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Clariel (Old Kingdom Chronicles) Hardcover – 2 Oct 2014


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 608 pages
  • Publisher: Hot Key Books (2 Oct 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 147140384X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471403842
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4.2 x 20.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,316 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Garth Nix was born in 1963 and grew up in Canberra, Australia. After taking his degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra, he worked in a bookshop and then moved to Sydney. There he sank lower into the morass of the publishing industry, steadily devolving from sales rep through publicist until in 1991 he became a senior editor with a major multinational publisher. After a period travelling in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia in 1993, he left publishing to work as a marketing communications consultant . In 1999 he was lured back to the publishing world to become a part-time literary agent. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife Anna, son Thomas, and lots of books.

Product Description

About the Author

Garth Nix grew up in Canberra. He studied for a BA in Professional Writing at the University of Canberra and has travelled to Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Garth has worked as a public servant, bookseller, book editor and literary agent. In 2002, following his outstanding international success, Garth returned to full-time writing (despite his belief that this contributes to the strange behaviour of many authors). As of July 2007, Garth's books have sold in excess of 4,500,000 copies internationally. His books have appeared in the bestseller lists of the New York Times, the Sunday Times, Publishers Weekly, The Australian, The Bookseller and Bookseller & Publisher. His books have been translated into more than 24 languages. Garth lives in Sydney with his wife Anna, who is a publisher, and their two sons. Follow Garth at www.garthnix.com or on Twitter: @garthnix

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Bakeneko on 20 Oct 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I discovered Garth Nix's Old Kingdon series about 7 years ago and was immediately impressed - the story-telling was fresh, the concepts were brilliant and the characterisation was pleasantly and believably done. Thus, when I heard that there were more in the offing, I was filled with anticipation.

So now that Clariel has appeared, what do I think?

(Beware, spoilers ahead)

First up, I enjoyed the story. The characters were again well done and I enjoyed seeing the Old Kingdom in a totally different period from the times of Sabrael and Lirael, with a totally different set of problems. This time, instead of a strong external threat, the Kingdom is beset by internal dissastisfaction, the offices of Abhorsen and King no longer attract the respect of latter days, and the threat of the dead or from Free Magic creatures has not been seen for a long time, and the inhabitants of the Kingdom have become complacent. I admire the fact that Nix has decided to make an effort to tell a different story, one with rivalries, political intrigue, revolution and something like a Faustian pact in it. I also liked the complexity of many of characters.

The other side of this is that the story at times feels a bit rushed - Calriel has barely arrived in Belisaere before she is involved in intrigue, within a week she is running from the forces that wish to use her - it has a tendency to feel a bit breathless. On the more personal side, I found Clariel (the character) to be annoying and frustrating, another Anakin Skywalker who spends their time whining about what they don't have.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Latitude on 6 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Clariel is another character in Nix's Old Kingdom series, born and raised 600 years before Sabriel. The only child of famous goldsmiths, Clariel is obliged to uproot from the forest where she spent her childhood and move to a great city, a world of materialism and apparent sophistication that doesn't suit her. To make it worse, the 'sophisticated' city no longer respects Charter magic, or considers the dead and Free Magic characters (key elements of the previous Old Kingdom books) to be a threat to their modern world. The king has given up ruling in the hope that this will force his granddaughter to turn up to relieve him of duty, and the Abhorsens (the mages that form a central part of the previous books) have given up mageing in favour of country life and hunting. So, all in all, the city folk are feeling pretty smug when in reality they are no longer protected from their world's dangers.

Clariel's character is a strange one. She doesn't especially like people, and isn't really interested in people liking her. Whilst we can empathise with her 'fish out of water' feeling, her singlemindedness at all costs - and those costs are high - makes her less likeable. By the time Old Kingdom fans have worked out who Clariel really is, we understand why. Unfortunately for me this made the book less enjoyable as we know how things will go and they're not necessarily what we'd have wanted for an 18-year-old lost in a strange city. Having got to that realisation, however, it would have been good to see a bit more of how she got from where she is in this book to where she is in Lirael (trying not to give out spoilers!), whereas it's just hinted at in a short epilogue.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Lawrence on 9 Oct 2014
Format: Hardcover
I have been looking forward to this: the latest of Garth Nix’ Old kingdom novels and I wasn’t disappointed. No plot spoilers in this review but we already know something about Clariel from her appearance and references to her in Abhorsen. There are plenty of Old kingdom details to satisfy us although much of it is from ’the other side of the hill’ rather than an Abhorsen or Charter point of view. Clariel and the various opponents desires are clearly shown or, eventually, revealed and the state of the Old kingdom is interesting and a little surprising. Clariel is a ‘must read’ for anyone who has enjoyed Garth’s other Old kingdom books. As a reader who enjoys Fantasy novels I commend GarthNix for creating an imensely satisfying world which works really well. I have already started to read it again. Then I shall have to wait for the promised return of Nicholas Sayre and Lirael…
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The concept behind Clariel is a winner; it is a striking narrative about longing, loneliness, neglect, and how all these impact upon the choices made by the main character.
The imagined Old Kingdom really comes alive in minute detail, especially in the descriptions of the city (Belisaere) its fabric, rigid customs and corrupt society. It is into this world that Clariel is dragged against her will, and, in a way the whole story unfurls as a result of the adults in Clariel's life abrogating their responsibilities to her and to society in general.

I did not give the book five stars because the pacing can be languid at times. The endless descriptions of things like the guildmembers' robes (and suchlike) could have done with an editor's cut, and the end (which had the potential to be gripping) could have been related in more detail.
There was very little humour and a lack of repartee (so deliciously crafted in Sabriel, Lirael etc); I know the book is meant to be darker and melancholic, but a little more lightheartedness would not have been incongruous. Thank goodness for Mogget!

**Slightly spoilery**
For me the beauty of the book is in its profound sadness as we know what befalls in the future.
Garth Nix has done a beautiful job of showing how personality traits, choices, and other people drive decisions and outcomes.
In many ways Sabriel, Lirael and Clariel all have sadness and loss in their lives, but Sabriel and Lirael have others to help them, be they Touchstone, Mogget (at his most helpful), the wonderful Dog, Sameth etc. Both are also flexible and are not introspective characters.
Clariel has no-one; she is living in a decaying society where even the good guys have become careless and ambivalent.
Moreover she makes it worse for herself by being fixated on her goal (living in the forest) and by pushing helpful people (like Bel) away. The consequences are plain... and heartbreaking.
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