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Clariel (Abhorsen, #4)
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(Abhorsen #4)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  24,637 ratings  ·  2,529 reviews
Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen, and to the King. When her family moves to the city of Belisaere, Clariel finds herself at the centre of sorcery and intrigue: a plot is brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan; her parents want to marry her off to a killer; and a dangerous Free M ...more
Paperback, Australian edition, 432 pages
Published October 14th 2014 by Allen & Unwin
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Megan Um, yes. The beautiful thing about books we enjoy--especially the good ones, and these are good--is that we can read and read and read them anywhere o…moreUm, yes. The beautiful thing about books we enjoy--especially the good ones, and these are good--is that we can read and read and read them anywhere or anyway we like. May I suggest a dollop of Bailey's for that hot chocolate?(less)
Marti Yes. Yes. Yes.

I wouldn't call them "dark" - they are definitely well-written, and as other have said, better than Clariel in lots of ways. Clariel is …more
Yes. Yes. Yes.

I wouldn't call them "dark" - they are definitely well-written, and as other have said, better than Clariel in lots of ways. Clariel is fun, but it feels incredibly short and fast-paced compared to the amazing storytelling that's happening in Sabriel and Lireal in particular.(less)

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Average rating 3.86  · 
Rating details
 ·  24,637 ratings  ·  2,529 reviews

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May 14, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This book was hard to read, but not for the reasons you’re probably thinking of.

Garth Nix’s writing was the best it’s ever been. It’s not my favorite style, but I like it nonetheless. The plot was engaging, the pacing was good – not fantastic, but not widely variable or unbearably slow – and the worldbuilding was, as usual, wonderful.

This was hard for me to read because Clariel reminded me a lot of myself when I was younger.

My parents took me out of the public school system after 8th grade and e
Charlotte May
“Anyone can go into death” said Mogget, with a smirk. “Coming back again is the difficult part.”

I am loving this series so much!
Clariel is a prequel to The Old Kingdom series, about 600 years earlier.

Clariel likes her life, sure her parents could be a bit more caring and pay a bit more attention, but she’s got her Aunt Lemmin and the wonderful forest she loves to explore.
So when her parents decide the family is going to up and move to Belisare, and send her to a ‘finishing school’ Clariel i
If I die before this book comes out, Garth, I assure you that no Abhorsen will be able to prevent me from coming back for it.


Oh My GOD! Can it be??? An actual cover?! And a release date?! What good deed did I do to finally deserve this?! Let's hope I manage to stay alive for a few more months...I'd rather not have to battle any Abhorsens if I can avoid it.
First of all, let me get this out of the way: everyone calling Clariel - the character - names can shut the hell up. I'm pissed as hell at the number of people writing her off as a bitch, whiny, self-centered, etc., especially when that's the extent of their critique of the book. It smells of misogyny and it needs to stop.

Now, as for the book...

I've been waiting for this book for a long time - pretty much since I read the original trilogy and first came across rumors that this was in the works.
Oct 30, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I hate to give this one star because I really love Garth Nix and the Abhorsen books, but there were so many things I didn't like about this book.
1) Clariel. Wow. I don't think I have ever disliked a heroine more. So selfish, so self-absorbed, and just not interesting at all. No one cares about your stupid forest, move on.
2) What was this book supposed to be? Weird YA finishing school book? fantasy? All I know is almost all of it was dull. Reading about the guild outfits and the clothes in gener
Jun 26, 2014 rated it it was ok
Received an ARC of the book. Currently about 1/4 of the way through...initial thoughts: this book is suffering from the same thing that made me dislike Lirael--lack of action, too much build up.

Sabriel worked out so well because the beginning was quite fast paced. Problem arises, Sabriel makes the decision to do something about it and she's off to the races. I can't stand it when the protag is sort of wishy washy about going for his/her goals. I know situations change as more information is reve
Jun 19, 2011 marked it as to-read


A cover and a synopsis?! Oh happy day!!! October hurry your butt up!!
Oct 18, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Much like the Legend of Korra, this long-awaited sequel follows the ostensibly dramatic and exciting adventure of an uncharismatic and constantly whining main character in a setting that is nostalgic until you realize its rather whiny as well. Wonder how a setting can be whiny? Supporting characters fade into the background, until you look around and wonder "is this inn haunted by a complaining ghost or what?".

