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The original trilogy of Old Kingdom novels are some of my absolute favorite "young adult (but really for adults)" fantasy novels. The world building is terrific, the characters wonderful, and the writing style helps bring everything to life with appropriate mystery and majesty. In this new novel, Nix finds his inner George Lucas, presenting a prequel explaining the background of a character in the original series, though to much better results than Lucas achieved.The return to the Old Kingdom is welcome, and this book has some very clever elements that I won't reveal so as not to ruin surprises, but it never quite hits the heights of the prior three books.
Part of both the cleverness and slight difficulty engaging with the book is is due to the fact that it turns many of the tropes of YA fantasy novels on its head - the main heroine is asocial, not interested in romance, and generally aloof. But that isn't all. The book is full of YA tropes: we are taken early on to a magical academy full of potential enemies and allies (obvious shades of Hogwarts) or we are introduced to Parents Who Don't Understand the Heroine (shades of every YA book ever) or we are made aware of the character's special destiny. But the book turns every one of these tropes on its head, in ways that are sometimes satisfying, but also occasionally off-putting. Still, it is never boring, and I very much enjoyed the experience.
The reading is great, and, if you have read the other Old Kingdom books, you should certainly read this as well. Otherwise, you really, really should read Sabriel now - it is excellent, and, in its sequels Lireal and Abhorsen, sets up mysteries that Clariel answers, even if not always in the most ultimately satisfying way.
25 of 26 people found this review helpful
This is a good story. Sad, but very much in the spirit of the first Abhorsen trilogy.
Book well read, although I miss Tim Curry.
15 of 16 people found this review helpful
I liked it. Different to the others in the series but enjoyable. My main issue was that he didn't do Mogget's voice. Tim Curry had absolutely perfected both the voice and character of Mogget, whereas Graeme Malcolm didn't really change his voice at all. I therefore found it hard to think of the character as Mogget, and he lost a lot of his personality.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen?
I loved getting back into the lore and magic system of the Charter. It is a good standalone novel as it has left me wanting more and I am now listening to the previous trilogy.
What did you like best about this story?
Exploring the Old Kingdom's history and Moggett!
What about Graeme Malcolm’s performance did you like?
He's not Tim Curry, but a very good narrator; he kept me interested.
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
I did, pretty much. Only took me two days.
Any additional comments?
There wasn't enough Moggett in it, like many people he is my favourite charecter. It was nice however to see the slightly more evil side of him. The book is great, don't get me wrong.. but there was something lacking.. Even after I finished the book I was unsure of why Clariel becomes and I hope there is possibly more books to fill in more adventuires of Clariel.
4 of 5 people found this review helpful
An interesting and in depth look into the old kingdom world. I found the story quite drawn out and in all honesty did not enjoy Clariel as a character, nor for that matter any of the few supporting characters either for that matter.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I liked the other books more but this was still fantastic. Interesting twist that I didn't see coming.