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Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr (The Abhorsen Trilogy) Paperback – August 17, 2004


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Product Details

  • Series: The Abhorsen Trilogy
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (August 17, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060590165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060590161
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (304 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,792,988 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Fourteen years have passed since the necromancer Sabriel bound the Greater Dead Adept Kerrigor beyond the Ninth Gate and helped restore King Touchstone to the Old Kingdom throne. Now she rules at his side as Abhorsen, the sole necromancer of the Old Kingdom, keeping the people safe from the dark power of Free Magic. But this is not just Sabriel's tale. It is also the story of Hedge, a mysterious necromancer who is digging up a monstrous evil that could utterly destroy the Old Kingdom. And it is the story of Prince Sameth, Touchstone and Sabriel's only son, who would rather fight an entire army of Dead than disappoint his beloved parents. And Sam's friend Nick, who has unknowingly loosed Free Magic into the Old Kingdom, blissfully ignorant of its complete malevolence. But mostly, this is the tale of Lirael, the only daughter of the future-seeing Clayr who does not possess the Sight. Burying the pain of her Sightlessness in the Clayr's great library, Third Assistant Librarian Lirael's insatiable curiosity will soon lead her to an unbelievable destiny that may even be connected with that of the great Sabriel herself.

Garth Nix's stunning sequel to Sabriel, full of Mages, Moggets, and even a Disreputable Dog, is on par with the equally superb works of Philip Pullman and William Nicholson. And fantasy lovers of all ages will be thrilled to discover that Lirael ends with more questions than answers, which will mean a third dip into Nix's beguiling Charter Magic. Both exhilarating and mesmerizing, this fine novel is pure enchantment. (Ages 12 and older) --Jennifer Hubert --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

In Nix's sequel to Sabriel, readers return to the entrancing and complicated Old Kingdom: a world of necromancy, seers, dangerous monsters and talking animals (the cat Mogget is back). The relationships between the Kingdom's various realms and the magic may take some unraveling for readers new to the series, but the heroine's plight will be instantly compelling. Lirael is the only one of a community of clairvoyant women not to be gifted with "the Sight," and the mystery of her parentage contributes to her alienation. Just after her 14th birthday, Lirael releases a Stilken (half-woman, half-crustacean) from a glass-covered coffin. Her act leads to a meeting with a healer (Lirael's great-great-grandmother) who fortifies her and urges her to take as her only friend the impertinent "Disreputable Dog," a creature of suspicious magical origin whose true nature remains unknown. The overall plot may follow the expected course an evil magician threatens the well-being of the Old Kingdom and Lirael finds her destiny linked with that of handsome, nervous Prince Sameth (son of Sabriel) but startling subplots abound and keep the pages turning. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and Nix leaves nearly every major question unanswered. The evil is still at large, the Disreputable Dog still unexplained and Lirael's mother's desertion of her unresolved. Readers hoping for a satisfying ending will have to wait for the third in the series, to be titled Abhorsen, and tentatively scheduled for fall 2002. Ages 12-up.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Garth Nix has worked as a bookseller, book sales representative, publicist, editor, marketing consultant and literary agent. He also spent five years as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve. A full-time writer since 2001, more than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world and his work has been translated into 40 languages. Garth's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of The New York Times, Publishers Weekly (US), The Bookseller(UK), The Australian and The Sunday Times (UK). He lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife and two children.

Customer Reviews

The story is filled with interesting characters, good humor, great plot and excellent adventures.
tralalabla
I read this one first by accident, but I just ordered the rest of the old kingdom series and can't wait to read it... still finishing another book.
Zumbaaddict
I highly recommend "Lirael" and the other two books in the trilogy to anyone who loves great fantasy.
Catty Chat

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
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.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on April 14, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Lirael" is neither the beginning nor the end (thank goodness) of this remarkable fantasy series by Garth Nix. If you haven't already read "Sabriel", you might want to put "Lirael" aside and begin at the beginning. The middle book could stand alone, especially the story of Lirael herself, but you will miss nuances of the Philosophy and Geography of Death if you don't start with "Sabriel". The only work I can compare this series to is Philip Pullman's "Golden Compass" trilogy, although I prefer Nix's magical world-building. If I ever die and go to fantasy heaven, I hope it resembles his immense library beneath glacier and mountain, where each door opens into a separate mystery. In the catacombs beneath the library, Lirael discovers how to turn herself into an ice otter or a barking owl, reads "The Book of Remembrance and Forgetting", and duels with the monstrous Stilken.
However, "Lirael" isn't just about Lirael. Prince Sameth, heir apparent to Sabriel as the Old Kingdom's champion against evil necromancers, also comes of age in this volume. There are plenty of evil necromancers to go around. In fact, at the end of this book, it appears as though they are winning the war to turn the Old Kingdom into a kingdom of the dead.
One fault should be noted. The two main characters spend too much text feeling sorry for themselves. Lirael pursues an impossible dream, while Prince Sameth tries to escape from an impossible nightmare. I think the author's editor must have read "Sabriel" and said, "Garth, this is a great fantasy but your heroine, Sabriel is pretty darn self-sufficient. Readers can't relate to that. You need to make your characters more vulnerable.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Tom on October 17, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I just read Sabriel and couldn't believe how much I loved it. Then I discovered to my suprise that a sequel had been written. This sequel being Lirael. I have read this book and let me tell you, it's amazing.
This book reads like real life, Nix has created such a deep and believable world that you come to the illusion that the action is truly taking place. His characters are sooo believable and well developed.
If you enjoyed Sabriel there is absolutely no reason for you not to read this book. I personally enjoyed it just as much as its successor and I await non-patiently for the final book of the series "Abhorsen".
The way this book builds is amazing and I know that all will love it. Sit down and read it, but not if you are going to be having to leave the house any time within the next 2 hours because..you'll never put it down.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on February 27, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Lirael" is neither the beginning nor the end (thank goodness) of this remarkable fantasy series by Garth Nix. If you haven't already read "Sabriel", you might want to put "Lirael" aside and begin at the beginning. The middle book could stand alone, especially the story of Lirael herself, but you will miss nuances of the Philosophy and Geography of Death if you don't start with "Sabriel". The only work I can compare this series to is Philip Pullman's "Golden Compass" trilogy, although I prefer Nix's magical world-building. If I ever die and go to fantasy heaven, I hope it resembles his immense library beneath glacier and mountain, where each door opens into a separate mystery. In the catacombs beneath the library, Lirael discovers how to turn herself into an ice otter or a barking owl, reads "The Book of Remembrance and Forgetting", and duels with the monstrous Stilken.

However, "Lirael" isn't just about Lirael. Prince Sameth, heir apparent to Sabriel as the Old Kingdom's champion against evil necromancers, also comes of age in this volume. There are plenty of evil necromancers to go around. In fact, at the end of this book, it appears as though they are winning the war to turn the Old Kingdom into a kingdom of the dead.

One fault should be noted. The two main characters spend too much text feeling sorry for themselves. Lirael pursues an impossible dream, while Prince Sameth tries to escape from an impossible nightmare. I think the author's editor must have read "Sabriel" and said, "Garth, this is a great fantasy but your heroine, Sabriel is pretty darn self-sufficient. Readers can't relate to that. You need to make your characters more vulnerable." So that's exactly what Nix did in Volume Two.
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