Thought I’d jump in this evening with another review. Tonight’s book is Clariel by esteemed fantasy author Garth Nix. A little background- this is a prequel to The Old Kingdom series, which Nix wrote the central trilogy for back in the 90s and 2000s. As one who was extremely taken with the core books of The Old Kingdom back at the time, it was fun to go back and revisit the series like this, particularly with a relatively obscure character from the series’ lore.
Clariel is a girl born into an influential bloodline, with relations in both the royalty and the Abhorsens- those who keep the dead down. As a naturally reclusive girl, she desires nothing more than to flee the capital and live alone in the forest, but events forever conspire to keep her deep in the city where powerful entities maneouver her like a chess piece. Of course, a person can only be manipulated for so long before they snap.
The book makes for a thrilling read, particularly the final act. Expect thick politics, magic, and of course spirits from beyond this realm of reality- it is an The Old Kingdom book after all. The audiobook for this one was rather good as well, with Graeme Malcolm reading.