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Garth Nix was born in 1963 and grew up in Canberra, Australia. After taking his degree in professional writing from the University of Canberra, he worked in a bookshop and then moved to Sydney. There he sank lower into the morass of the publishing industry, steadily devolving from sales rep through publicist until in 1991 he became a senior editor with a major multinational publisher. After a period travelling in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Asia in 1993, he left publishing to work as a marketing communications consultant . In 1999 he was lured back to the publishing world to become a part-time literary agent. He now lives in Sydney, a five-minute walk from Coogee Beach, with his wife, Anna, and lots of books.
In Nix's sequel to Sabriel, readers return to the entrancing and complicated Old Kingdom: a world of necromancy, seers, dangerous monsters and talking animals (the cat Mogget is back). The relationships between the Kingdom's various realms and the magic may take some unraveling for readers new to the series, but the heroine's plight will be instantly compelling. Lirael is the only one of a community of clairvoyant women not to be gifted with "the Sight," and the mystery of her parentage contributes to her alienation. Just after her 14th birthday, Lirael releases a Stilken (half-woman, half-crustacean) from a glass-covered coffin. Her act leads to a meeting with a healer (Lirael's great-great-grandmother) who fortifies her and urges her to take as her only friend the impertinent "Disreputable Dog," a creature of suspicious magical origin whose true nature remains unknown. The overall plot may follow the expected course an evil magician threatens the well-being of the Old Kingdom and Lirael finds her destiny linked with that of handsome, nervous Prince Sameth (son of Sabriel) but startling subplots abound and keep the pages turning. The book ends on a cliffhanger, and Nix leaves nearly every major question unanswered. The evil is still at large, the Disreputable Dog still unexplained and Lirael's mother's desertion of her unresolved. Readers hoping for a satisfying ending will have to wait for the third in the series, to be titled Abhorsen, and tentatively scheduled for fall 2002. Ages 12-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"Lirael has taken this series into breathtaking, lyrical, fantasy status (and I hear that Abhorsen... is simply stunning)." The Bookseller"I was spellbound from page one... Nix's writing is masterful. Ithink we are seeing the emergence of a writing talent who will be here for many years to come and whose books will be read for a long time after." Mrs Mad's Book-a-Rama"Readers who like their fantasy intense in action, magisterial in scope and apocalyptic in consequences will revel in every word." Kirkus starred review"What makes LIRAEL a delight is the magic that Nix brings to his story and to his characters. It is filled with twists and turns, playful inventiveness and dark magic, and is sure to satisfy his many readers." LocusPraise for Sabriel... "Sabriel is a winner, a fantasy that reads like realism. I congratulate Garth Nix." Philip Pullman"Fast pace, drama, vivid descriptions, excitement and humour... What more could you want?" The Guardian"Every publisher thinks they have the next great children's fantasy writer. Harper Collins know they have." Nick Holt, AML
Gr 7 Up-Lirael has never fit in with her hundreds of cousins, the Clayr. Orphaned, lonely, shy, and painfully aware of her physical differences from them, she also lacks their Sight of the future. However, when her skill with magic and her companion, the Disreputable Dog, help her accomplish a quest foreseen hundreds of years before, the Clayr entrust her with an even more perilous search. Elsewhere in the Old Kingdom, Prince Sameth, son of King Touchstone and the Abhorsen Sabriel, is convinced he is unfit for his inherited duties. Slated to succeed his mother in protecting the Kingdom from the ravages of the Dead, he finds that his first journey into Death has left him too frightened to return. Despite his fears, he sets out to rescue a friend headed into danger. Lirael's and Sameth's paths converge, and they learn more about their pasts and the nature of the Old Kingdom's magic as they continue their quest together. While less immediately appealing than Sabriel, the heroine of Nix's first book about the Old Kingdom, (HarperCollins, 1996), the two teen protagonists share a mixture of insecurity and courage that will speak to adolescent readers. The fast-paced plot is packed with harrowing encounters with necromancers and magical foes. Nix continues to unfold the mysteries of the Old Kingdom, exploring the haunting and unusual, exhaustively and flawlessly conceived connections among its rulers and guardians, and the magic that infuses them all. A must-read for fans of the first book, Lirael will also fascinate readers new to the series.-Beth Wright, Fletcher Free Library, Burlington, VT Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.