed energy-based magic that is not bound by rules. She can now float, shoot white lightning and create force fields.
Witches and Warlocks are reclusive magic users. They differentiate themselves from Sorcerers through their use of magic, which lacks the Adept/Elemental dichotomy. Instead, Magic is wielded as a singular power, with far more ritual and gesture than is typical of Sorcerer Magic
Department X (again, shhhh...) is a supposed American British Joint Task Force bent on eliminating sorcerers. Some believe they exist while others don't, but the Ravel framed the mortals by assigning some soldiers posing as Department X to kill some warlocks and make the warlocks attack humans.
Zombies appear a lot throughout the series, with Vaurien Scapegrace being the most significant. He was a failed assassin and was turned into a zombie by Dreylan Scarab in Dark Days. He was later decapitated and kept as a head in a jar in Dr Nye’s lab. His brain was then transferred into the body of a woman after Dr Nye misunderstood him. Then his consciousness was transferred into vegetable brain hybrids and put back into his old body. He also commanded a zombie army in Dark Days.