Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)” as Want to Read:
Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Abhorsen #2)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  114,837 ratings  ·  3,443 reviews
Lirael has never felt like a true daughter of the Clayr. Now, two years past the time when she should have received the Sight that is the Clayr's birthright, she feels alone, abandoned, unsure of who she is. Nevertheless, the fate of the Old Kingdom lies in her hands. With only her faithful companion, the Disreputable Dog, Lirael must undertake a desperate mission under th ...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published December 30th 2015 by Eos (first published April 21st 2001)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lirael, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Limi I read first Lirael, and after that I read Sabriel. So did my friends. We got hold of the plot easily before we read Sabriel (book). Sabriel (characte…moreI read first Lirael, and after that I read Sabriel. So did my friends. We got hold of the plot easily before we read Sabriel (book). Sabriel (character) does not play a major part in Lirael (book).

However, Sabriel (book) is a great book and you should not miss it.(less)
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.27  · 
Rating details
 ·  114,837 ratings  ·  3,443 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
Omg!! I had 6,000 audio books come through the library today 😫But I wanted to follow along in my book while Tim Curry reads to me 😊

Charlotte May
“When the Dead do walk, seek water’s run,
for this the Dead will always shun.
Swift river’s best or broadest lake
to ward the Dead and haven make.
If water fails thee, fire’s thy friend;
if neither guards, it will be thy end.”

Well this was freaking awesome!

As a sequel where the main character from Book 1 isn’t the main focus - I was a bit worried; but there was no need because Lirael continued the story of the Old Kingdom and the dead fantastically!

“The blue hats shaded silver sightless eye s
Caz (littlebookowl)
May 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
4.5 stars
I was listening to the last few chapters on audiobook (bless Tim Curry and his downright villainous voice) and had my eyes closed, and when that epilogue reveal happened, my eyes shot open like I was a Dead thing come back to consciousness.

The first 100 or so pages of this didn't entirely hook me, as we had a new protagonist and not a whole lot happened. But once it really got going, I was very invested. Lirael and Sameth were fantastic protagonists and I loved them both so much. Garth Nix is ph
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 4.5/5 stars. This is the second instalment in the Abhorsen series.

Whilst Sabriel wrapped up in a satisfactory manner, I still was left with many questions and so was a little disappointed , initially, to find that Lirael takes place fourteen years after the events depicted in book one. This disappointment was short lived as I was introduced to the immediately lovable Lirael, daughter of the Clayr but without their infamous sight for future events. She is disheartened at her lack o
Nov 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
It took me a while to get around to reading this book, even though I rushed out and bought it immediately after finishing Sabriel. The up side to that is in the meantime, I'd bought Abhorsen as well. That's important. Sabriel was a good stand-alone novel. Lirael and Abhorsen are not. In fact, I'd recommend that before you read Lirael 1) you read Sabriel first and 2) you have a copy of Abhorsen ready to pick up as soon as you finish Lirael. Lirael ends in the middle of something, and the two prob ...more
Lindsey Rey
Mar 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015, fantasy, young-adult
[4.5 Stars]
Way better than the first one!
TS Chan
While the Abhorsen series continues to thrive on its magic and worldbuilding, the characterisation in Lirael is unfortunately not up to par with its predecessor, Sabriel.

It does appear that Sabriel is written almost like a stand-alone, as this sequel takes place almost one and a half decade after the events in the first book with two new main characters; Lirael, a daughter of the Clayr and Prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone.

Both characters demonstrate the typical angst and insecu
When I glance at the reviews for this book, I'm actually surprised. Not that people would like this book, but that everyone would like it. I thought for sure there would be more of a split on it.

I mean, the writing is good. Nix can put together sentences and his plot is soundly articulated. His Old Kingdom is a vast and impressive construct, and his imagination is superb. There were even a couple really good scenes in here.

I just...I don't know. I couldn't wait for it to end. I hated the charac
Mike (the Paladin)
Jul 19, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-fantasy
Well.....okay. Not as good a book as Sabriel, I went with 3 stars on this one. It was close as the story is a pretty good one and we are still following the plot line thrown out in Sabriel, just not quite as well (in my opinion of course).

We pick up about 14 years after end of that volume and we sort of get an introduction like, 14 years have passed. there have been many battles as the King (Touchstone) who married Sabriel (the Abhorsen) overthrows evil, saves the Kingdom and aids the people. At
Mayim de Vries
Oct 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Sabriel was a pure pleasure to read. Lirael was as appalling as Sabriel was awesome. It sported an insecure and impulsive heroine drowning in her angst and her companions: an idiot of a selfish prince and a dog (a dog!).

