Clariel by Garth Nix

Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen
Garth Nix

HarperCollins Children’s Book

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“Well-written with an engaging central character. . .”

Clariel takes the reader on a gripping adventure within the Old Kingdom, a land where Charter Magic has held sway for generations. When her mother accepts a post as a Master Goldsmith in the capital, Clariel is taken against her will from her beloved forest and brought to live in the city, a strange and uncomfortable place controlled by the Guilds. As a daughter of an ancient noble house she’s expected to conform to the society in which she finds herself, a society grown stifling and stratified, where meaningless ritual holds sway. At the top is Governor Kilp, a Machiavellian guild-master who seeks to displace the aged and apathetic king as ruler of the land. His son is a ruthless chip off the old block with a reputation as a killer, and Clariel is horrified to learn she’s expected to marry him.

The high families of the land are powerful, yet disinterested in following their duty to keep the land safe from the walking Dead and the Free Magic spirits that once terrorized the world. Clariel learns one such spirit is loose in the city and helping Kilp toward his goal. Yet in the midst of her growing despair she finds friends and allies who stand by her when Kilp makes his play for power, and a dangerous source of magic within herself that must be treated with extreme care. Clariel must face many trials and much danger if she’s to see her true home again.

Well-written with an engaging central character, Clariel will find a ready audience in young adult and adult fantasy readers alike.

Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews