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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 th 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.


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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 th 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.

30 review for Lirael

  1. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    Omg!! I had 6,000 audio books come through the library today 😫But I wanted to follow along in my book while Tim Curry reads to me 😊 Omg!! I had 6,000 audio books come through the library today 😫But I wanted to follow along in my book while Tim Curry reads to me 😊

  2. 5 out of 5

    Charlotte May

    “When the Dead do walk, seek water’s run, for this the Dead will always shun. Swift river’s best or broadest lake to ward the Dead and haven make. If water fails thee, fire’s thy friend; if neither guards, it will be thy end.” Well this was freaking awesome! As a sequel where the main character from Book 1 isn’t the main focus - I was a bit worried; but there was no need because Lirael continued the story of the Old Kingdom and the dead fantastically! “The blue hats shaded silver sightless eye s “When the Dead do walk, seek water’s run, for this the Dead will always shun. Swift river’s best or broadest lake to ward the Dead and haven make. If water fails thee, fire’s thy friend; if neither guards, it will be thy end.” Well this was freaking awesome! As a sequel where the main character from Book 1 isn’t the main focus - I was a bit worried; but there was no need because Lirael continued the story of the Old Kingdom and the dead fantastically! “The blue hats shaded silver sightless eye sockets, the blue scarves held together rotting heads.” Lirael is part of the Clayr - those who can see into the future. But Lirael has never received the Sight. As she gets older and the Sight still doesn’t appear, her self worth becomes non existent and she retreats into herself. “lunging forward and nipping her quite sharply on the leg...”what did you do that for?” “You were being pathetic,” said the Dog.” Lirael is so relatable! Hiding out in the library to avoid speaking to anyone, her isolation from the Clayr is palpable and you really feel for her. “I’m not sure I can believe what I’m seeing.” “You’d better believe it...because they’ll kill you whether you believe in them or not.” Meanwhile, Prince Sameth - the son of Sabriel and King Touchstone is due to take on his role as the Abhorsen in Waiting to eventually take over from his mother. But he is terrified - after a hairy situation facing a Necromancer in Death, Sam can think of nothing worse than a life fighting the creatures of the dead. “You may not See, but you will Remember. And in the Remembering, you will see the hidden past that holds the secrets of the future,” Lirael is eventually sent on a mission by the Clayr and meets Sam while he is on the run. This leads to many adventures and some serious twists at the end! The writing is witty, action packed and magical! Overall a non stop thrill ride and I can’t wait to read the next one! “I suppose we’ll end up having to swim for our miserable lives.”

  3. 5 out of 5

    Caz (littlebookowl)

    4.5 stars

  4. 5 out of 5

    Faith M ✨

    I was listening to the last few chapters on audiobook (bless Tim Curry and his downright villainous voice) and had my eyes closed, and when that epilogue reveal happened, my eyes shot open like I was a Dead thing come back to consciousness. The first 100 or so pages of this didn't entirely hook me, as we had a new protagonist and not a whole lot happened. But once it really got going, I was very invested. Lirael and Sameth were fantastic protagonists and I loved them both so much. Garth Nix is ph I was listening to the last few chapters on audiobook (bless Tim Curry and his downright villainous voice) and had my eyes closed, and when that epilogue reveal happened, my eyes shot open like I was a Dead thing come back to consciousness. The first 100 or so pages of this didn't entirely hook me, as we had a new protagonist and not a whole lot happened. But once it really got going, I was very invested. Lirael and Sameth were fantastic protagonists and I loved them both so much. Garth Nix is phenomenal at writing characters that act their age without being annoying or cliche. Even Sabriel and Prince Pinocchio aka Touchstone were recognizably the same people, despite so many years having passed since the first book. The animal sidekicks in this once again utterly stole the show. As usual, Mogget was A+, but the Disreputable Dog was new and just as awesome. And their dynamic was golden. I absolutely adored everything about it. The world in this never ceases to amaze me. It has that classic fantasy feel, with talking animal familiars and children's rhymes containing vital plot details. It has something that is all too lacking in current YA fantasy, which is bogged down by all the assassins and love interests and ~witty sarcasm~ This is simple and atmospheric, with relatable but brave characters and a beautifully realized world. I want more of this in my fantasy. My one big gripe is that I am extremely confused about the nature of the rest of the world, outside of the Old Kingdom, like in Ancelstierre. There are numerous references to things that exist in our world, and not just simple things like specific sports, but complex stuff like Puss in Boots that have a lot to do with history. Is it to be assumed that Giovanni Francesco Straparola was also a guy in this universe? Read this review and more on my blog here!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dannii Elle

    Actual rating 4.5/5 stars. This is the second instalment in the Abhorsen series. Whilst Sabriel wrapped up in a satisfactory manner, I still was left with many questions and so was a little disappointed , initially, to find that Lirael takes place fourteen years after the events depicted in book one. This disappointment was short lived as I was introduced to the immediately lovable Lirael, daughter of the Clayr but without their infamous sight for future events. She is disheartened at her lack o Actual rating 4.5/5 stars. This is the second instalment in the Abhorsen series. Whilst Sabriel wrapped up in a satisfactory manner, I still was left with many questions and so was a little disappointed , initially, to find that Lirael takes place fourteen years after the events depicted in book one. This disappointment was short lived as I was introduced to the immediately lovable Lirael, daughter of the Clayr but without their infamous sight for future events. She is disheartened at her lack of skill and so throws her energy into her new role as librarian and in honing her skill with charter magic. She proves adept at both, but not with staying out of trouble or venturing into areas she shouldn't be. This proves fortunate, as she happens across an ancient prophecy bearing her name and so begins her adventures that will lead her away from the Clayr's glacier home and any future she had envisioned for herself. The other perspective belonged to Prince Sam. He was alike to Lirael in that he did not seem to hold the necessary skills for his perceived future station. He differed in that he was willing to do nothing about it but bemoan his fate. I struggled to connect with his character on the same level as Lirael's but I did enjoy the adventures he also went on, and seeing them intertwine with Lirael's. This book was made complete by the return of Mogget, the free magic being forced into cat-shaped snarky servitude, and the new addition of The Disreputable Dog, a currently dog-shaped being from before the charter was made. He is far more willing to aid his current companions but has a far more murkier past. I am looking forward to puzzling out these secrets in the coming series instalments! Despite this entire book leading to a future adventure and solving none of the current mysteries or overcoming any of the enemies lurking close at hand, this did not suffer from any sort of middle-book-syndrome. The plot was fast-moving, even more so than in book one where the skills of charter magic and necromancy were introduced, and largely unguessable in trajectory. I foresee book three, Abohrsen, to wrap up these dilemmas and the series to be nothing but action, from here on out.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Echo

    It took me a while to get around to reading this book, even though I rushed out and bought it immediately after finishing Sabriel. The up side to that is in the meantime, I'd bought Abhorsen as well. That's important. Sabriel was a good stand-alone novel. Lirael and Abhorsen are not. In fact, I'd recommend that before you read Lirael 1) you read Sabriel first and 2) you have a copy of Abhorsen ready to pick up as soon as you finish Lirael. Lirael ends in the middle of something, and the two prob It took me a while to get around to reading this book, even though I rushed out and bought it immediately after finishing Sabriel. The up side to that is in the meantime, I'd bought Abhorsen as well. That's important. Sabriel was a good stand-alone novel. Lirael and Abhorsen are not. In fact, I'd recommend that before you read Lirael 1) you read Sabriel first and 2) you have a copy of Abhorsen ready to pick up as soon as you finish Lirael. Lirael ends in the middle of something, and the two probably could have been combined into one very long novel. Still, I recommend the whole series. The characters may not be quite as awesome as Sabriel, but they're still very well-done and the story is wonderful. I'll definitely seek out more of Garth Nix's books after I finish this series.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    [4.5 Stars] Way better than the first one!

  8. 5 out of 5

    TS Chan

    While the Abhorsen series continues to thrive on its magic and worldbuilding, the characterisation in Lirael is unfortunately not up to par with its predecessor, Sabriel. It does appear that Sabriel is written almost like a stand-alone, as this sequel takes place almost one and a half decade after the events in the first book with two new main characters; Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr and Prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone. Both characters demonstrate the typical angst and insecu While the Abhorsen series continues to thrive on its magic and worldbuilding, the characterisation in Lirael is unfortunately not up to par with its predecessor, Sabriel. It does appear that Sabriel is written almost like a stand-alone, as this sequel takes place almost one and a half decade after the events in the first book with two new main characters; Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr and Prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone. Both characters demonstrate the typical angst and insecurity of teenagers; one who bemoans the absence of a power that is the birthright of her race and the other who decries the responsibility thrust upon him because of his birthright and powers. If I have to choose, I will say Lirael is definitely the more aggravating one. While the other Clayrs of ages younger than Lirael started gaining the power of Seeing, she remained an outcast as she continues to well into her teenage years without even a hint of it. However, it turns out that she is very adept at Charter magic and has the ability learn quickly and perform marvellous feats which most others cannot. BUT just because she cannot See, her anxiety that she will never fully be one of the Clayrs grates on her self-confidence and my patience. The appearance of the Disreputable Dog - a creature of magic - was a welcome change to Lirael's story. Not accepting her constant self-belittling, the Dog prods her into action that finally takes the direction of her tale towards an intriguing revelation of her potential heritage. Prince Sameth (or Sam) may be slightly less annoying but I do feel like giving him a good shake for both his actions and inaction in addressing his debilitating fear of his legacy. The Disreputable Dog The highlight of this series so far truly lies in the magic and worldbuilding. We learn more of the Clayr, a race who appeared briefly in Sabriel, and the birth of the Charter, created out of Free Magic. The seven bells used for necromancy and controlling both the living and the dead, which are tied to the creation of the Charter, are just simply fascinating. So is the portrayal of Death, which is a river, grey and cold, with currents pulling the dead through the Gates, nine in all before a soul goes beyond any necromancer's ability to be summoned back. The story also started to become more interesting when Lirael and Sam eventually encountered each other under grave circumstances. This also meant that the Disreputable Dog met Mogget, the cat, who is now accompanying Sam after he stole away from the palace under the guise of an ordinary traveller. It was pretty obvious from the start that both these creatures of magic had a history together, and not an entirely pleasant one. A delightful turn of events, one might say. The common thread that brought Lirael and Sam together is the potential re-emergence of an extremely dangerous and powerful entity engineered by a necromancer of considerable strength. As we find both our main characters getting to terms with each of their own true legacy, the enemy is moving ever closer to his goal. This volume concluded on an unresolved note, with Lirael and Sam both contending with the grim prospect of having to face this new adversary, setting up the stage for the next book, Abhorsen. This review can also be found at Booknest

  9. 5 out of 5

    Chris

    When I glance at the reviews for this book, I'm actually surprised. Not that people would like this book, but that everyone would like it. I thought for sure there would be more of a split on it. I mean, the writing is good. Nix can put together sentences and his plot is soundly articulated. His Old Kingdom is a vast and impressive construct, and his imagination is superb. There were even a couple really good scenes in here. I just...I don't know. I couldn't wait for it to end. I hated the charac When I glance at the reviews for this book, I'm actually surprised. Not that people would like this book, but that everyone would like it. I thought for sure there would be more of a split on it. I mean, the writing is good. Nix can put together sentences and his plot is soundly articulated. His Old Kingdom is a vast and impressive construct, and his imagination is superb. There were even a couple really good scenes in here. I just...I don't know. I couldn't wait for it to end. I hated the characters. As much as I love Tim Curry as a narrator, even he couldn't save this audiobook. Lirael was annoying, and her dog was worse. Sam started out alright, but I came to loathe him more than Lirael herself by the end. Mogget the cat was pretty good, nearly as enjoyable as he had been in the first book. The first book, which I had liked. What happened here? Ahhh, don't know. Maybe it's suffering from middle book syndrome. Maybe the plot wasn't strong enough to keep my interest with a cast of such lame characters. Let's talk about the characters. I would not piss on Lirael, Sameth, or the Disreputable Dog if they were on fire. I so much wanted to reach into that story and rip Mogget's collar off, and let him go totally batshit nuts on those three. I didn't even like Hedge. I thought I would, but no. Fail. An Uninteresting Villain, that one. I found myself yawning nearly as much as Mogget (maybe that's why I like him). And what's with that ending? (view spoiler)[What, with the Lord Voldemort shit? (hide spoiler)] Nothing was resolved, as of course I should expect from a middle book full of moronic characters. Well, I did kinda like Nicholas Sayre. (view spoiler)[And yes, even when he went Lord V on us. (hide spoiler)] Maybe the Moronic Protagonists and the Disreputable Dumbass can get him out of the carbonite before Jabba the Hedge eats him. And WTF, zombies? This thing dragged on for so long that I actually forgot there were zombies. So when they attacked, I was like ! Hell yeah! But it didn't last long. Pretty soon we were back in the boat with our Disreputable Zeros. I am curious to see where this series will go from here. Maybe it needs some Ewoks. ETA: There was one thing in particular that soured me on this book. A scene about 65% into the book that really kicked ass. I mean, it was dark as hell, and a real surprise. A kick in the nuts for the reader, and a main character. But then in the next chapter, slate wiped clean - nullified all consequences to what had happened. I mean, eh? A really badass gut wrenching type moment where shit got real, and they roll that kind of a saving throw? The fucker didn't even feel remorse, since it was wiped out. I mean. This was Turn to the Dark Side Forever type shit, and slate clean. It didn't happen, so he can go back to whining like a bitch because he's afraid to read a damn book. Ok, I'm seething again. I'll move on now.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mike (the Paladin)

