Released: April 5th 2004
Date Read: 5/4/2014 to 5/8/2014
When the future is hidden, who holds the key to destiny?
Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. She doesn't even have the Sight - the ability to See into the present and possible futures - that is the very birthright of the Clayr. Nonetheless it is Lirael in whose hands the fate of the Old Kingdom lies, while Abhorsen Sabriel is engaged in conflict elsewhere.
As an ancient evil casts its shadow - one that opposes the Royal Family, blocks the Sight of the Clayr, and threatens to break the very boundary between the Life and Death - Lirael undertakes a desperate mission.
With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, to help her, Lirael sets out upon a perilous journey and comes face to face with her own fate...
Ok, so I was looking through Amazon, and I saw that Garth Nix is coming up with a new book in this series, called Clariel! I'm not sure why all the characters, Sabriel, Lirael, and now Clariel have pretty much the same ending, BUT WHATEVER. Guess who will be pre-ordering that in October? Me!
But yes, I have finally finished Lirael, which I immensely enjoyed. I did not have any specific expectations going into the sequel, except that I thought the time gap would be smaller. Also, the cover to Lirael looks amazing! I'm a little upset I have it on the kindle rather than in paperback.
So you know how I said I loved Sabriel? Well I love Lirael even more! (You can see my review for the first book here) She does remind me of Sabriel a little, except more shy, reclusive, and just more smart. However, in the beginning of the book she does suffer depression, because she still hadn't received the Sight. The Sight is basically being able to see into the possible future, and being a Daughter of the Clayr at 14 years old without the Sight, Lirael feels like she doesn't belong.
On the other hand, there's the Disreputable Dog. I have no idea how she got that name, but everytime I think of her I think of a mix between Dug from the movie Up! and the mother wolf from Princess Mononoke
I kid you not. The Disreputable Dog loves Lirael, and is really her only family. She loves being scratched under the ears, and loves to eat food even when she doesn't have to. One minute, she'll act super chirpy and cute, and then the other, she's an all-knowing being and doesn't hesitate to go in for the kill.
And then there's Prince Sameth, the son of the Abhorsen Sabriel and Touchstone (the two main characters from the first book). He's the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, and doesn't want to be. Basically, what the Abhorsen does, it send the dead (think zombies) back to the dead using her bells and necromancer skills. So basically an Abhorsen is a legit necromancer. Usually being a necromancer is looked down upon, but since she's official, it's OKAY. It's kind of like the Avatar! But not really!
Well, ok besides the point. I absolutely loved the plot! The truth is that the climax doesn't exactly happen in this book, but in the next one in the series. I feel so bad for the readers waiting for another book to come out two years for it to come out. There were mini climaxes here and there, and decent amount of action, so it wasn't boring!
Also, I'm really glad that Dog became part of Lirael's library adventures. Because honestly, the dialogue added so much more to the story! There's a point when only reading narrative gets boring, and Garth Nix picked the perfect time to introduce a fuzzy new character. The same thing happened with Sameth when Mogget the cat (I'm so glad he has a reappearance in this book) appeared. I've read a bunch of books that are just narrative or thoughts of the MC, and it just didn't appeal to me.
Also, you don't have to read Sabriel to enjoy Lirael! It explains everything just as clearly, like the Charter magic and the Clayr and also Death. At least I think so. It might be preferable to read Sabriel first though so that you can fully enjoy Mogget's presence. He's a sarcastic fluffball.
Also, don't let the prologue confuse you!
All I can say now, is that I am so lucky to have the next book, Abhorsen, ready. This series has gotten better and better, and I cannot wait to find out what happens next. If you loved the Alanna series, anything by Tamora Pierce, or fantasy in general, you will love this series! I guarantee it!