Written by Irish playwright Derek Landy, Skulduggery Pleasant is a series of horror/comedy/fantasy novels following the adventures of an undead sorcerer and detective and his partner.
This is the story of the 400-year-old detective named Skulduggery Pleasant who is a walking and talking skeleton, and his partner Stephanie Edgley who goes by the name Valkyrie Cain. With the help of Skulduggery, Valkyrie wants to stop evil forces threatening the world, but also find justice for her uncle’s death.
How to read the Skulduggery Pleasant Series in Order?
- Skulduggery Pleasant – Stephanie’s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror it certainly wasn’t fiction. Pursued by evil forces, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead sorcerer…
- Playing with Fire – With Serpine dead, the world is safe once more. At least, that’s what Valkyrie and Skulduggery think, until the notorious Baron Vengeous makes a bloody escape from prison, and dead bodies and vampires start showing up all over Ireland. With Baron Vengeous after the deadly armour of Lord Vile, and pretty much everyone out to kill Valkyrie, the daring detective duo face their biggest challenge yet. But what if the greatest threat to Valkyrie is just a little closer to home…?
- The Faceless Ones – Valkyrie screamed, sprinting toward Skulduggery. He looked up and reached out to her, but it was too late. If you’ve read the other Skulduggery books by Derek Landy (and you really should have read them by now), you’ve seen it all before: Some bad guy wants to bring about the end of the world, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie fight valiantly to stop it from happening. A few people get hurt, sure, but everything’s all right in the end. Well, not this time.
- Dark Days – Skulduggery Pleasant himself is lost on the other side of a portal, with only some evil gods for company. Can he possibly survive? (Yes, all right, he’s already dead. But still.) What can we say, without giving too much away? Not much, is the answer. But what we CAN say is that this book is hilarious, it’s tense, and it’s packed with all the eye-popping action, crackling one-liners and imaginative set pieces you’ve come to expect.
- Mortal Coil – Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are back. While they struggle to protect a known killer from an unstoppable assassin, Valkyrie is on a secret mission of her own. This quest, to prevent her dark and murderous destiny, threatens to take her to the brink of death and beyond. And then the body-snatching Remnants get loose…
- Death Bringer – The Necromancers no longer need Valkyrie to be their Death Bringer, and that’s a Good Thing.There’s just one catch. There’s a reason the Necromancers don’t need her any more – because they’ve found their Death Bringer already, the person who will dissolve the doors between life and death.And that’s a very, very Bad Thing…
- Kingdom of the Wicked – Magic is a disease. Across the land, normal people are suddenly developing wild and unstable powers. Infected by a rare strain of magic, they are unwittingly endangering their own lives and the lives of the people around them. Terrified and confused, their only hope lies with the Sanctuary. Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain are needed now more than ever.
- Last Stand of Dead Men – War has finally come. But it’s not a war between good and evil, or light and dark – it’s a war between Sanctuaries. For too long, the Irish Sanctuary has teetered on the brink of world-ending disaster, and the other Sanctuaries around the world have had enough. Allies turn to enemies, friends turn to foes, and Skulduggery and Valkyrie must team up with the rest of the Dead Men if they’re going to have any chance at all of maintaining the balance of power and getting to the root of a vast conspiracy that has been years in the making.
- The Dying of the Light – The War of the Sanctuaries has been won, but it was not without its casualties. Following the loss of Valkyrie Cain, Skulduggery Pleasant must use any and all means to track down and stop Darquesse before she turns the world into a charred, lifeless cinder. And so he draws together a team of soldiers, monster hunters, killers, criminals, and Valkyrie’s own murderous reflection. The war may be over, but the final battle is about to begin. And not everyone gets out of here alive.
- Resurrection – A lot has changed. Roarhaven is now a magical city, where sorcerers can live openly. Valkyrie Cain has been out of action for years, recovering from the war against her alter-ego Darquesse, which nearly destroyed her and everyone else. Some things never change though: bad people still want to do bad things, and Skulduggery Pleasant is still there to stop them.
