Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr’s birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.
In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.
This wonderful trilogy was introduced to me on Goodreads via the Hot Key books Old Kingdom READ-ALONG.
It is quite fascinating how Garth Nix fast forwarded the essential elements of the story many years into the future, rather than continuing Sabriel and Touchstone’s more youthful story. We are introduced to Lirael, a young woman who wants desperately to be accepted as a Clayr, yet she is lacking in one important quality that the Clayr must possess. Each year she grows older but the ability to see into the future, which is a coming of age gift of the Clayr, bypasses her. Lirael can’t help but feel excluded, an outsider, overgrown, useless, lonely and ultimately desperate.
Unable to bare her wretched existence a day longer she decides to commit suicide by flinging herself off of the glacier, a dramatic attention seeking act! But she is thwarted by her own fear and by an unexpected interruption. We are re-introduced to the Abhorsen Sabriel, and King Touchstone but the two main characters of the previous novel play a much smaller part in this second novel. Instead of killing herself Lirael discovers a sense of purpose in the quiet duties of a Librarian, learns Charter magic, and creates the magnificent Disreputable dog a Free Magic creature infused with Charter Magic. If you loved Mogget, an ancient Free Magic cat construct of unknown origin bound by a red Charter magic collar to serve the Abhorsen, you’ll love the dog. These two furry characters are just so amusing. Loved them both! Their banter is just so on point.
So the adventure continues and what an entertaining ride it is. Along the way we meet Sameth, Sabriel and Touchstone’s son, who is overwhelmed by his princely duties as Abhorsen in waiting. He would prefer to construct toys to catch insects than stare into the eyes of evil Necromancers and who can blame him? He feels inadequate, and the efficiency of his sister Ellimere just makes him feel even more useless and paranoid. There are interesting parallels between Sameth and Lirael, but the way in which they deal with overcoming obstacles are quite different. Lirael is without a doubt the stronger character. It is interesting how Garth Nix writes strong female characters but his male characters tend to be a bit lacking and not quite up to the task! All in all, I really enjoyed the character of Lirael, I warmed to her straight away. Sameth was a bit pathetic at times but he grew on me! Even when he tries his best to escape trouble he just seems to walk deeper into its clutches!
The ending came as a bit of a surprise but maybe I should have seen it coming!
Overall, I would highly recommend Lirael to readers of Fantasy, Young Adult, Magic, and Adventure.
Have you read Lirael? Do comment I’d love to hear from you.
Bye for now,
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx