Rating: 4.5/5

Genre: Fantasy

No. Pages: 527

ISBN: 9780007137336

Set nearly 2 decades after Sabriel, a dark and ancient evil is rising in the Old Kingdom. Lirael is a daughter of the Clayr, a group of women who have the Sight (the power to see into the future), but her Sight has still not come. Instead, she must discover her own role in the battle against the growing evil with her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog.

I enjoyed Lirael a lot more than I did Sabriel. I felt a lot more connected with the protagonist, Lirael, than I did with Sabriel. A lot of the book follows Lirael whilst she is living with the Clayr and so there’s a lot less travelling across the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre as there was in Sabriel. This gives us some time to get to know Lirael with less focus on the adventure side of the story. In fact, I think I would have enjoyed the book more if all of it was set in the Clayr’s glacier. It was definitely my favourite part since the glacier is portrayed as a very large and fascinating place (with a cool and dangerous library).

Inevitably, Sabriel makes a reappearance as she is the current Abhorsen. But the distance I felt from her in Sabriel gets even larger in Lirael where she plays a smaller part. But I didn’t particularly mind this because this distance didn’t encourage me to care for her as much as I could have done.

I liked the inclusion of the Dog as another magical being alongside Mogget. She’s a lot more likeable and the contrast between the happy-to-please nature of the Dog and the deliberate unhelpfulness of Mogget works nicely. It reflects their respective animalistic qualities of dog and cat although both are cryptic and mysterious in their own ways. On the other hand, Sam and Ellimere are slightly irritating although Sam did start to grow on me as his character developed and evolved.

Have you read Lirael? What did you think of it? 🙂

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