    Well.....okay. Not as good a book as Sabriel, I went with 3 stars on this one. It was close as the story is a pretty good one and we are still following the plot line thrown out in Sabriel, just not quite as well (in my opinion of course). We pick up about 14 years after end of that volume and we sort of get an introduction like, 14 years have passed. there have been many battles as the King (Touchstone) who married Sabriel (the Abhorsen) overthrows evil, saves the Kingdom and aids the people. At Well.....okay. Not as good a book as Sabriel, I went with 3 stars on this one. It was close as the story is a pretty good one and we are still following the plot line thrown out in Sabriel, just not quite as well (in my opinion of course). We pick up about 14 years after end of that volume and we sort of get an introduction like, 14 years have passed. there have been many battles as the King (Touchstone) who married Sabriel (the Abhorsen) overthrows evil, saves the Kingdom and aids the people. At the same time the Abhorsen has faced many terrible dangers, binding the dead and destroying awful necromancers. Really. That might have made a good book. Why didn't you tell us that story???? No we get to start over with another uncertain (even more uncertain) young woman. She constantly bemoans her situation, considers killing herself (but decides that throwing herself off a glacier might not really be the way to go), makes constant bad decisions that seem to work out for her and so on and on and on. And of course a young man who's managed to get himself so scared of his "expected future" that he's paralyzed at the very thought of it...and he won't go to the very people/person who might be able to help him with it. I'll be honest, I got sick of Lirael's constant woe is me I don't have the sight... Yes it would be awful to go through what she did, to face what she faced. But between her constant bemoaning of her fate and Sam's refusal to talk to his parent's when he had the chance (I'll wait till morning...oops they're already gone) about something that could threaten EVERYBODY... well, it got a bit tiring. This book may be (and I hope is as I'm beginning the third book Abhorsen) suffering from the well know "second book in a trilogy" syndrome. It's a bit long winded, a bit drawn out and a bit (for me) tiresome. I like good YA fantasy and the first in this series was certainly that. This for me told a pretty good story but could have done it better in maybe two thirds the length...just me possibly. Three stars, not bad, a fairly interesting story that tells us more of the world and it's people, hope the next strikes me better. ************* Spoiler below line ************************* (view spoiler)[I think the point at which I went totally from 4 stars to 3 here was when Lirale discovers that she is the Abhorsen in waiting her first reaction is "so I'll never get the sight?" Sort of ticked me off. I was hoping Nix would give her the sight just so she'd stop worrying (herself and us)over it. (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Samantha

    4.5 stars I liked this even more than the first book! I really really love Lirael and the Disreputable Dog was a great addition. Some of my favorite scenes where between Dog and Moggot. He book definitely ends on something of a cliff hanger so I cannot wait to pick up Abhorsen!

  12. 4 out of 5

    Mayim de Vries

    Sabriel was a pure pleasure to read. Lirael was as appalling as Sabriel was awesome. It sported an insecure and impulsive heroine drowning in her angst and her companions: an idiot of a selfish prince and a dog (a dog!). Lirael is a Daughter of the Clayr, compensating her lack of Sight (i.e. the ability to see future) with other capabilities like outstanding sociopathy and a penchant for magic. Yes, Lirael is one of these special snowflakes we love reading about. She is so standing apart that she Sabriel was a pure pleasure to read. Lirael was as appalling as Sabriel was awesome. It sported an insecure and impulsive heroine drowning in her angst and her companions: an idiot of a selfish prince and a dog (a dog!). Lirael is a Daughter of the Clayr, compensating her lack of Sight (i.e. the ability to see future) with other capabilities like outstanding sociopathy and a penchant for magic. Yes, Lirael is one of these special snowflakes we love reading about. She is so standing apart that she does not feel like talking to anyone, then she feels excluded, then she can go on through days of not talking to anyone, then she wants to commit a suicide because she feels excluded. In the course of drama, drama, drama, drama she becomes a librarian, visits places she's not supposed to venture to and creates a magic dog of considerable powers, possibly even bigger than her own (just like that). Finally, when it is confirmed just oh how special the girl is, she is sent out of the glacier to save the world. In the meantime, the idiot of a selfish prince, abandons his family and kingdom in the hour of need, gallivanting through the Dead infested country (in spite his overwhelming fear of Death) pursuing a quest of his own choosing. Because why not? Inevitably these two aggravating figures meet and misery ensues as they plunge from one trouble to another slowly piecing together the evil they must face. Even the Mogget was not enough to balance this preposterous setting. I was fuming throughout this novel, especially that it constitutes such stark contrast with Sabriel. I never expected to be let down by Mr Nix - and in such an underhanded manner! My wounds have already scarred, but still, the book does not deserve more than 2 stars and another half for the story potential. Lirael is the necessary prelude to Abhorsen, the third of the set. If your love is for Sabriel and Touchstone only, leave Lirael alone. If you want to learn more about the wonderful world of the Old Kingdom - keep calm and endure it, as the final part of the trilogy will make it worth your while. Also in the series: 1. Sabriel 3. Abhorsen

