Clariel 4

The Old Kingdom : Prequel

by Garth Nix

Paperback / softback Publication Date: 24/09/2014

4/5 Rating 4 Reviews
RRP  $22.99 $19.16

Does the walker choose the path, or the path the walker? An epic fantasy adventure, set six hundred years before Sabriel and as rich and compelling as the original Old Kingdom novels.

Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen, and to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, Clariel finds herself at the centre of sorcery and intrigue: a plot is brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan; her parents want to marry her off to a killer; and a dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she finds hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage and save the King?

Set approximately six hundred years before the birth of Sabriel, Clariel will delight Old Kingdom fans as well as new readers hungry for epic fantasy adventure.

'Beautifully written, magnificently imagined, and wholly original, Clariel is Garth Nix's finest work yet.' - Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of The Coldest Girl in Coldtown

'In this long-awaited prequel, Garth Nix shows us why his Old Kingdom books have influenced a generation of fantasy writers.' - Cassandra Clare, New York Times bestselling author of the Mortal Instruments and Infernal Devices series

Paperback / softback
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Garth Nix

Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia. A full-time writer since 2001, he previously worked as a literary agent, marketing consultant, book editor, book publicist, book sales representative, bookseller, and as a part-time soldier in the Australian Army Reserve.

Garth's books include the award-winning young adult fantasy novels Sabriel, Lirael, Abhorsen and Clariel; the dystopian novel Shade's Children; the space opera A Confusion of Princes; and a Regency romance with magic, Newt's Emerald. His fantasy novels for children include The Ragwitch; the six books of the Seventh Tower sequence; the Keys to the Kingdom series; and the Troubletwisters series and Spirit Animals: Blood Ties (co-written with Sean Williams).

More than five million copies of his books have been sold around the world, his books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, the Times and The Australian, and his work has been translated into forty-one languages. He lives in a Sydney beach suburb with his wife and two children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating

4 / 5 (4 Ratings)
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  • An epic high fantasy

    by on

    Despite only having read Sabriel out of the original Abhorsen trilogy, and not really remembering anything from it anyway, having read it so long ago, I really enjoyed Clariel. Filled with compelling action and fantastically well developed characters, it's definitely the sort of high fantasy that I was looking for.

    I have to admit, the pace was very slow at the start, with almost nothing of note happening until about halfway through the book. That initial poor pacing is probably what brought the book down a star for me, as pretty much everything else was fabulous.

    I think perhaps the other thing I would have liked to have seen would be more exploration of the magic system and world building. I'm sure that would have been dealt with in Nix's other books, but I feel that I still would have preferred it had he showcased a bit more of the magic in this book for those who are new to the series.

    Clariel was a very interesting character, in fact, one of the most interesting I've encountered in recent times, and she's apparently featured in the book Lirael (according to the author's note) so perhaps reading that would have given me a better idea of what sort of person she is. I feel like she was quite flawed, being both headstrong and easily influenced by others at different points in the book. She seemed to jump into things without considering the facts, leading to quite the series of shenanigans.

    Even if you haven't read the other books in the series, I'd definitely recommend this book. Push through the initial slow pace, and you have an amazingly written, action packed and exciting high fantasy novel.

  • Old Kingdom magic

    by on

    Sabriel, the first of the Old Kingdom books, is one of my favourite books ever. I still remember the moment I saw it on the bookshelf at the uni co-op bookshop. Yep, I picked it up based on the cover art, and I've been glad ever since. It was my introduction to Garth Nix, who I think is one of the more original and different writers around, with characters who are neither good nor bad, but rather a combination of both.

    Since becoming a bookseller (a long time ago now) I rarely have a chance to re-read anything, but Sabriel, and it's sequel Lirael, and then Abhorsen after that, are pretty much the only books I have re-read in that time.

    So yeah, I'm pretty thrilled Garth Nix has returned to the Old Kingdom with Clariel, set around 600 years before Sabriel. Fans of the Old Kingdom books will definitely make a few connections while reading this, but newcomers will have no problem following the story either.

    While Clariel is a little slow to get started, the set up is well worthwhile, and soon you'll find you won't be able to put this one down.

    Now all we need is a book(or dare I say, several) to fill the gap between Clariel and Sabriel!

  • A fitting prequel to an epic trilogy

    by on

    It's great to see Garth Nix return to The Old Kingdom - even if it is "return" hundreds of years before Sabriel's story begins. While there are certainly added bonuses for readers already familiar with the series this would be perfectly enjoyable for those new to Garth Nix's world.