Rebecca’s Pick: Clariel by Garth Nix


Prequel to the Abhorsen series, Clariel is set in the Old Kingdom, 600 years before the story of Sabriel, and told from the point of view of Clariel, daughter of an elite goldsmith who has both royal and Abhorsen in her bloodline.

Clariel doesn’t want to follow the path that has been outlined for her by her parents, but she finds herself being forced to play the hero when she is tasked with tracking down the Free Magic creature that has been set loose in the city. Clariel struggles with her inner demons as she ultimately discovers her true self.

I was surprised, but not disappointed, that this one, though set in the same world as Sabriel and Lirael, went in a different direction. Mogget from the original trilogy makes a comeback and he’s up to his usual hijinks.

I didn’t connect with the character of Clariel as well as I did with Sabriel and Lirael, but I think that was Nix’s intent. She’s definitely different from the other two but she’s not quite an anti-hero either.