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There’s a reviewer who I follow (Ceridwen) who mentioned in her review of Sabriel how refreshing it is that the magic in the story is “something other than a deus ex machina” (aka: when the protagonist defeats evil without any true skill, the magic just kind of does its thing through them because they are super special snowflakes). I completely agreed with that point…in book 1. Pretty much everything I loved about the protagonist in Sabriel is contradicted in the Mary-Sue that is Lirael, the ma There’s a reviewer who I follow (Ceridwen) who mentioned in her review of Sabriel how refreshing it is that the magic in the story is “something other than a deus ex machina” (aka: when the protagonist defeats evil without any true skill, the magic just kind of does its thing through them because they are super special snowflakes). I completely agreed with that point…in book 1. Pretty much everything I loved about the protagonist in Sabriel is contradicted in the Mary-Sue that is Lirael, the main protagonist of book 2. Doormat/whiny/woe-is-me/doesn’t think she’s special even though all signs point to the annoyingly obvious fact that she is. Not only is she mega-talented (but thinks she’s worthless), she has the added convenience of that “dues ex machina” magic that shows up unexpectedly and makes her 10x more awesome. It killed me that even after the Clayr explained that only super awesome Clayr develop “the Sight” late and only incredibly important people are sent on missions, Lirael is ready to kill herself all over again and actually thinks they’re just kicking her out. Yeah, ok, Lirael. Ok. And where Sabriel’s looks weren’t really mentioned and her “romance” was pretty dang tame for YA, Lirael, on the other hand, is a silent, sensitive wallflower who hides behind her hair but catches the eye of alllll the boys because they all find her beautiful, even though…wait for it…she doesn’t find herself beautiful! Ugh, spare me. Sameth, the male protagonist isn’t much better although he’s a little more sympathetic. He might be somewhat of a spoiled brat, but at least his whining is more believable (not living up to his parents or elder sister’s expectations, because, honestly, what they want for him isn’t what he wants or is even capable of). Lirael, though, is out slaying beasts and is still like, “Shucks, I’m no good at anything, why do I even bother living…” Gurl, write a sad poem in your journal and move on. Also, this book had no real ending. I’m basically being forced to read the last book of the trilogy against my will. Basically. THREE STARS because Sabriel and Touchstone make cameos, Lirael occasionally takes breaks from moping to kick some butt, there’s some crazy/creepy action sequences, Nix's world-building is always fun, and the two talking animals (Mogget and Dog) save the reader from utter boredom (concerning the main characters) with their snarky comments and superior characterization.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I'm not a huge fantasy person, but I'm always up for a kick-ass heroine such as Lirael. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 books in this trilogy, mostly because they appeal to my morbid streak. Death portrayed as a river with 7 gates? Sending the Dead back into Death using necromancer bells? What's not to like here? Decent writing, excellent story, not-quite-typical (and therefore appealing) fantasy story. Not to mention book covers by the Dillions. I will read almost anything that has a Dillions c I'm not a huge fantasy person, but I'm always up for a kick-ass heroine such as Lirael. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 books in this trilogy, mostly because they appeal to my morbid streak. Death portrayed as a river with 7 gates? Sending the Dead back into Death using necromancer bells? What's not to like here? Decent writing, excellent story, not-quite-typical (and therefore appealing) fantasy story. Not to mention book covers by the Dillions. I will read almost anything that has a Dillions cover, story be damned.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Katie.dorny

    The only thing that held this book back was the character of prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone. Apart from him, I fell in love with both Lirael and the Disreputable Dog and cannot wait to get my hands on the last book! I also personally think this book was better than the first. I have high expectations now for the last one!!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Sanaa