Lirael is a Daughter of the Clayr, compensating her lack of Sight (i.e. the ability to see future) with other capabilities like outstanding sociopathy and a penchant for magic. Yes, Lirael is one of these special snowflakes we love reading about. She is so standing apart that she
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: feminists with a morbid streak
I'm not a huge fantasy person, but I'm always up for a kick-ass heroine such as Lirael. I thoroughly enjoyed the first 2 books in this trilogy, mostly because they appeal to my morbid streak. Death portrayed as a river with 7 gates? Sending the Dead back into Death using necromancer bells? What's not to like here?

Decent writing, excellent story, not-quite-typical (and therefore appealing) fantasy story. Not to mention book covers by the Dillions. I will read almost anything that has a Dillions c
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
[4 Stars] I'm conflicted about this rating because the first half of the book was probably more like a 5 star book, the last half of the book was more 4 stars, and all of Sameth's parts were around 3.5 or even 3 stars. Why did Sameth have to be just as annoying as Lirael was amazing? Lirael was seriously such a fantastic protagonist, and I wish the book had focused almost entirely on her as opposed to bringing Sameth into the picture. He just seems like a bit of a waste in all honesty: annoying, ...more
Apr 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
The only thing that held this book back was the character of prince Sameth, the son of Sabriel and Touchstone. Apart from him, I fell in love with both Lirael and the Disreputable Dog and cannot wait to get my hands on the last book! I also personally think this book was better than the first. I have high expectations now for the last one!!
BAM the enigma
Mar 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Audio # 33
2018 Reading Challenge: deals with a library or bookstore

Lirael is so depressed and has such low self esteem.

Note-Tim curry can feel free to narrate every book I own please
Feb 22, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lady by: Ben
Shelves: bookclub, fantasy
I liked this book. The writing wasn't as beautiful as I hope for in fantasy novels. But his world building was thorough and very interesting. I went back and forth between liking the characters and not, which I think reveals how fully formed they are.

I really liked the whole Charter marks and Free Magic stuff. I think it made a fascinating world and sense of magic. I liked that, just because Lirael was good with Charter marks, didn't make her all powerful; that there were weaknesses to how it ca
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, ya
A wonderful YA fantasy. Beautifully told, with so many exciting and powerful moments. The clues to Lirael's and Prince Sameth's real identities are hinted at and gradually revealed to the reader, till we realise all at the climactic (but kinda cliffhanger) ending. The mysterious Library of the Clayr is one of fantasy's iconic imaginings, and one of my favourite book settings. The section when Lirael makes her big discoveries is so magical and beautifully paced. I love the world Nix has created, ...more
May 08, 2015 rated it liked it
As much as I love Sabriel (both the book and the character!), I was reluctant to read this again. Lirael’s role in the library is awesome, but both she and Sameth are rather too prone to self-pity to stand up well beside Sabriel’s example. Which is part of the whole point, that Sameth’s grown up in his parents’ shadows, but still. While Sameth has serious problems to deal with, he’s also selfish, doesn’t think things through properly, and would do a lot better if he’d open his mouth and let word ...more
Eddie Costello
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
These books are awesome and should be mandatory reading by everyone.

I first read this trilogy(Lirael is a second book in the old kingdom trilogy; Sabriel is first while Abhorsen is the finale) when I was in middle school and I have to admit I'm just as obsessed with this series now as I was then.

With a cast of fantastic characters and a quick moving pace(mostly), you are truly sucked into the world of the old kingdom and it's pretty scary.

I'm truly surprised that this book can be considered YA
So there’s this girl, and she lives in a Glacier. Yes, a real glacier. It’s in a tall mountain at the very tip-top of her country, and she lives there with thousands of cousins, who are collectively called ‘The Clayr,’ most of whom are female and have the pale blonde hair and tanned skin that marks them as one of their own. They are entitled to this sobriquet because every single one of them can see the future. Every single one of them, except Lirael, that is. Most Clayr receive the Sight by the ...more
Ashley Marie
Two books through this trilogy (because I'm very unsure about reading past that, since Nix has started doing prequels and such) and I'm STILL uncertain how I feel about it. I reread my Sabriel review and basically find myself feeling the same way, if rather reluctantly. As I mentioned in my last update, these books are sometimes difficult to focus on, but by the end I want to go back and reread them to piece everything together. Lirael and Sameth both felt very realistic, although I was disappoi ...more
Apr 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Nice to see the stories and characters are getting more complexed - I am looking foward to the next instalment in the stories.
Lost Planet Airman
Narrated by Tim Curry. Yo can stop here, you need no more information than that, to desire this audiobook.

