I am going back to the Old Kingdom, whatever father may have told you. So there is no point in trying to set me up with a suitable Sayre job or a suitable Sayre marriage. I am coming with you to what will undoubtedly be a horrendous house party only because it will get me a few hundred miles closer to the wall.
Fans who mourned the completion of the Old Kingdom trilogy will be happy to get another slice of that magical world in the novella which opens this collection. Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Cold Case sees Nicholas, back in Ancellstierre, pitted against one of the rarest and most magical of the Free Magic creatures.
But this novella is not the only treat in store in Across the Wall, which features 13 of Garth Nix’ stories, each introduced by the author, giving some insight into his writing process for each, as well as its publication history. The stories range from classic fantasy, to downright silliness, with romance, Arthurian legend and fairy tales thrown into the mix.
Fans of Nix will enjoy this for what it is – a chance to sample the delights of Nix’ writing beyond his rightfully popular series.
Across the Wall, by Garth Nix
Allen & Unwin, 2005
Until recently Lirael has lived the secluded life of the Clayr, knowing she doesn’t truly belong, but having no idea of her true identity. Now she is the Abhorsen in Waiting, and the future of the Old Kingdom, and in fact of all life, rests with her.
Only an Abhorsen can defeat the dead and the dark necromancers. But the true Abhorsen, Lirael’s half-sister Sabriel, is missing, presumed dead. Lirael must find the strength to take on her duties and the greatest challenge ever to confront an Abhorsen.
Abhorsen, the final volume in the Old Kingdom trilogy, upholds the brilliance of author Garth Nix’s powerful prose. It is vivid, complex and enthralling. The characters are rich and endearing, yet full of surprises. The conclusion to this much-acclaimed series is both breathtaking and satisfying.
Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Allen & Unwin, 2003
Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr, lives with her people, yet apart from them. She is a loner and an orphan who feels she does not belong. This feeling is magnified by the fact that she does not yet have the Sight – a gift which most of the Clayr get at a far younger age than hers.
In another part of the Old Kingdom, Sameth, the Abhorsen in Waiting, and son of Touchstone and Sabriel, is similarly unhappy. He does not want to be the Abhorsen and doesn’t know which is worse – continuing his training, or telling his parents.
When the two embark on separate but common quests, the strange secret that links them is revealed.
Lirael, the second in the Old Kingdom Trilogy by Garth Nix continues the high standard established in the first book, Sabriel. The Old Kingdom is richly drawn and the characters deep and authentic. A rivetting read.
Lirael, by Garth Nix
Allen & Unwin 2003 (originally published in 2001)
Born in the Old Kingdom, Sabriel has not been within its walls for many years. She has lived in the safety of her school, away from the power of free magic. But something has happened – her father, Abhorsen, has vanished and she is the only one who can find him.
Back in the Old Kingdom, Sabriel discovers that she is much more than she ever thought she was, or could be. Others are know calling her Abhorsen, and looking to her to save the Old Kingdom from the terrible evil that lurks beyond the grave. All Sabriel wants is to find her father and return his title to him. The two quests – finding her father and saving the Kingdom – become one, and Sabriel must draw on all she has learnt and much that she learns along the way, as well as the strength of her friends, old and new.
Sabriel is an absorbing fantasy- rich in depth, in originality and excitment, yet accessible even to those new to the genre. It is little wonder the book was a winner of the Aurealis Award for Australian Speculative Fiction, and that the remaining titles of the trilogy have been eagerly awaited.
Sabriel, by Garth Nix
First Published by Harper Collins, 1995, newly published by Allen & Unwin (2003)