Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Abhorsen-Garth Nix

Garth Nix
Eos, May 2008, $9.99
ISBN: 9780061474330

The Dead Chlorr of the Mask has captured by enchantment Lirael an Abhorsen-in-Waiting, her nephew Prince Sameth, her companion the enigmatic Disreputable Dog and the mysterious white cat Mogget. They need to escape but the spell makes it difficult as their evil host has the support of the powerful malevolent necromancer Hedge.

The quartet escapes anyway and manages to rescue Sameth's friend, Nicholas Sayre, but seemingly too late to prevent him from exhuming the remains of Orannis, the Destroyer. Hedge's plan seems on the verge of fruition, as the hemispheres begin to converge; if they merge, evil will win and all life destroyed. The heroic quartet must first find a way to destroy the Destroyer if Hedge’s Death scheme is to be stopped.

This sequel to SABRIEL and LIRAEL is a terrific young adult fantasy that begins to answer questions from the previous tales such as what is the Disreputable Dog while also providing the audience with a wonderful good vs. bad thriller. The contrast between dismal wretched realm of Death and those necromancers who want to bring it to the moral plane vs. the optimism of the band of champions enhances the tension as the good dudes seem too innocent to hold their own against their malevolent adversaries. It behooves newcomers to read the first two books to see how the opponents got to this point although Garth Nix provides an interwoven backdrop. Fans will appreciate this superb entry as all bets are on Hedge and Destroyer.

Harriet Klausner

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