The eagerly anticipated second volume of Clive Barkers four part fantasy series, Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War, picks up right where the highly praised first novel leaves off. Candy Quakenbush is still on the run from the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion, who plans to establish a Permanent Midnight throughout the 25 islanads that make up Abarat. Candy, aided and abetted by a host of colorful new characters, including Malingo (the affable geshrat she rescued in Book One), continues to dodge Carrions hired assassins, as forces gather on both sides of Day and Night to prepare for the inevitable war between the Hours.
Days of Magic, Nights of War is a true series book--those who have not traveled to Abarat before will have a difficult time picking up the threads of Barkers complex mythical opus without having read the first installment. But teen readers who have been waiting breathlessly for Candys return are rewarded with a stunning sequel that reveals her true identity at the novels smashing climax. As in Abarat, Clive Barker's full-colored, organic illustrations of Abarats inhabitants stalk and swim across the pages like a Stephen King-meets-Dr. Seuss circus. There seems to be no end to Barkers ever-expanding idiosyncratic vision, and for that, fantasy fans of all ages can be grateful. --Jennifer Hubert
From School Library Journal
Grade 7-10–Candy Quakenbush and her chum, Malingo, who first came to our attention in Clive Barker's Abarat(HarperCollins, 2002), have surfaced again in this sequel (Joanna Cotler Books, 2004). Candy is on the run from the Lord of Midnight, Christopher Carrion. Carrion and his evil grandmother, Mater Motley, are determined to begin a war that will bring absolute darkness to the Abarat forever. Believing that Candy has the power to prevent their wicked plot, they decide that she must die and Carrion relentlessly pursues her. Candy slowly begins to understand what is going on as she performs magic she hasn't learned and recalls memories of things she never experienced. Along the way, she encounters a succession of both helpful and unsympathetic characters. Candy and the dragon slayer, Finnigan Hobb, are drawn to each other and the shocking reason is revealed toward the end of the tale. The raspy voice of narrator Richard Ferrone serves the novel well. His interpretation of Carrion, in particular, is chilling. The book doesn't stand on its own–listeners should read or listen to the first book before tackling this one to fully understand the sometimes complicated plot. There are two additional titles planned for the series. The series has the potential to become hugely popular as Disney has optioned the story for both movie and theme park rights.–Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Bixby, OK
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