One of the men, Monday, doesn’t want to give it up because he needs the key in order to continue his reign, but the other man, Sneezer, convinces him to as the Will states Monday must give the key to a suitable heir but after Arthur dies, Monday will once again regain control of the Key.
Arthur Penhaligon’s first days at his new school don’t go too well, particularly when a fiendish Mister Monday appears, gives Arthur a magical clock hand, and then orders his gang of dog-faced goons to chase Arthur around and get it back.
On Earth, a boy named Arthur Penhaligon (the main character) is at a new school. He collapses during an outdoor cross country run during gym because of his severe asthma. Two of his schoolmates, Ed and Leaf, stop to help him use his inhaler before running to get help.
Persuaded, Monday agrees to relinquish control of the key, which is shaped like the minute hand of an old clock, although he quickly becomes suspicious of Sneezer, who apparently never showed much intelligence before. Sneezer and Mister Monday then fight and disappear in a flash of light.
With a weapon-wielding hero and a villain who doesn’t make Mondays any nicer, Nix’s Keys to the Kingdom launch is imaginative and gripping. After an action-packed crescendo to the book’s middle -- when Arthur finally learns his destiny -- Nix keeps the drama going and doesn’t let it fall.
After meeting Suzy Blue and the first part of “the Will” (a frog-looking entity that knows everything about the House), Arthur learns that he’s been selected as Rightful Heir to the House and must get the other part of the clock hand in order to defeat Monday.