by Garth Nix
Eos, January, 2003.
Hardcover, 358 pages.
Ages Young Adult
The concluding book in the Old Kingdom trilogy, which began with Sabriel and Lirael, has at last arrived. When we last saw Lirael, the Abhorsen-in-Waiting, Lirael's magical companion the Disreputable Dog, Mogget the cat and Prince Sameth, they were surrounded by the Dead and trapped on the island where Prince Sameth and his parents, Queen Sabriel and King Touchstone, make their home. The Dead creature, Chlorr of the Mask, leads the legions of corpse who surround the island. To make matters worse, Chlorr is in league with the evil necromancer Hedge. Hedge has kidnapped and enslaved Sam's friend, Nicholas Sayre, and tricked him into digging up the Orannis, the Destroyer. And if the two halves of Orannis are rejoined, the world and all life will end. With the King and Queen away on a mission to the Old Kingdom to gain allies, it will be up to the young Lirael and her friends to stop Hedge and the Destroyer, before it is too late.
Garth Nix writes fantasies which have a breadth and depth that is unmatched. His cleverly imagined magical Old Kingdom, which borders the modern, technological, non-magical world, is full of surprises and rich with inventive ideas. The Charter Magic is fascinating, and the youthful characters are well-rounded. As much a coming of age novel as a first-rate fantasy, Abhorsen is supposed to end this excellent series. But the ending seems to leave the door open a crack for more adventures in the Old Kingdom, which would be eagerly received by readers both young and old.
--Claire E. White
Abhorsen is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the April-May, 2003 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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