by Garth Nix

{ 2001 | HarperTeen | 496 pgs }

I’ve waited a long time to read this second book in the Abhorsen trilogy (the first being Sabriel). In fact, it’s been almost a year since I read Sabriel.

Because it has been such a long time, I was worried that I wouldn’t remember enough of the storyline to follow along. Nix does a wonderful job of keeping the reader up-to-speed, reintroducing important themes and characters.

This book follows Lirael, a young woman born to the Clayr, the women of the bloodline who are able to See the future. By age 14, Lirael has still not received the Sight which comes to most Clayr years earlier, and she feels left out – not only by her lack of Sight but by her appearance, distinctly different from the other Clayr. The first half of the book is about Lirael finding her place and growing in her power.

The book then suddenly switches to a story about Sameth (Sabriel’s son), the prince of the Old Kingdom. It gets really interesting, even though it still almost feels like a different book altogether. In the final third of the book, Lirael and Sameth’s stories join together, and it gets really interesting.

Then it ends.

Thank you, middle book in a trilogy. There was absolutely no conclusion, no resolution, and no sense of ending. While I absolutely loved Lirael, it was only half a book. Sabriel stood on its own, but there is no way I can say that Lirael is worth reading without having the final book (Abhorsen) standing by. Unfortunately, I don’t have it, and my plan is to read all 26 of my books for this year before moving on to any others. That means I still have 21 books in my way before I’ll read Abhorsen.

By all means, read Sabriel and then Lirael, but make sure you have immediate access to Abhorsen as well.


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