Plot: Lirael is the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, having found her place in life and no longer hiding as a shy librarian. But then things go haywire when she finds Nicholas Sayre, unconscious and tainted by Free Magic. She saves his life, but that is only just the beginning. Lirael needs to return to the Clayr to figure out what’s going on. Meanwhile, Ferin desperately tries to get to Lirael to deliver a message of utmost importance.
Goldenhand is a long waited for sequel to a book series I love a lot, so as you can imagine, my expectations were high – and that can easily go wrong. But fortunately, it didn’t go wrong, not even the tiniest bit. I loved it.
To Hold the Bridge offers a wide range of stories in many genres – from fantasy to scifi to fairy tales to fanfiction. Most of them are absolutely enjoyable and there are some that left me wanting more so much, I wished they had been expanded into novels. It’s a lovely, strong collection that really has a lot to offer.
Read more about each of the stories after the jump.
Clariel is the newest Old Kingdom novel by Garth Nix, a prequel to the other books. [Here are my reviews of Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, the previous books in the series, and Across the Wall, a short story collection that conains a novella.]
Finished on: 04.01.2015 [cornholio suggested I add that info to my posts, let me know what you think.]
Clariel’s mother is a famous goldsmith of some renoun and has moved to the capital of the Old Kingdom, Belisaere, with her family for her career. Clariel hates it there, she misses the forests and solitude of her home town and has a very hard time adjusting to life in the city, including all the court protocol that is now expected of her. It doesn’t help either that her mother’s Abhorsen heritage connects Clariel closely to the King, who is slowly falling apart since his daughter has disappeared, and puts her right in the middle of the schemes of Guildmaster Kilip and his grasp for power. But Clariel will not let herself be trapped.
Clariel was an exciting read and a wonderful addition to Nix’ world, even though it is a little hard to accept that it doesn’t continue Lirael’s and Nicholas’ story [from what I gather, the next one will]. But if you disregard that fact, Clariel is absolutely perfect.
I had read “Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case” – the Old Kingdom novella – before that, but I never read the rest of the stories, so my re-read of the series seemed like the perfect opportunity to catch up with the entire book. The stories in in offer a wide variety of stiles – from a choose your own adventure spoof to mythology re-tellings, from a war story to a speech Nix did – and all come with a short introdcution and explanation of the circumstances by the author. I really enjoyed the entire collection, some things more than others, but none not at all.
After the jump I’ll talk about each of the stories separately.
Sabriel, the Disreputable Dog and Sameth have made it to the Abhorsen’s house, but they still have a way to go to reach the Red Lake where Nicholas is excavating something that reeks of free magic under the influence of the necromancer Hedge. Unfortunately, the house is surrounded by the Dead, controlled by Chlorr of the Mask. But even once they do make it out of there, a long and dangerous journey awaits them and they actually still don’t know what exactly Hedge is letting Nicholas dig up – they only know that it would have disastrous effects if he should succeed in his plan.
Abhorsen still is a completely satisfying ending to a wonderful trilogy. I could barely put it down and I was totally immersed in the story. Before I embarked on my re-read of the series, I was worried that it might not hold up to my memory of it, but I’m happy to say that it totally did.
Lirael is supposed to be one of the Clayr. But year after year passes and her Sight – the ability to foresee the future – doesn’t awaken. She doesn’t even look like all of her cousins, the rest of the Clayr. At least when she gets a job at the library, she can do a small part in the community and she can explore the library that has quite a few surprises hidden away. Lirael even manages to make/call the Disreputable Dog in whom she finds a loyal friend.
In the meantime Prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone, encounters the Necromancer Hedge in Death. From that point on he feels unable to take up the mantle as the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, descending further into depression, only looking forward to a visit from his Ancelstierrian friend Nicholas.
All of their paths cross when it becomes clear that the entire Old Kingdom is under a serious threat.
When I read the Series for the firs time, I was blown away by Sabriel because it was so new and shiny. And I thought that Abhorsen was the best book of the three. Lirael kind of fell between the cracks of fantastic beginning and satisfying ending. On re-reading it, I’m thinking that I might like it best of all.
A large wall separates the Old Kingdom from Ancelstierre. But it’s more than just a geographical separation: there is magic in the Olde Kingdom, Ancelstierre on the other hand relies on technology. Sabriel is from the Old Kingdom but goes to school just south of the wall in Ancelstierre because her father wanted to make sure she was safe. In the Old Kingdom she wouldn’t have been since her father is the Abhorsen: a necromancer charged with making sure that the dead stay dead. But then the Abhorsen goes missing and it is down to Sabriel to find him before the dead overrun both countries.
I had been meaning to re-read the entire series for a while, but when it was announced that a prequel was about to be published, I had to re-read it immediately. Sometimes I just make really good decisions because Sabriel is still as awesome as I remember it to be.