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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 beof 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 justI 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 himthan 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 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 wantof 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 andon my blog here 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 EvilIn 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 When I started this, I was way excited another epic story in this cool magical world with TIM CURRY narrating, again The first section was great We meet Lirael, who is a loner and has trouble being around other people and communicating She is a Daughter of the Clayr, but doesn t have the power of sight, she is an outcast.She finds a place to work where she might belong the library and comes across a new, wonderful friend The Disreputable Dog I love TDD So fun, so funny, stole the show Similar to what Mogget did in the first book But then, Part Two happens Sam Let me see how can I describe Sam Spoiled Prince Weak Spineless Full of fear Cowardly His one good trait is loyalty and wanting to help his friend I give him credit for that.He is the Abhorsen in training, but doesn t want to be He is scared shirtless of his magic and ability and wants NOTHING to do with it I just couldn t stand him And most of the entire middle section was ALL.ABOUT.HIM.Maybe this is a reflection of the difference in my age and the target audience It is difficult for me to handle immature behavior But, he is was like 19 or so, and raised to high standards as an heir You kind of expectI did, at least I wanted aheroic character instead of a whiner We get flashes of Lirael POVs and those were all good It just lost momentum for me and the pacing never picked up I felt like the book was way too long.I am glad that Sam got out of becoming the Abhorsen Please, just put him in the back somewhere and let him play sports or something Makeof his tennis rackets Write him off, noplease This may sound harsh, but Sam just really made the book sluggish and B O R I N G to me Lirael A.The Disreputable Dog and Mogget A.Getting to seeof Sabriel and Touchstone A This takes place many years after book one after they are married and have two children Sam is one of them Overall, I didn t hate it I just didn t love it Hopefully, the next one will be better It sort of ended right in the middle of a scene There was no resolution For such a long book, it made it seem a bit like filler But again, it s not bad at all I guess I just didn t click with this one as much as Sabriel. 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 outof Garth Nix s books after I finish this series. 4.5 Stars Way better than the first one 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 theaggravating 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 DogThe highlight of this series so far truly lies in the magic and worldbuilding We learnof 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 becomeinteresting 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 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 evenuncertain 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 itand 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 morningoops 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 lengthjust me possibly.Three stars, not bad, a fairly interesting story that tells usof 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 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 fantasticallyThe 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 herselflunging 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 herI m not sure I can believe what I m seeing You d better believe itbecause 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 deadYou 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 oneI suppose we ll end up having to swim for our miserable lives 4.5 stars