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Lirael Hardcover – 1 Sep 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 131 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 528 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollinsChildren'sBooks; 1st Uk Edition edition (1 Sept. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000713732X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007137329
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 15.8 x 5.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (131 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 329,730 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

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

Review

“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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Like many before me, I'm sure, after reading the incredible 'Sabriel' I was dubious about Lirael matching up to the incredible fantasy heights of Sabriel. Teenage reading is the best thing about being a teenager, but I was absoloutely shocked. This book went straight to my bone marrow and I know now that this book will haunt my reading taste, and the way I write books for the rest of my life. Truly, this is one of the best books I have ever read. The characters are so true, so absoloutely fantastically imagined and played. Lirael is such a string character in herself, its quite beautiful the way Garth Nix describes her: not in so many words or adjectives, but in her actions, in what she does and how she behaves. The Disresputable Dog is also a fantastically witty character and Sameth, son of Sabriel is a worthy child after his mother. Those who have read Sabriel will be delighted to read the return of Mogget, perhaps one of Garth's more prominant and slightly dark characters, but witty and humorous all in one go. Its fantastic, and the scenes with the dead are tense and exciting. I love this book and I simply cannot wait to read Abhorsen. fantastic book.
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Format: Hardcover
Lirael is bigger, longer and much, much better than Sabriel, its prequel. I thoroughly enjoyed Lirael as i felt that the descriptions, plot and characters were much more developed and intricate. Lirael scores where Sabriel failed, there are much more vivid descriptions of the dead and of the characters, we are transported into a whole new area of the Old Kingdom and learn more of the facinating Clayr. Prince Sameth breaks the stereotypical "hero" image as his hopes and fears are brought vividly to life. Sabriel and Touchstone are true to themselves too, and avoid becoming boring and uninteresting in their "old age." The book's namesake Lirael is a marvellous character, evoking the reader's sympathy as she longs for a companion. Lirael is a winner and is a vast improvement on Sabriel which, make no mistake was also a good book.
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Format: Paperback
This book is too amazing for words. I know you need to read abhorsen aswell but it is honestly worth it, I still cant stop reading it!
Lirael is a character who you can really relate to. From the beggining you can see the resembelence to Sabriel, but you cant see how. Another main character is Sameth, the royal son of Sabriel and Touchstone (Im so relieved they stayed together!) and although some people say they find him annoying i cant agree. Like Lirael you feel really sorry for him as he feels he cant take up the role as abhorsen-in-waiting and he will diapoint his family and kingdom.
There are old characters who are great to see again, like Mogget the amazing sarcastic and deadly cat-free magic thing (read the last book to find out what!) and new ones aswell. From Ellimere (I have to tell you this cos I didnt realise till three years later, Ellimere is named after Sabriels old schoolfriend who died during Kerigors attack.) Sams bossy sister, to The Dirisputible Dog who is just as cool as mogget, but doesnt try to kill everyone when her collar is taken off. (though that never happens, so Im sort of guessing, cos shes really friendly).
But anyway this book is so much better than HP as it has cooler types of magic and is more of a LOTRs genre with swords and horses, but has genuinally amusing sides to it aswell, like Sam being forced to play a dancing bird by his sister. And like both those books it definately desrves to be made into a film!
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By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 31 Dec. 2005
Format: Paperback
Garth Nix changed the face of dark fantasy (usually just horror with a prettier cover) with his instant hit "Sabriel." It provided fans with a unique type of magic, a well-crafted alternate world, and talking animals that were anything but cute. Without missing a step, "Lirael" follows in "Sabriel"'s footsteps, with the same dark blend of humor and horror.

Lirael is a daughter of the Clayr, but she won't be a full Clayr until she gains the Sight. On her fourteenth birthday, she is the oldest girl to not yet have gained the Sight. After contemplating suicide, Lirael is assigned to work in the library, and inadvertantly sets loose a hideous Free Magic creature: a Stilken that will call other Free Magic creatures and destroy the Clayr. Desperate to deal with her mistake, Lirael calls up the Disreputable Dog (somehow made both of Free and Charter Magic) and soon ends up finding out more about her past -- and her future.

Elsewhere, Sabriel's son Sameth is pursued by the Dead, and is almost killed in the process; the only thing he gets for his trouble is a threat from a mysterious necromancer. Sam is supposed to be the future Abhorsen, but the problem is that he's petrified by the things his mother handles easily. And he's helped loose Free Magic on a world increasingly torn by a mysterious masked necromancer...

Nix takes the rich world he created in "Sabriel" and makes it even richer. It's a bit like a melding of typical high fantasy with an early twentieth-century setting (phones, buses, cricket matches, electricity, guns). Old faves like Sabriel, Touchstone, and Mogget appear here (although Mogget's appearance is a bit brief), along with new and equally likable characters.
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