- Midnight – For years, Valkyrie Cain has struggled to keep her loved ones safe from harm, plunging into battle – time and time again – by Skulduggery Pleasant’s side, and always emerging triumphant. But now the very thing that Valkyrie fights for is in danger, as a ruthless killer snatches her little sister in order to lure Valkyrie into a final confrontation. With Skulduggery racing to catch up and young sorcerer Omen scrambling along behind, Valkyrie only has twelve hours to find Alice before it’s too late. The clock is ticking…
- Bedlam – On a desperate journey to recover her sister’s lost soul, Valkyrie Cain goes up against the High Sanctuary itself, and there’s nothing Skulduggery Pleasant can do to stop her. With Abyssinia’s grand plan about to kick off in a night of magic, terror and bloodshed, it falls to Omen Darkly to save the lives of thousands of innocent people. And as the madness unfolds around him, as hidden enemies step into the light, and as Valkyrie is sucked into a desperate, lawless quest of her own, he has no choice but to become the hero he never really wanted to be – or die in the attempt.
- Seasons of War – War is coming. To avert catastrophe, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are sent on a secret mission that takes them away from everything they know, to a forsaken land of magic and grim, unrelenting terror. It is here that Valkyrie will have to fight the hardest – not only against the enemies who want her dead, but also against her own self-destructive impulses. It’s only by crawling through the darkness that she’ll be able to once again stand in the light…
- Dead or Alive – In a matter of days, the world will change. Billions of lives will be wiped away in a final, desperate search for the Child of the Faceless Ones – she who is destined to bring about the return of humankind’s ancient overlords. To prevent this, Skulduggery Pleasant and Valkyrie Cain have one last – terrible – option: the assassination of Damocles Creed. With protests stirring in the magical city of Roarhaven, with riots and revolutions on the horizon, Valkyrie must decide who she wants to be: the hero who risks everything for a noble ideal, or the killer who sacrifices her own soul for the fate of humanity.
- Until the End – The Faceless Ones have returned to our universe. The bad guys have won. With the end of everything just days away – and no longer able to rely on Valkyrie Cain – Skulduggery must make allies of enemies if he’s going to stand any chance of saving what’s left of the world. And just when things are looking their bleakest, they manage to get even worse, with Omen Darkly suddenly having to step up when his brother, the Chosen One, falls. There’s a lot going on. Most of it is bad. Sorry about that.
- Hell Breaks Loose (a prequel) – Italy, 1703. As the war with Mevolent rages on, the Dead Men are dispatched to a walled town in the Tuscan hills – not to assassinate the Lord of the Dark Sorcerers, but to save him. A rift has opened to a hellish dimension where a being of devastating power awaits, and only Mevolent is strong enough to seal it and save the world. A simple mission, then, which turns ever-so-slightly trickier when Skulduggery is presented with the opportunity to finally get revenge on Nefarian Serpine, the man who murdered him and killed his family thirteen years earlier.
- A Mind Full of Murder – A murder. A mystery. Two murders, actually. Well, three, if you’re counting. Oh, look, here comes a fourth… So much murder that skeleton detective Skulduggery Pleasant must annoy Valkyrie Cain, the infamous Destroyer of Worlds, with his incredible deduction abilities at every available opportunity. As Valkyrie’s irritation grows, the detectives sink deeper into a hidden world of dark motivations, festering hatred and unimaginable pain. And a teensy bit more murder.
Reading Skulduggery Pleasant Books in Chronological Order with short stories:
Most of Skulduggery Pleasant short stories and novellas have been collected into one volume: Armageddon Outta Here. Here is a reading order with most of the short stories and novella.
- Hell Breaks Loose (prequel)
- Across a Dark Plain (short story)
- The Horror Writers’ Halloween Ball (short story)
- Skulduggery Pleasant
- The Lost Art of World Domination (short story)
- Playing with Fire
- Gold, Babies and the Brothers Muldoon (short story)
- The Faceless Ones
- The Slightly Ignominious End to the Legend of Black Annis (short story)
- Friday Night Fights (short story)
- Death and Texas (short story)
- Dark Days
- Myosotis Terra (short story)
- Mortal Coil
- The Wonderful Adventures of Geoffrey Scrutinous (short story)
- Just Another Friday Night (short story)
- Apocalypse Kings (novella)
- Going Once, Going Twice (available here)
- Death Bringer
- The End of the World (novella)
- Kingdom of the Wicked
- Trick or Treat (short story)
- Get Thee Behind Me, Bubba Moon (short story)
- Theatre of Shadows (short story)
- The Maleficent Seven (novella)
- Eyes of the Beholder (short story)
- The Button (short story)
- Last Stand of Dead Men
- The Dying of the Light
- Seasons of War
- Dead or Alive
- Until the End
- A Mind Full of Murder
If you like our article about the Skulduggery Pleasant series in order, don’t forget to bookmark it! You may also be interested in the CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore, the Percy Jackson books by Rick Riordan, or the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer.