Saturday 9 August 2014

GoodRead - Clariel

I am probably breaking a ton of secret book blogger rules - aka Da Rules (yes, let's throw a random Fairly Oddparents reference at you. Anyone remember that show?) - but I was very lucky to win a very special hardback ARC of Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen. And I finished it VERY LATE last night! So, I wanted to talk to you guys about it.

And keep it as spoiler-free as possible! But I want to talk about it. I want to talk about it now, even though this isn't out till October.

Set around 600 years before the events of Sabriel (the first book in the Old Kingdom series - and you should really read Sabriel), Clariel has been forced to moved by her parents to the Old Kingdom's capital, Belisaera. She missed her old life in her small town of Estwael, the forest surrounding it and her possible future of living off the forest and joining the Borderers. Instead, she's trapped in a city with high walls, with people using her to serve their ends.

When a Free Magic creature is discovered loose in the city, Clariel might have a chance to prove herself and escape. But events spiral quickly out of control and soon, Clariel finds herself desperate for help. But help comes out a price. With everyone using her to further their own ends, Clariel must be careful who to trust...

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker...?

Now, because this book isn't out for another two months, am choosing my words very carefully, but I adore this world. And Garth Nix is great with world building and adding new ideas into this world. Clariel is set 600 years prior to the events of the other three books (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) so we see Belisaera before. And it's very different, which took a while for me to get use to. I'm not sure why as I knew this was a prequel, but I wasn't ready for changing it in my head...

Another thing I really like about Garth Nix is how he writes female leads. We start with them at one point but they change and grow. Sabriel was a strong character at the start of Sabriel but she becomes an even stronger character. She grows from being a teenager into a woman. Lirael is the same. Over the course of Lirael and Abhorsen, Lirael grows into a strong female lead, even though she was quite meek at the start of Lirael. Clariel might annoy some of you guys but she does have character growth - but for the better or for the worse... Well, you'll have to read to find out...

Without trying to spoilers, some of you guys might not like Clariel because of two reasons. The first is Clariel, for a while, is a hard character to like at the start of the book. Like I said, she does grow as a character, but you have to get over that hurdle.

The second is the world itself and if you're a new reader to Garth Nix's Old Kingdom. If this is your first Old Kingdom book, you might struggle with the understanding of the world. Understanding of the Great Charter, Charter Magic, Free Magic and a few other things. My advice would be if you REALLY want to read this, read the trilogy or, just read Sabriel. Sabriel is great book to understanding this world as, when first published, Sabriel was meant to be a standalone novel but, a few years later, Garth Nix had an idea that turned into Lirael and Abhorsen.

So, if you are a fan of the series (and, like me, have been waiting 12 years for it!), this is a must! If you're new to the series, read Sabriel first! And now, off I go to wait for the next book in the series (a sequel that take place after Abhorsen and the short story/World Book Day 2005 novella, The Creature In The Case [or Nicholas Sayre and the Creature In The Case from the short story collection; Across The Wall]). Will it be another 12 years? I hope not as Hot Key Books have got the UK publishing rights so soon... SOON, or I will go over to the Free Magic side...

Oh, before I go, while trying to google a nice pic of Mr Nix, I found this pic of a fan having a tattoo of the Charter Marks on her back, and it ROCKS! Take a look!!!

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