Morrigan Crow has always known when the end would come. As a cursed child, she is destined to die on her eleventh birthday, but instead at midnight Morrigan finds herself apprenticed and semi-kidnapped by an extraordinary figure called Jupiter North and taken into a land that she never knew existed, and where she finds she has been entered into a contest to join the mysterious Wundrous Society, despite her apparent lack of a qualifying ‘knack.’ But on the journey through her trials she finds freedom, fun, loving family for the first time and hopes desperately that there is something she can do to let her stay…
This book was just so good. It put an almost constant smile on my face the whole way through. It begins with the maudlin and melancholy of Morrigan with her family, but moves into such a fantastic blend of warmth, crazy fantasy and humour that I was completely enchanted. It’s probably a book for 9-12 year olds but I’ve been recommending it to anyone who loves this sort of thing anyway – and I can’t wait for the next in the series.
Clariel has been forced to move from the forest she loves to the city, where her parents have plans for her life that she is not happy with. But there is trouble in Belisaire – a King who does nothing, a man trying to take over, and a free magic beast who is trying something. Clariel finds herself drawn into feuds and battles she would never have chosen, and gradually secrets about herself and her powers are revealed.
My friend Ian reviewed this book for me a few weeks ago, and just thinking and reading about it made me want to read it! And perhaps because my expectations weren’t so high, I liked it a lot more than he did. It’s a prequel to the Abhorsen series – and I very much enjoyed entering into the world Nix has created again and seeing it from a different perspective. The thing that ruined it for me was the fact that pretty much the whole way through I could tell who the main character was going to be in the later series – and it just didn’t feel right.
My good friend Ian Harding read Clariel, which I’ve been really wanting to read for ages! He agreed to write a review for me – plus he’s an English teacher too so he knows what he’s talking about. Anyway, I still want to read this book, even if I’m lowering my expectations…
Thanks for the guest spot Anna.
I’ll begin by confessing that I’m a huge fan of Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom novels: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen rank as some of my favourite reads of young adult fiction. So when I saw that Nix was bringing out a new novel focusing on the era before the Sabriel trilogy, I was excited to delve once again into the world of the Old Kingdom.