The story somehow fails to convey the sense of urgency and humor that characterized t
First Second Books
Garth Nix wrote a new Abhorsen book! And not only that, there’s going to be yet another new Abhorsen book after this one! How exciting is that?

One of the things I really liked about the book was the portrayal of the main character’s sexuality. People keep running around and being like, ‘marriage! dating! these are the most important things!’ and instead, she’s, ‘how do you have time for this; people are trying to kill us!’ and also, 'my career is far more important to me than any possibility of
Aug 29, 2014 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
THANK GOD IT'S OVER!!!! That was one of the most painful reading experiences I have had in a long time. I honestly have not idea why the author felt this book needed to exist.

It really didn't.

Now, it was a long time ago that I read the Old Kingdom trilogy, but I am vaguely aware of liking it, if I can't quite remember the details. For example I have no idea who Clariel is supposed to become in the original series. Her name is mentioned at the end of the book, and it rings a bell, but considering
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s a bit surprising to me to see the disappointed reviews of this, because I quite enjoyed it. Of course, it’s a different world to the one Sabriel enters, and different even from the world that Lirael and Sameth have to navigate as Sabriel and Touchstone work on restoring the Old Kingdom. This one doesn’t feature any contact with Ancelstierre, and is set before even Touchstone/Torrigan’s time. So naturally, the concerns of its people, the politics, are all quite different. It’s interesting to ...more

IF I hear one more word about Clariel's stupid forest, I am buying a chainsaw ^_^

Ok, so with THIS out of the way, I can safely say - I enjoyed Clariel. But ...it didn't feel like a part of the Old Kingdom series. In fact, it felt more like a pretty good YA novel, with an angsty teen trying to fit in the world while being misunderstood and hindered by the ignorant, unreliable adults.

The first 25% were absolutely amazing and filled with so much potential! The setting was interesting, the world bu
Eric Allen
I loved the first two books in the series during high school, and I believe Abhorsen came out when I was in college, but ask any woman on earth and she'll tell you that men never really grow up, so there you go. It's been a long, long, loooooooong wait for more stories that take place in this world, and I'm excited to see that Garth Nix has more plans for it in the future.

Unfortunately, Clariel was a little disappointing to me. The other books are just so good, and this one, while not exactly ba
Apr 11, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: read_2014, fantasy, own
I've been waiting for another novel set in the world of the Old Kingdom for a long time now, and, despite having moments that brought back the enjoyment of LIRAEL and SABRIEL, the long ago prequel to SABRIEL doesn't quite live up to my expectations.

CLARIEL leans heavily towards the YA styling's of Garth Nix's other fantasy series targeted at that demographic. The toned down storytelling is evident, as is the teenage angst and constant reference to love despite Clariel's predicament (even though
Jun 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Out of the series so far I felt that this was one of the best ones. Clariel is a nice strong female lead character and although she makes lots of mistakes she never gives up. It was interesting to see much more of Mogget whose character I still have not really worked out. I wonder if a future book will feature him and explain what he actually is and why he is bound. I have really liked this series so far and really enjoy Garth Nix's world building. The idea of the Abhorsen is excellent as is cha ...more
Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky enough to get a ARC of this at BEA in New York and let me tell you it was worth the ten years of waiting. I can't get kids at my school to read the series, or if they do they don't tell me about it, but they are nuts is all I can say because this stuff is so good it makes my head hurt. I look into the air as I read this and look for Charter Marks. None yet but I am not giving up hope!

The story took some time to build but now I am bereft that it is over. I was hoping for more magic ea
Aug 01, 2011 marked it as to-read
Shelves: fantasy
I wonder if this book is really ever going to come out. I believe I first saw that is was to be published in 2010. Then 2011, now, I come back and make sure it didn't sneak up on me and I can finally read it and there saying 2012. Ugh! I really hope they put this book out soon. Or stop teasing us and take it off of here. ...more
Grace Troxel
Jun 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This review originally appeared on my blog, Books Without Any Pictures:

Disclaimer: This is a ridiculously early review.

When I was a teenager, I was obsessed with Garth Nix’s Abhorsen trilogy. I read and re-read Sabriel and Lirael until the paperbacks very clearly showed how much they’d been loved, and jumped for joy when Abhorsen was finally released. Nix’s stories had everything to love–undead villains, strong protagonists, sarcastic kitties, bardic weapo
2.5 stars

Arc provided by Harper Collins through Edelweiss

It was my intention to re-read the previous books of this "Old Kingdom" series, before picking this one up.
Unfortunately I wasn't able to find the necessary time to do it, and I only got to read about half of the first book, Sabriel, before starting with this one.