    [4 Stars] I'm conflicted about this rating because the first half of the book was probably more like a 5 star book, the last half of the book was more 4 stars, and all of Sameth's parts were around 3.5 or even 3 stars. Why did Sameth have to be just as annoying as Lirael was amazing? Lirael was seriously such a fantastic protagonist, and I wish the book had focused almost entirely on her as opposed to bringing Sameth into the picture. He just seems like a bit of a waste in all honesty: annoying, [4 Stars] I'm conflicted about this rating because the first half of the book was probably more like a 5 star book, the last half of the book was more 4 stars, and all of Sameth's parts were around 3.5 or even 3 stars. Why did Sameth have to be just as annoying as Lirael was amazing? Lirael was seriously such a fantastic protagonist, and I wish the book had focused almost entirely on her as opposed to bringing Sameth into the picture. He just seems like a bit of a waste in all honesty: annoying, spoiled, stupid, and obnoxious. If Sameth hadn't bugged me so much, I would have given this book a 4.5 or even a 5 star rating, but as it stands now I can only really give it a 4. I also felt that things significantly slowed down towards the end, and I just wanted it all to be finished. I think part of the reason for this is that I'm not convinced Garth Nix can write villains I really love or love to hate or can just get behind, you know? They all seem a little meh to me. That being said, I do want to emphasize that Lirael and the Disreputable Dog are AMAZING, and their portions in the book, everything about the Clayr and the Library, and just gah all the portions with Lirael were 5 stars for sure. The rest of the book I just wasn't as convinced about. I think this is also due in part to this being more of a part one to the story and Abhorsen being part two of the story. Regardless, I really enjoyed this and can't wait to jump into Abhorsen!

  17. 5 out of 5

    BAM Endlessly Booked

    Audio # 33 2018 Reading Challenge: deals with a library or bookstore Lirael is so depressed and has such low self esteem. Note-Tim curry can feel free to narrate every book I own please

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lady

    I liked this book. The writing wasn't as beautiful as I hope for in fantasy novels. But his world building was thorough and very interesting. I went back and forth between liking the characters and not, which I think reveals how fully formed they are. I really liked the whole Charter marks and Free Magic stuff. I think it made a fascinating world and sense of magic. I liked that, just because Lirael was good with Charter marks, didn't make her all powerful; that there were weaknesses to how it ca I liked this book. The writing wasn't as beautiful as I hope for in fantasy novels. But his world building was thorough and very interesting. I went back and forth between liking the characters and not, which I think reveals how fully formed they are. I really liked the whole Charter marks and Free Magic stuff. I think it made a fascinating world and sense of magic. I liked that, just because Lirael was good with Charter marks, didn't make her all powerful; that there were weaknesses to how it can be used. I mostly liked the pace. In the beginning it took a bit to get going, especially once I could see where the story was going. But once the plot became focused for the characters it moved along very well. As far as the characters went, I didn't like Lirael in the beginning. I felt she was a very bland rather petulant character, but then she was obviously surrounded by a great deal of power so I was kind of fascinated. As the story continued, however, I liked her. In the reverse, I liked Sam pretty much right away then he devolved a little for me in the middle and was a little bit pathetic in moments. But then he got stronger and a little bit smarter and braver and I liked him again. In some ways - and this doesn't happen often - I was ok with the moments when I didn't like the characters because a) they were still surrounded by a great deal of power and b) it made them more human. I accepted their flaws as very real and not as constructs or as the author just writing bad characters. fyi - Abhorsen is more the completion of this book, rather than a sequel.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Eddie Costello

    These books are awesome and should be mandatory reading by everyone. I first read this trilogy(Lirael is a second book in the old kingdom trilogy; Sabriel is first while Abhorsen is the finale) when I was in middle school and I have to admit I'm just as obsessed with this series now as I was then. With a cast of fantastic characters and a quick moving pace(mostly), you are truly sucked into the world of the old kingdom and it's pretty scary. I'm truly surprised that this book can be considered YA These books are awesome and should be mandatory reading by everyone. I first read this trilogy(Lirael is a second book in the old kingdom trilogy; Sabriel is first while Abhorsen is the finale) when I was in middle school and I have to admit I'm just as obsessed with this series now as I was then. With a cast of fantastic characters and a quick moving pace(mostly), you are truly sucked into the world of the old kingdom and it's pretty scary. I'm truly surprised that this book can be considered YA cause it's a extremely dark tale that's leads up to a jaw dropping revelation(not really you can guess it almost immediately, I just wanted to entice you into reading it). I listened to the audio version and Tim Curry makes everything so much better, he totally knows how to perfectly creep you out when he wants to. He is an absolutely perfect choice for the audio narration; word of advice listen to him read with all the lights off while your in bed alone and I guarantee you will get the wiggens. Pros Characters, prose, audio narration, character development, Death, the library of the Clayr, pace Cons Pace can be a little iffy sometimes

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laure

    Nice to see the stories and characters are getting more complexed - I am looking foward to the next instalment in the stories.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Ashley Marie

