Lirael is a sequel, of sorts, to the book Sabriel. I say “of sorts” because our story happens many years later, and while there are absolutely plot and character continuity, Sabriel is hardly one of our main characters anymore. We now follow the adventures of her son, Sameth, and Lirael, a girl who was raised in the cloistered community of the Clayr, known for their ability to See the future.
Neither Sam nor Lirael is particularly comfortable in their own skins — Lirael, in particular, has an abundance of skills but completely lacks The Sight. Her own despair leads her to a wonderfully eccentric companion who stays by her side as she discovers the depth of the evil that still remains in The Kingdom. Soon, Sam and Lirael’s destinies will be entwined as a new enemy prepares to unleash an ancient darkness upon the land.
I truly am amazed by the fantasy world that Nix has created. The evil is so believable, the magic so intricate and intense. While I had a hard time getting started, by a few chapters in, I was hooked again. The plot moves along swiftly with no lack of scary dead creatures to bar the way. I really love reading about a strong heroine who grows into unknown skills: so fun. Two major differences from Sabriel: there is no romantic storyline and our adventure is not complete at the end — to find out how Lirael and Sam will fare, I will need to go get the final book, Abhorsen. I think I will.
Rated: Mild for some particularly gory violence and a few mild swear words