Middle books in fantasy trilogies are sometimes disappointing, but Garth Nix has created in Lirael
a fine successor to Sabriel
that both complements its precursor and sets up a mouth-watering dénouement for the final instalment in Abhorsen
. Nix continues by setting this new story in the neighbouring worlds of Ancelstierre (no magic) and The Old Kingdom (lots of magic) but introduces several new and substantial characters that are as strong and fascinating as those in the first book.
In the Old Kingdom, while the Abhorsen Sabriel is off fighting the undead, who are waking in worryingly ever-increasing numbers, Lirael is alone in the glacial mountain kingdom of the Clayr dreaming of when she will receive the gift of "the sight"--which all true daughters of Clayr possess. She fills the long wait with years of self-taught charter magic and investigations into what lies in the depths of the Clayr library--a truly vast and ancient place.
In Ancelstierre, Prince Sameth, son of Sabriel and designated Abhorsen-in-waiting, is battling with his own inner demons. His own familiarity with charter magic is limited and it even sometimes scares him. This weight of expectation is crystallised when he is attacked by an evil necromancer intent on killing him. Sameth barely escapes with his life.
In these times of increased undead activity, Sabriel suspects a greater force at work. Sameth must return to the Old Kingdom and learn fast to help counter this enormous threat while Lirael too must play her part. She is a girl with an important destiny and is sent out towards the area of darkness and mystery that holds the key to what has been happening. Nix's imagination continues to impress all and his Sabriel trilogy is so far proving to be the award-winning spectacle that it has promised to be. The book is recommended for ages 10 and above. --John McLay
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Lirael has taken this series into breathtaking, lyrical, fantasy status (and I hear that Abhorsen… is simply stunning).” The Bookseller
“I was spellbound from page one… Nix’s writing is masterful. Ithink we are seeing the emergence of a writing talent who will be here for many years to come and whose books will be read for a long time after.” Mrs Mad’s Book-a-Rama
“Readers who like their fantasy intense in action, magisterial in scope and apocalyptic in consequences will revel in every word.” Kirkus starred review
“What makes LIRAEL a delight is the magic that Nix brings to his story and to his characters. It is filled with twists and turns, playful inventiveness and dark magic, and is sure to satisfy his many readers.” Locus
Praise for Sabriel…
“Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. I congratulate Garth Nix.” Philip Pullman
“Fast pace, drama, vivid descriptions, excitement and humour… What more could you want?” The Guardian
"Every publisher thinks they have the next great children's fantasy writer. Harper Collins know they have." Nick Holt, AML
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