The Old Kingdom Chronicles, by Garth Nix

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.

Sabriel is the first in the Old Kingdom trilogy, rereleased together in one volume for the first time. The first instalment, published in 1995 was the winner of an Aurelis Award and was followed by Lirael (2001) and Abhorsen (2003). All three stories have been widely acclaimed and much loved by fantasy readers worldwide.

This weighty offering is a boon for collectors, especially those who perhaps enjoyed the individual titles but don’t have them in their home libraries. It is also a wonderful opportunity for new readers to discover this outstanding trilogy.

Great stuff.

The Old Kingdom Chronicles: Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen, by Garth Nix
Alllen & Unwin, 2009

The Whisperer, by Fiona McIntosh

He sighed. ‘I heard him again.’
‘The Whisperer…I’ve got to help him.’
‘What?’ Tess exclaimed. ‘You don’t even know who he is. Or where he is!’ She put a hand on his arm. ‘Griff, you don’t even know if this is something in your imagination.’

Griff has long had a special, secret ability: he can hear what other people are thinking. But now this ability is taking a strange turn, with Griff hearing cries for help, and even holding conversations, with someone he has never seen or met. Griff knows he must find and help the Whisperer, even though he has problems of his own.

Griff and his friend Tess, and her collection of magical creatures, are on the run from a greedy circus master who wants to use them both for money making schemes. If they stop to help the stranger who whispers in Griff’s head, they risk their freedom, even their lives. But Griff feels he has no choice.

Meanwhile Lute, the Crown Prince of the realm, is under attack from his Uncle Janko, who wants to seize the throne by murdering both the King, Lute’s father, and Lute himself. Lute is on the run, in the company of bandits. When Lute and Griff meet, both their lives will change forever.

The Whisperer is a wonderful fantasy read set in a realm sprinkled with magical creatures and magical forces, where unlikely heroes come together to ensure the triumph of good over evil. There is plenty of action, with both Lute and Griff, and their respective companions, on the run and in danger for most of the book.

Suited for readers aged 9 to 12, and perhaps a little older, this is a riveting fantasy read.

The Whisperer

The Whisperer, by Fiona McIntosh
Angus & Robertson, and imprint of Harper Collins, 2009

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