And although I do still like Sabriel, I am afraid that time seems to have diluted my love for this series. :/
The writing never seemed to "flow"...

I read Sabriel for the firs
Sara the Librarian
Obviously its not fair to review this since I didn't finish it but I just can't take it anymore. Garth Nix's "Abhorsen" books are just wonderful. I believe I waxed rhapsodic about Tim Curry's outstanding narration of the first three books in this series that chronicle two kingdoms; the Old Kingdom where the Charter (basically a magic that connects everything in the kingdom) rules and necromancer's, free magic users, and the dead are kept in check by the Abhorsen (basically a wizard who can walk ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon

I didn't hate this book, but considering that the original trilogy is still one of my Top 10 of all time, and how long we've been waiting for this prequel... I am all hella kinda of disappointed.

I feel like the biggest issue with this book is that Clariel is just so one dimensional. Well, that and the fact that kinda everyone sucks except Belatiel and Kargrin. (I kinda think the book might been better if it were written about Belatiel and Clariel stayed a secondary character, but we learned a
Jan 28, 2014 rated it liked it

It's difficult for me to rate this novel. For a start, it didn’t engage me until nearly half-way through. This is partly because this is a prequel to the other Abhorsen novels and the world we are thrust into is not what it will later become. It's also because its protagonist, Clariel, is at first a difficult character to like and engage with. Until that half-way point, the novel felt static and I could have put it down at any point. (In fact, I accidentally left it on my work desk before a w
This is a prequel, and prequels can be dicey, so let me just start by saying: this could have been much, much, much worse.

Clariel is the story–not of how young Clariel becomes Chlorr of the Mask from the original series like I was expecting it to be–but of how the foundations for that eventual change are laid. Seventeen year old Clariel moves with her family to the city of Belisaere. Clariel’s a girl of the forest, so right away this makes her unhappy, but the city and the people she encounters
Mar 31, 2009 marked it as to-read
I just found out about this and am giddily happy! More in Sabriel's world--yay yay yay yay!

Even if I do have to wait until 2010 ...

ETA: it's 2014 and this is finally -out!- Internets, why did you not tell me sooner?
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
Maybe I was in a bad mood. Maybe I read it too fast. Maybe I don't remember the Abhorsen trilogy well enough. Maybe, being no longer teenaged, I no longer resonate the same way with teenaged protagonists. Maybe time and nostalgia have rendered those books flawless in my heart, and nothing could stack up. (view spoiler) Maybe it breaks my heart, but my feelings are ...more
Yzabel Ginsberg
Not what I expected. The Old Kingdom looked like it was fraying, but I thought this wanted for more details about why everyone was shirking their duties, hiding their Charter marks, etc. What about the lost princess? Did everyone just run away because reasons/pressure/not wanting to bother?

Clariel wasn't a character I could push myself to care for (too whiny, too much "I want to go back to the Forest" too often...). The first half of the book was kind of boring, and then when things started to p
Library of a Moon Child
I really loved the story of Clariel. It's a great read for those who love hero-to-villain as well as diverse books (the main character is asexual). ...more
Six hundred years before Sabriel was born, the Abhorsen family was large and the Old Kingdom so peaceful that they didn't even bother patrolling it. Clariel is the teenaged daughter of a famed goldsmith and related to both the royal family and the Abhorsen. Her bloodline pulls her into a political battle between the guilds and the king, but her personality draws her toward the solitary peace of the Great Forest. Although she is torn between expectations and her own ambition, Clariel's life narro ...more
Jun 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I’ll admit to having a fair amount of nostalgia for the original Abhorsen trilogy. Sabriel and Lirael were both books I read so many times in middle school/high school I’ve lost all perspective on their merits. Clariel is up against some pretty rosy colored memories, is what I’m saying. The world that Nix builds in these books is fantastic, and Clariel continues in that tradition, but it isn’t quite as exciting exploring Belisaere as it was to explore the levels of death, or the library of the C ...more
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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)
  • Lirael (Abhorsen, #2)
  • Abhorsen (Abhorsen, #3)
  • Goldenhand (Abhorsen, #5)
  • Terciel and Elinor (The Old Kingdom, #6)

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