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Reviewsday: The Old Kingdom Series by Garth Nix

sabrielI first saw Garth Nix at a children’s literature festival in Queensland. He was wearing cowboy boots, and stroking an imaginary cat. He began to speak. At that moment, I think I fell in love.

Teenage author crushes really are the best.

I’d been reading his books for some years at this point, probably starting with the Seventh Tower series. But it was The Old Kingdom trilogy, his series for young adults, that well and truly got me. I first read that series when I was thirteen. Ten years later and I still love liraelthem. You want a vivid, fascinating, dangerous fantasy world? Enter the Old Kingdom, a crumbling feudal realm where the Dead don’t stay dead. Want a courageous, pragmatic heroine? Meet Sabriel, daughter of the mage Abhorsen, who has walked in Death since she was a child. Meet Lirael, a ward of the future-seeing Clayr, setting out in search of her birthright – and a terrible destiny. Want a snarky talking cat? Well, who doesn’t? His name is Mogget.

Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen are always among my favourite books, and ones that I re-read every year. This year brought the addition of a prequel, Clariel, to the series and abhorsenthere is another story in the works. To say that I am excited is an understatement.

Nix’s other books span both YA and children’s reading: there is The Ragwitch (which gave me nightmares), Shade’s Children, and his foray into science fiction, A Confusion of Princes. For younger readers, there is his Keys to the Kingdom series, along with Troubletwisters, his collaboration with fellow Australian (and also excellent) author Sean Williams.

But, the Old Kingdom series. This is first-class fantasy from a wonderful local author. The books have just been given new covers to mark the release of Clariel, and they are GORGEOUS. There really are no excuses.

-Amy from Chermside QBD

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