Published by HarperCollins
Published on October 4th 2016
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Lirael knows the blood that runs in her veins and her true powers. She also knows that Chlorr of the Mask has been conspiring with the clans of the steppe, from a message she’s received from her long-dead mother, Arielle.
But no one else believes that nomads can be a real threat. Accompanied by Nicholas Sayre and a young mountain nomad, Lirael goes on a dangerous journey across the steppe and into the mountains to see for herself. There Lirael discovers the future Arielle saw long ago that is now coming to pass: Chlorr has gathered the clans to attack the unsuspecting Old Kingdom.
The only way Lirael and her companions can stop the attack is to find Chlorr’s original, better human self—Clariel. Only, Clariel has been asleep for centuries beyond the Great Rift. Lirael must reach her—and help her go beyond the Ninth Gate to die the final Death—before it is too late.
I received a copy of this book from HarperCollins Australia in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
First of all, I had absolutely NO IDEA that the ebook I was given to review from Edelweiss was only a partial copy of the book. There was no warning anywhere – I had to stumble over an announcement made on Goodreads from Nix himself saying it was only a partial review copy before the rage in me simmered down from what I believed was a cliffhanger ending and an unwrapped up plot. I was HOPPING MAD that Nix could betray a trusted reader like that, and I am so glad I was wrong, but it still colours my review of this book because I didn’t get to read all of it.
What I did read was very good, but I was aware that as we moved along at a greater pace than I expected, that the protagonists weren’t going to achieve whatever it was they needed to by the time the climax was supposed to come around.
So basically the plot follows Lirael as we see her side of the story from Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case and what happens directly after that – getting Nick to the Clayr’s Glacier where he will have better healing and Lirael can research the combination of Free Magic and Charter Magic inside him – and also be the prodigal daughter returning home no longer part of the Clayr but part of the royal family and the Abhorsen-in-Waiting to boot. The other half of the plot follows a new character called Ferin as she travels from the far north to deliver a message to the Clayr from Lirael’s biological mother, now long dead, and the struggles she overcomes as she is hunted by powerful magical tribes from the north.
As always, I loved Nix’s writing. The set up seems slow but by the time you realise you’re knee-deep into the story it’s barrelling along and all you can do is hold on tight and trust Nix not to crash us. Which in this case, unfortunately I did crash but only because my copy was literally missing the ending few chapters that would have wrapped everything up.
I’m adding the physical copy of this book to my collection anyway, so I’ll get to read the proper ending. As such I have to withhold judgement on whether or not I recommend the book for others – I’ll certainly enjoy it, but as I’m not reviewing the full copy, I simply can’t say.