Monday, October 7, 2013


Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)Lirael by Garth Nix
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Lirael is a Sightless misfit amongst the prophetic Clayr, but during her work at the dangerous Library she discovers that her destiny may lay elsewhere; helping the Abhorsen defeat the rise of the Dead.

This is a sequel to Sabriel, set nearly twenty years after the defeat of Kerrigor. We finally get to see the inside of the Clayr's Glacier, where Lirael has grown up as an orphan. She is self-pitying and isolated by her sense of being different - more than anything else, she longs to gain the Sight that will make her a full Clayr.

To keep herself occupied, she takes up a post in the Library, a place so dangerous that Librarians wear whistles and keep clockwork mice in their pockets to call for help. Lirael discovers a talent for Charter Magic and begins uncovering some of the many secrets of her Library. The Library is even cooler than the Abhorsen's House, and it's a setting I wanted to see more of, along with the Clayr's Glacier.

Sabriel and Touchstone are now rulers, with two grown heirs ready to take up their work. At least, until their son Sam is attacked by a powerful necromancer and deeply traumatized by the event. Sam is a perpetual worrywart whose brush with Death made him afraid of his own calling just as an ancient evil is rising to destroy his homeland. It takes Sam and Lirael a long time to connect, but it is clear that they will work together in the next book.

Added to Moggett the cat is the happy-go-lucky Disreputable Dog, who is the perfect friend for a lonely young girl. The depiction of two teenagers who feel anxious about their futures is spot-on, down to the self-pity and self-absorption that slowly gives away to a sense of greater purpose. I think that fans of the Bartimaeus trilogy (starting with The Amulet of Samarkand) would love this book, too. Of course, I'm planning on rereading the final book of the Abhorsen trilogy, Abhorsen.

"The Library was shaped like a nautilus shell, a continuous tunnel that wound down into the mountain in an ever-tightening spiral. This main spiral was an enormously long, twisting ramp that took you from the high reaches of the mountain down past the level of the valley floor, several thousand feet below."

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