Or, maybe you do. Second in the Abhorsen series, this is actually pretty distinct from the first book (Sabriel), so you could start here with only a little catch-up work to do. But you cannot stop here, as this volume ends in a minor cliffhanger and is continued i Abhorsen.

Although nominally a YA book, the characters are very compelling, the plot and themes slightly complex, and the vocabula
May 11, 2022 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ya’ll I remember my childhood trauma of picking up this sequel to Sabriel and realizing that it was not in fact about Sabriel and we had to follow this random other girl who wasn’t my awesome heroine of the last novel. However, as we got a librarian introvert who’s only true friend is a talking dog…I really didn’t end up minding. In fact, I fell in love, which is pretty hard to do after emotionally devastating me first that Sabriel was all ‘old’ and married with kids now. Devastated preteen me w ...more
Aug 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, reread
My favorite book of all times.

Life maybe rough and tough but after darkness comes light.

Thank you for this one...
Sep 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favourites
I'M SO !!!!!
I stayed up until midnight to finish this and I don't regret that really, but I need to be awake at 5am for uni, so... I'll write a review out tomorrow lmao
REALLY enjoyed this though 🙏
Deliciously dark, made more so by the sonorous reading by Tim Curry, and feels like a fitting book in some strange way to bridge the years with.
Jun 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: books, fantasy
This sequel to Sabriel is stronger on character development but weaker on action; I don't think Nix has quite figured out how to balance the two aspects of the story. In Sabriel, the heroine (and we as the readers) were plunged almost immediately into the dangerous journey across the Wall. While I liked Sabriel, I found her a bit flat and her relationship with Touchstone not terribly convincing emotionally. With Lirael, we spend much more time watching her grow up and develop some confidence. He ...more
After Sabriel's stoic determination, a swap to Sam and Lirael as POV is a little jarring, as they're both very unhappy and rather inclined to wallow. [Content warning: there's some contemplation of suicide in the early phases of the book.]

I enjoyed the story overall, but not as much as Sabriel. It's both overlong, yet isn't a whole story in itself - stops right in the middle of a journey, in fact. The standout plus of the book is not one, but two snarky animal companions. Again the world is very
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Murder in the Coven: Maya's Magical Adventures continue
  • The Last Graduate (The Scholomance, #2)
  • Alanna: The First Adventure (Song of the Lioness, #1)
  • In the Hand of the Goddess (Song of the Lioness, #2)
  • The Woman Who Rides Like a Man (Song of the Lioness, #3)
  • Fawcetta (Voices and Echoes of the Coliseum, #1)
  • Mischief and the Guardian Cats
  • White Eagle: Awakening
  • Harrow the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #2)
  • Number 13 (Lightmasters, #1)
  • Cytonic (Skyward, #3)
  • Breaking: After the Thaw (The Thaw Chronicles, #2)
  • Earthdom (Ether Collapse, #3)
  • Wild Magic (Immortals, #1)
  • The Well of Tears (The Crowthistle Chronicles, #2)
  • Gideon the Ninth (The Locked Tomb, #1)
  • Lady Knight (Protector of the Small, #4)
  • A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive Baking
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Garth Nix was born in 1963 in Melbourne, Australia, to the sound of the Salvation Army band outside playing 'Hail the Conquering Hero Comes' or possibly 'Roll Out the Barrel'. Garth left Melbourne at an early age for Canberra (the federal capital) and stayed there till he was nineteen, when he left to drive around the UK in a beat-up Austin with a boot full of books and a Silver-Reed typewriter.


Other books in the series

Abhorsen (6 books)
  • Sabriel (Abhorsen,  #1)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
  • Terciel and Elinor (The Old Kingdom, #6)

Related Articles

As dedicated readers already know, some of the best and most innovative stories on the shelves come from the constantly evolving realm of...
82 likes · 21 comments
“Choosers will be beggars if the begging's not their choosing.” 116 likes
“Who or what are you? Besides insufferably rude?” 98 likes
More quotes…