    Two books through this trilogy (because I'm very unsure about reading past that, since Nix has started doing prequels and such) and I'm STILL uncertain how I feel about it. I reread my Sabriel review and basically find myself feeling the same way, if rather reluctantly. As I mentioned in my last update, these books are sometimes difficult to focus on, but by the end I want to go back and reread them to piece everything together. Lirael and Sameth both felt very realistic, although I was disappoi Two books through this trilogy (because I'm very unsure about reading past that, since Nix has started doing prequels and such) and I'm STILL uncertain how I feel about it. I reread my Sabriel review and basically find myself feeling the same way, if rather reluctantly. As I mentioned in my last update, these books are sometimes difficult to focus on, but by the end I want to go back and reread them to piece everything together. Lirael and Sameth both felt very realistic, although I was disappointed that the story didn't pick up where Sabriel had left off -- it made the romance between her and Touchstone feel very insta-love, but alas. Looking forward to reading Abhorsen though. Also, Tim Curry's narration is very good. Audiobook recommended :)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    So there’s this girl, and she lives in a Glacier. Yes, a real glacier. It’s in a tall mountain at the very tip-top of her country, and she lives there with thousands of cousins, who are collectively called ‘The Clayr,’ most of whom are female and have the pale blonde hair and tanned skin that marks them as one of their own. They are entitled to this sobriquet because every single one of them can see the future. Every single one of them, except Lirael, that is. Most Clayr receive the Sight by the So there’s this girl, and she lives in a Glacier. Yes, a real glacier. It’s in a tall mountain at the very tip-top of her country, and she lives there with thousands of cousins, who are collectively called ‘The Clayr,’ most of whom are female and have the pale blonde hair and tanned skin that marks them as one of their own. They are entitled to this sobriquet because every single one of them can see the future. Every single one of them, except Lirael, that is. Most Clayr receive the Sight by the age of twelve. Lirael passes twelve. Then fourteen. Then seventeen. She is an adult, and she does not have the Sight. This is the main source of inner conflict in Lirael’s life. Lirael is also different physically. Her black hair and pale, deathlike skin mark her immediately out from her fellow Clayr, but Lirael is also unusally quiet and reserved, because Lirael is very lonely. All the other Clayr have a purpose. They all take turns on the Watch, and they wear the robes of an adult, while Lirael still wears the robes of a child, simply because the main indicator of adulthood as a Clayr is the Sight, which, as discussed above, Lirael doesn’t have. What’s worse, none of the other Clayr have ever Seen Lirael. Not one. They don’t know what to do with her any more than she knows what to do with herself. So instead of actually throwing herself off the highest peak of the glacier, as she almost did on yet another birthday without the Sight, she instead chooses to focus on learning the Charter (the magic system in the Old Kingdom), which leads to her creation of her companion the Disreputable Dog (who is THE BEST). This is the Disreputable Dog when she first meets Lirael: “Suddenly, the dog stopped scratching, stood up, and shook itself, spraying droplets of dirty water all over Lirael and all over the study. Then it ambled across and licked the petrified girl on the face with a tongue that most definitely was all real and not some Charter-made illusion. When that got no response, it grinned and announced, ‘I am the Disreputable Dog. Or the Disreputable bitch, if you want to get technical. When are we going for a walk?’” Together, Lirael and the Dog explore the Clayr’s magical, GINORMOUS library and mine it for secrets, defeating monsters lurking in the corners, and all the while honing Lirael’s magic. Oh, yeah, did I mention that Lirael is a librarian? BECAUSE SHE IS TOTALLY A LIBRARIAN and the library is almost as terrifying and awesome as the Library the Doctor and Donna visit where the Library is an entire planet (and also the shadows are trying to kill them). Now, I’m focusing on Lirael here because she’s my favorite, but this book has other stuff going on, as well. It takes place 14-18 years after Sabriel (depending on Lirael’s age), and Sabriel is barely in it at all. The two main characters are Lirael (obvs) and Sameth, Sabriel and Touchstone’s son. The narrative starts with them apart as we get to know them, but eventually they meet up and things are pretty much BOOM BOOM BOOM from there on out. Both Lirael and Sam have good character arcs, their inner lives and conflicts are way more realized than Sabriel’s were in book one. Sabriel can pretty much stand alone, but the second two books are basically one long continued story, with Lirael setting things up, and Abhorsen bringing them to a close. I think I prefer Lirael, though, because of the library, and because also Abhorsen honestly kind of scares the shit out of me. But more on that in the appropriate review. [4.5 stars]

