Author: Garth Nix
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
My Rating: 4/5
Lirael is a daughter of the Clayr, a matriarchal society in the northern mountains. All the Clayr have the gift of Sight–except Lirael. Abandoned by her mother when she was a child, she feels alone and irreconcilably different from the rest of her kin. She finds solace in her position as a librarian where she meets–or creates?–her dearest friend, the Disreputable Dog. However, when the Clayr See an ancient enemy that threatens the entire world, they also See that Lirael is the only one who could stop it. They send her out of the mountain with only her own skills and the help of the Dog to face this terrifying evil.
Lirael is the sequel to Sabriel, but doesn’t feature the characters from the previous book much at all. The pace in the beginning is a little slow and Lirael often comes across as mopey and childish. Initially, she is fourteen, so this is fairly forgivable, as long as you can make it through the first section. Lirael has a great character arc, however, and grows into her own strength. She meets Prince Sameth towards the end of the book, who has similar issues but also grows out of them. While Lirael isn’t as strong a book as Sabriel, it’s very enjoyable. However, it is NOT a standalone book. It should have been combined with the third book, Abhorsen, and just been released as one huge volume. Don’t read Lirael without also having Abhorsen ready to read!
“I am the Disreputable Dog. Or Disreputable Bitch, if you want to get technical. When are we going for a walk?”Lirael, Garth Nix
Full disclosure: I photoshopped the photo of the book for the this post because I’m still in the process of moving and wasn’t able to take a picture. So I reused an old photo and inserted a picture of the cover over top.