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Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 24 May 2004
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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on 14 March 2017
Quite a while since I read Sabriel... and I realised I shouldn't have left it so long...really enjoyed this 2nd in the series...couldn't put it down..now on to the 3rd and 4th.
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on 5 August 2017
Exciting and interesting to read. A good story with a multitude of characters who make you feel strong emotion especially with the main character.
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on 4 March 2017
Garth Nix's fantasy sequence about the Old Kingdom continues at a breathless pace. The two protagonists have emotional battles to fight as well as faving an army of Dead and a necromancer. I couldn't stop reading
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on 26 May 2017
Read this series of books years ago, excellent reading for young and old alike
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on 31 July 2017
Really good read
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on 21 August 2017
Great read!
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on 7 October 2003
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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on 1 February 2015
I don't understand why some people may think this is a "girly" or "teenager" story. It isn't. Ten years ago when I was 12/13 at school, I bought a copy, and several other boys at the time were also reading the book and its sequels. Never read fully it or its sequels since, but have kept it on the shelf, and looked back time to time.

It is an interesting alternative if you're tired of the (in some ways overrated) Harry Potter series or Lord of the Rings trilogy. The author (Garth Nix) has a simple writing style making it accessible and readable for anyone, yet is imaginative. There are no pictures, only a map at the beginning. You'll find yourself imagining the characters, landscapes, monuments/landmarks, weapons, everything, and continuously turning the pages to keep piecing all the aspects of the story together. A great series.
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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.

Some readers may not like Lirael as well as they liked the more self-assured, kick-butt Sabriel, but Sabriel knew who she was, where she was coming from, and knew what she needed to know. Lirael is only learning those things, which makes her a more vulnerable, confused heroine. She becomes stronger and more self-assured as she learns more about Charter magery and her background.

"Lirael" has the same balance of humor and horror as the first book. We have things like the bodies of refugees being turned into decayed Dead Hands, the clawed insecto-human Stilken, or just the aura of darkness around the Book of the Dead. But we also have funny things like Nick or the running joke about the Dog and food.

The Disreputable Dog is a lot like Mogget, in that she's more than she seems and a handy source of info, but not as quietly menacing as Mogget was. And Sam is endearingly unsure of himself, and is one of the few fantasy characters to be genuinely terrified of his "duties," not just apprehensive. His sister was the one character who fell flat; she seemed a little too "bossy princess."

The biggest problem with "Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr" is that it ends on a "to be continued" note. So be sure to have the concluding novel, "Abhorsen," ready while you read this book. Dark, funny, creepy, and immensely well-written.
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