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The Fall (Seventh Tower #1) Paperback – June 5, 2000

4.3 out of 5 stars 103 customer reviews
Book 1 of 6 in the Seventh Tower Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tal, a Chosen of the Orange Order, is having the worst luck lately. Just when he is getting ready for the Day of Ascension--a day when all the 13-year-old Chosen from the Castle of Seven Towers enter the spirit world of Aenir--his father disappears with the family's only primary Sunstone, which Tal needs for the ascension. Without it, he cannot enter Aenir and bind himself to a Shadowspirit--a kind of guardian being that serves as a friend and protector to the person it is bound to. And without a Shadowspirit, Tal will lose both his Chosen status and any hope of finding a cure for his mother's mysterious wasting illness, a cure that can only come from Aenir. Tal tries to beg, borrow, and even steal a Sunstone. But his attempts fail, and in his final act of thievery, Tal is thrown off the Castle of Seven Towers by a powerful Shadowspirit Keeper and into an adventure beyond his imagining.

Australian fantasy author Garth Nix (well known for his novels Sabriel and Shade's Children, both ALA list picks) has joined with Lucasfilm to launch a six-book fantasy series about Tal's world, of which The Fall is the first installment. Packed with excitement and wonderfully weird creatures like the living sea of Selski and the hungry, one-horned Merwin, Nix's latest tale will enchant readers. Containing elements of The Golden Compass and the Harry Potter books, The Seventh Tower is an epic fantasy not to be missed. (Ages 11 to 14) --Jennifer Hubert


Scholastic will feel the force once again. The New York-based kids pubco has inked a deal to publish a new title for Lucasfilm imprint LucasBooks. The only book to come out of the deal-according to Scholastic PR, the two companies haven't discussed collaborating on additional titles-called The Seventh Tower (L)S$4.99), is scheduled to hit stores in June in paperback. Penned by Australian author Garth Nix, The Seventh Tower is a fantasy series targeted to readers in the eight to 12 range. Scholastic will release the second book in the series in September, to be followed by two quarterly releases. Starting in April, Scholastic will kick off its marketing campaign in support of the series, which includes a national print ad campaign, a Seventh Tower Web site, and a Seventh Tower kids hotline. Also in April, Scholastic will distribute one million Seventh Tower teaser booklets to kids in the U.S. through its network of school book clubs. The deal marks the second time in the last year Scholastic and Lucas have worked together. Last year, Scholastic published a range of titles based on Lucas's Star Wars prequel The Phantom Menace. SA

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 800L (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Scholastic Paperbacks; Reprint edition (July 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439176824
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439176828
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #259,895 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Wilson on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The Seventh Tower by Garth Nix has a refreshing new portrayal of characters that is not typically seen in books for this age group. The book is not beholden to the stereotypes of male strength and violence and female compassion, as one typically finds. Rather, both genders portray a complete range of personalities; from the compassionate male hero to the violent girl (Milla) that wants to kill Tal but resists out of loyalty to her clan and because she gave her word to her clan's (female) leader. The story line itself is interesting and shows no inconsistencies that leave the reader wondering if the book was ever edited. This the first book in a total of six in the series. My only complaint is that this book is not a complete story in and of itself as are the Harry Potter books or Ursula Le Guin's Earthsea series. It leaves the reader hanging at the end with no idea of when part two will be written. But that is a minor complaint and inspite of that I highly recommend it. In todays world it's important that boys have compassionate male heros and understand that females can be just as violent as males. Likewise, girls have to understand that boys aren't weak just because they aren't physical and that girls can be strong both physically and mentally. Of course, the book also has it's share of underhanded people (both male and female) along with the snobs, the cheats, the genius teetering on the edge of insanity and plenty of fantasy creatures to round it out. In short, as far as the characters go, the book is an accurate portrayal of life. And the story is a wonderful fantasy.
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Format: Paperback
Rating System:

1 star = abysmal; some books deserve to be forgotten

2 star = poor; a total waste of time

3 star = good; worth the effort

4 star = very good; what writing should be

5 star = fantastic; must own it and share it with others


This is a story for ages 8 - 12, though as an adult reading it with my kids I'm enjoying the series too. Nix's Abhorsen trilogy is for teens and his Keys to the Kingdom series is also for ages 8-12.


Tal is in a bind. His father has been missing. His mother is ill. And his family doesn't have a strong Sunstone to elevate their position and provision. It falls to Tal to provide for his mother and little brother by seeking out a sunstone. But there are forces in his way that stop him from achieving these goals. It doesn't help in the opening scene that he falls from the Red Tower in his attempt to gain a stone. The fall leads to adventure Tal never would have thought possible.


Tal is a likeable kid caught in a bad situation. He wants to do the right thing and provide for his family, but he just can't. We empathize and sympathize with him as a character. The rest of the cast is equally likeable in their own way and those that are meant to be disliked are definitely dislikeable. Overall, a great cast of characters that add to this story of Tal's quest


Not your typical fantasy world, but that is one reason why I love reading Garth Nix's books. . .there isn't anything typical only new and imaginative about them. The world is richly described in just the right words that a short paragraph leaves an easily visualized scene in one's head.
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Format: Paperback
This is the perfect kids' introduction to Garth Nix. Though published by the same people as the "Jedi Apprentice" books, this one is both more complex and considerably darker.
The young hero, Tal, is searching for a sunstone so that he can undertake a ritual quest, and solidify his family's position in the favored classes of his darkened world. If he fails, he and his younger siblings and his ill mother will be relegated to servants for the rest of their lives. But an enemy is trying to thwart Tal's attempts, and he must try to get a sunstone on his own-with disturbing results.
The levels of differentness in this book are spectacular, though not as much so as Sabriel-one can hardly expect something so advanced for readers of Jedi Apprentice! Tal is a thoroughly human and sympathetic character, and as he grows more desperate the reader wants him to succeed more.
Compared to the kids' fantasy usually published now, this is a gem. I wish I could give it 6 stars!
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A Kid's Review on November 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
Sixth Grade White Heath
The Seventh Tower :The Fall by Garth Nix
They say the first book in every series is the worst ... all it does is talk, describe the setting, no adventure. Well, I don't know if "they" say that , but I do. The Fall which is the first book in the series The Seventh Towers broke that rule. This is a great science fiction book and series. In the book The Fall , Tal is faced with many challenges. Tal's dad gets lost on a mission and is presumed to be dead, his mom is sick, it seems like his elders are picking on him and his little brother got caught by a shadow spirit, the servants of the powerful in his castle. All Tal's problems would be solved if he could get a sunstone, his peoples' only source of light. When following Tal's crazy uncle's idea,Tal decides to climb one of the seven towers of his home, the castle in the sky, and into the veil where sunstones grow plentifully. Here's where the book gets its name; Tal falls out of the veil onto the planet below his precious castle where he meets the Icecarls. There, Tal meets a crazy bully of a girl trying to prove herself so she can become a Shield Maiden. A Shield Maiden is a warrior who travels all over the ice in search of a battle. Like I said, she's crazy. It seems all Milla, the crazy girl, wants to do is kill Tal. They're bound together on a quest to get 2 sunstones, 1 for Tal, 1 for the Icecarles. Milla continued being mean to Tal even though Tal and his shadow guard save her from a monster that lives on the ice. Tal's shadow guard wasn't as powerful as an important person in the castle but it helped heal Mila's wounds. The shadow guard is also useful because shadow guards are feared by all Icecarls. This was a truly a good science fiction book. I personally can't wait to read the next book in the series. I hardly even minded that it left me hanging at the end. I usually hate it when the author does that, but this is an exception. I give this book two thumbs up.
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