Jessica's Reviews > Lirael

Lirael by Garth Nix
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** spoiler alert **
There’s a reviewer who I follow (Ceridwen) who mentioned in her review of Sabriel how refreshing it is that the magic in the story is “something other than a deus ex machina” (aka: when the protagonist defeats evil without any true skill, the magic just kind of does its thing through them because they are super special snowflakes). I completely agreed with that point…in book 1. Pretty much everything I loved about the protagonist in Sabriel is contradicted in the Mary-Sue that is Lirael, the main protagonist of book 2.

Doormat/whiny/woe-is-me/doesn’t think she’s special even though all signs point to the annoyingly obvious fact that she is. Not only is she mega-talented (but thinks she’s worthless), she has the added convenience of that “dues ex machina” magic that shows up unexpectedly and makes her 10x more awesome.

It killed me that even after the Clayr explained that only super awesome Clayr develop “the Sight” late and only incredibly important people are sent on missions, Lirael is ready to kill herself all over again and actually thinks they’re just kicking her out. Yeah, ok, Lirael. Ok.

And where Sabriel’s looks weren’t really mentioned and her “romance” was pretty dang tame for YA, Lirael, on the other hand, is a silent, sensitive wallflower who hides behind her hair but catches the eye of alllll the boys because they all find her beautiful, even though…wait for it…she doesn’t find herself beautiful!

Ugh, spare me.

Sameth, the male protagonist isn’t much better although he’s a little more sympathetic. He might be somewhat of a spoiled brat, but at least his whining is more believable (not living up to his parents or elder sister’s expectations, because, honestly, what they want for him isn’t what he wants or is even capable of). Lirael, though, is out slaying beasts and is still like, “Shucks, I’m no good at anything, why do I even bother living…” Gurl, write a sad poem in your journal and move on.

Also, this book had no real ending. I’m basically being forced to read the last book of the trilogy against my will. Basically.

THREE STARS because Sabriel and Touchstone make cameos, Lirael occasionally takes breaks from moping to kick some butt, there’s some crazy/creepy action sequences, Nix's world-building is always fun, and the two talking animals (Mogget and Dog) save the reader from utter boredom (concerning the main characters) with their snarky comments and superior characterization.
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Reading Progress

January 12, 2011 – Started Reading
January 12, 2011 – Shelved
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: brainy-chicks-holla
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: dark-and-creepy
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: fantasy
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: fierce-ladies
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: ya
February 1, 2011 – Shelved as: theres-a-prince-yall
February 1, 2011 – Finished Reading
April 19, 2011 – Shelved as: reviewed-books
August 3, 2013 – Shelved as: zombies-yo

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Jason I kind of liked Lirael's perspective. All her friends have left due to the Sight, she is extremely humbled, and self esteem is critically low. Instinctively when something happens (like the quest Seen) she assumes it is due to her extreme out-of-place role in the Clayr, the throbbing dilemma stored deep within her thoughts.

Jessica Don't worry, by the end of Abhorsen(book 3) I loved Lirael.



Jason Just finished it, i really enjoyed it.. The ending was a little harsh, but it perked up a tad before it finished =D

anna Yeah, it was all I could do to finish the book without shouting out loud "get over yourself your dream is dead, get a new dream" (though I thought it many times).

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