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nicky

    As much as I love Sabriel (both the book and the character!), I was reluctant to read this again. Lirael’s role in the library is awesome, but both she and Sameth are rather too prone to self-pity to stand up well beside Sabriel’s example. Which is part of the whole point, that Sameth’s grown up in his parents’ shadows, but still. While Sameth has serious problems to deal with, he’s also selfish, doesn’t think things through properly, and would do a lot better if he’d open his mouth and let word As much as I love Sabriel (both the book and the character!), I was reluctant to read this again. Lirael’s role in the library is awesome, but both she and Sameth are rather too prone to self-pity to stand up well beside Sabriel’s example. Which is part of the whole point, that Sameth’s grown up in his parents’ shadows, but still. While Sameth has serious problems to deal with, he’s also selfish, doesn’t think things through properly, and would do a lot better if he’d open his mouth and let words come out. Sabriel and Touchstone might have a firm idea of their duty is, but I’m pretty sure that they would also understand that Sameth’s sickened fear would actually make a very bad Abhorsen. Communication, communication, communication. My pet peeve in real life and in fiction, alas. Lirael is more engaging, despite her bouts of self-pity. They’re more understandable, and she has the Disreputable Dog to put a stop to it as well. Her life in the Clayr’s glacier, her work in the library, her abilities with Charter marks and her explorations, all of those things are fascinating. And the Dog herself, too. It’s difficult, because I do love this world, but Nix seems to have created a uniquely frustrating character/situation, perfectly balanced to annoy the heck out of me. I think I liked Abhorsen better, so I’m hopeful about that and Clariel, but it was disappointing how much of a struggle this was to reread. Originally posted here.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cinda

    I'm really enjoying this series. Check it out if you get the chance! I'm really enjoying this series. Check it out if you get the chance!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jerecho

    My favorite book of all times. Life maybe rough and tough but after darkness comes light. Thank you for this one...

  26. 5 out of 5

    daisy

    I'M SO !!!!! I stayed up until midnight to finish this and I don't regret that really, but I need to be awake at 5am for uni, so... I'll write a review out tomorrow lmao REALLY enjoyed this though 🙏 I'M SO !!!!! I stayed up until midnight to finish this and I don't regret that really, but I need to be awake at 5am for uni, so... I'll write a review out tomorrow lmao REALLY enjoyed this though 🙏

  27. 4 out of 5

    Arie

    Deliciously dark, made more so by the sonorous reading by Tim Curry, and feels like a fitting book in some strange way to bridge the years with.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mir

    This sequel to Sabriel is stronger on character development but weaker on action; I don't think Nix has quite figured out how to balance the two aspects of the story. In Sabriel, the heroine (and we as the readers) were plunged almost immediately into the dangerous journey across the Wall. While I liked Sabriel, I found her a bit flat and her relationship with Touchstone not terribly convincing emotionally. With Lirael, we spend much more time watching her grow up and develop some confidence. He This sequel to Sabriel is stronger on character development but weaker on action; I don't think Nix has quite figured out how to balance the two aspects of the story. In Sabriel, the heroine (and we as the readers) were plunged almost immediately into the dangerous journey across the Wall. While I liked Sabriel, I found her a bit flat and her relationship with Touchstone not terribly convincing emotionally. With Lirael, we spend much more time watching her grow up and develop some confidence. Her emotional shortcomings are due to a lonely and somewhat neglected childhood, caused in part by her own self-conscious of her difference from those around her. She is shy but adventurous, loves her dog, and tends to let her curiosity lead her into danger. The enormous magical library where she works is a wonderful setting. But although she has some adventures there, and the secondary character Sameth has some adventures of his own, their meeting and the major plot don't really get underway until near the end of the book, leaving the majority of the story for the next volume.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Andrea

    After Sabriel's stoic determination, a swap to Sam and Lirael as POV is a little jarring, as they're both very unhappy and rather inclined to wallow. [Content warning: there's some contemplation of suicide in the early phases of the book.] I enjoyed the story overall, but not as much as Sabriel. It's both overlong, yet isn't a whole story in itself - stops right in the middle of a journey, in fact. The standout plus of the book is not one, but two snarky animal companions. Again the world is very After Sabriel's stoic determination, a swap to Sam and Lirael as POV is a little jarring, as they're both very unhappy and rather inclined to wallow. [Content warning: there's some contemplation of suicide in the early phases of the book.] I enjoyed the story overall, but not as much as Sabriel. It's both overlong, yet isn't a whole story in itself - stops right in the middle of a journey, in fact. The standout plus of the book is not one, but two snarky animal companions. Again the world is very dark and there is a high death rate for unnamed characters. Also. Sabriel and Touchstone are shown in this book to be loving but completely freaking incompetent parents. Incredibly busy, yeah, but doesn't excuse the neglect that they show to Sam after he is attacked. Never seems to occur to them that he could be traumatised, and Sabriel - after apparently deliberately holding off training Sam - then just gives him book and bells and expects him to get on with it, without any help. Annoying.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MoonWyvern

    I wasn’t very interested in this book. “Sabriel” was an enjoyable read having me guessing what will happen next, however, with this book I don’t feel the same connection. I don’t really have much to say about this. I’ll read this book again in the future but for now... eh. DNF - page 92

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