Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, Young adult
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under the growing shadow of an ancient evil.
In this sequel to Sabriel, winner of the Aurealis Award for Excellence in Australian Science Fiction, New York Times best-selling author Garth Nix weaves a spellbinding tale of discovery, destiny, and danger.
Books with magical cats are the best!
No, seriously. One of my favorite books as a kid was Sir Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents, which featured, you guessed it, a talking cat. Lirael manages to one-up this with not just a talking cat (that may or may not actually be a cat), but also a Disreputable Dog.
Why did I not read this series earlier??
I read Sabriel a couple of years ago, and while I loved the world and the idea of death being seven rivers that pull your spirit farther away from the living world, I thought the story itself was a little slow. I was captivated by the seven bells and the Free Magic versus Charter Marks, but for some reason I didn't connect that much with Sabriel. I'm glad I decided to continue this series, because this book was definitely better. Lirael is still slow for the most part, since it is mostly just set-up for the third book, but I enjoyed it more. There was something nostalgic about this book, even though I'd never read it before. I felt like I was 10 again, reading my first epic fantasy books.
Sabriel and Touchstone are now King and Abhorsen, and this is the story of their son, Sammeth, and a mysterious girl named Lirael. Lirael has grown up with the Clayr, the seers who can see into the future, but with each passing year she loses hope that she will ever be able to see the future herself. Sammeth is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, but he'd much rather make little toys and tools than weild the seven bells. When danger threatens both the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre, Lirael and Sam must find each other and find a way to set things right (with a little help from Mogget and the Disreputable Dog, of course).
I loved both Lirael and Sam. They had their fears and insecurities, but they were also very brave and resourceful. They grew so much over the course of this book, and I really enjoyed how they finally accepted and filled the roles destined for them. The Disreputable Dog and Mogget were very lovable and often funny, but Garth Nix makes sure you never forget that these are wild and unpredictable creatures of magic.
This book was amazing, and I can see why it holds a soft spot in so many people's hearts. I really wish I'd read it as a child, but I will still definitely have fond memories of this.
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