Sonderbooks Book Reviews by Sondra Eklund

Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004
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*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
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by Garth Nix

Reviewed February 18, 2004.
HarperCollins, New York, 2001.   487 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (JF NIX).
Sonderbooks Stand-out 2004, #9, Fantasy for Young Adults

Lirael is another spell-binding book set in the same world as Sabriel, fourteen years later.

Lirael is a Daughter of the Clayr.  She’s fourteen years old, but she still hasn’t received the Sight, the gift that all the Clayr have of seeing the future.  She feels horribly out of place among so many younger than her who can already See.

I expected the old tried and true plot device that the older someone is when they get the magic, the stronger the gift will be when it comes.  However, Garth Nix threw a twist into my expectations.

The Old Kingdom is in danger again.  Lirael has a special role in helping to save it, along with Sabriel’s son, Sameth.

This is the kind of book that made me wish I was on a long car trip, so I wouldn’t have to interrupt my reading with real life.  I found myself reading it at lunchtime and getting back late, when usually I only read fiction before I go to bed at night.

The only part I didn’t like was the end, when I learned that this is only the first half of the story.  Unlike Sabriel, which was a self-contained story, Lirael only begins the story that is continued in the next book, Abhorsen.  I’m going to check it out of the library tomorrow.

Reviews of other books by Garth Nix:
Across the Wall
Terciel & Elinor
A Confusion of Princes
Newt's Emerald
To Hold the Bridge
The Left-Handed Booksellers of London
The Sinister Booksellers of Bath

Copyright © 2005 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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