Lirael by Garth Nix

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Book Information  
AuthorGarth Nix
SeriesOld Kingdom Trilogy, The
Book Reviews / Comments (submitted by readers)
Submitted by shelly 
(Jul 30, 2007)

Lirael definitely had to be the worst book in what turned out to be a very disappointing trilogy. The plot was slow, too long and simply boring. Amongst a list of other things.
Lirael took a long time to develop, and for it to get anywhere remotely interesting.
She, Lirael, is different, as the heroines of most stories are, from those she loves and lives with. Apparently her parents 'did it out of destiny' and not for 'any apparent love for each other'. She's different, subdued, and constantly wallowing in self pity. No matter what else I have to say to prove my point, it all comes down to the fact that, no matter how many times I read it, I couldn't bring myself up to care about what happened to her. Creating her, in my opinion, was definitely not Garth Nix's highest moment.
Then there's the plot. As mentioned above, it moves too slowly, feeding us information that we don't need to know, nor want to know, about trivial matters like what the library of the Clayr look like. Sure, I can appreciate good description when I read it, and this description wasn't at all bad, it was just the fact that there was too much of it, and it slowed the story down too much. Maybe this is because I am a diehard action buff, but the pace of the story sent me to sleep. I didn't really care about what happened to any of the characters, or the world they were set in. They just don't come alive in my mind like characters are supposed to.
And then there was the typical fight between Good and Evil, something I'm simply sick of reading about. Perhaps Evil could win just that once? Or put a twist into the victory? Although he did sort of do that. was all very much 'happily ever after'.
About the only thing that can be really commended about this book is the world the story is set in. The Old Kingdom, Ancelstierre, and in particular, Death. Doing this book in English made me dread the subject, but it certainly helped me appreciate the settings in which Lirael and company dwell everyday. Also interesting was the brand of magic they used. The best way to describe it is original. Not cliche like wands (though Harry Potter did take that cliche, and mould it into something refreshingly different) or staffs or anything like that, but symbols, and a Charter from which all these millions of symbols came from. And the fact that magic wasn't as simple as reading? That you had to word to make it happen? That was very much appreciated by myself.
Would I recommend this book to someone else? No. But however, some of his other books, particularly the Keys to the Kingdom Series, are pretty good, and are definitely worth a try. However, Lirael, in my opinion, was not the worthy read it was said to be.

Submitted by Helena King 
(Sep 11, 2005)

Lirael is the second in the 'Old Kingdom' Trilogy and truly takes magic and mystery to a whole new level of reading that will surely enchant readers to come!
A second novel to challenge the likes of the first with the most fascinating and breathtaking characters I have ever met and will ever be likely to. Any reader would definately be entranced by the brilliance of the Old Kingdom and the adventures of the brave and daring Lirael of the Clayr.

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