Friday, January 9, 2015


Clariel just wants to be left alone.  She wants to live in the Great Forest, but her family has just moved to Belisaere, the great city of the Old Kingdom.  Her mother is a master goldsmith, and the guild of goldsmiths is thrilled to have such a skilled artist in their ranks, but Clariel's family has other important connections.

They are cousins of the king, an old man who has grown weary of power and politics.  He has refused to govern for years leaving the guilds in the city to take power, and no guild is more powerful than the goldsmiths.

Clariel is also the granddaughter of the Abhorsen.  The Old Kingdom is steeped in magic.  Many years ago, the greatest sorcerers bound free magic with the Charter.  The Charter protects the living from dangerous free magic creatures and from the dead who can be called back into the world of the living.  The current Abhorsen has neglected his duties to spend time hunting and feasting.  The Charter has keep the Old Kingdom safe for a long time, but that may not continue.

Clariel does not care for power or position.  She would rather be alone with nature, but she has been forced into a city teeming with life and politics and into the path of those who would use her as a pawn to serve their own ambitions.

This is one of my most anticipated books of the year!  I love Garth Nix's original Old Kingdom trilogy, and it was wonderful to be back in his rich fantasy world.  Clariel is set 600 years earlier than the first book in the original series, so you can start here without feeling confused, but you should definitely read the other books as well.

This is the second book I've read recently about the addictive nature of power and how that addiction can corrupt.  If you've already read the original old kingdom books, you know what Clariel will become which makes her choices and words that much more powerful.  It was also a real treat to meet Mogget in his younger and wilder state.

Highly recommended!

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