Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Garth Nix and Clariel: Excited But Nervous

I'm at a bit of a loss this week, so I decided what the heck. I'll just talk about the thing that made me most excited all week.

And that would be the fourth Abhorsen book, Clariel. Garth Nix tweeted this on Sunday:

So the fourth Abhorsen book is closer and closer to me being able to read it!

Abhorsen History

For those non-fans, the first Abhorsen book is Sabriel by Garth Nix (If you haven't read it, go read it now!). Sabriel was first released in 1995 (according to Wikipedia), although since Nix is Australian, I'm guessing it was a bit slower to make its way over to the US.

Sabriel is quite possibly one of the greatest books of all time by my obviously unprejudiced reckoning. There's an awesome and unusual magical system in a very dangerous and amazing world. Plus, its got the coolest character ever, an aloof and very fish-oriented "cat" named Mogget.

My husband and I have debated just how cool Mogget actually is. My husband contends that the Disreputable Dog from the Lireal books is most likely the coolest character of all time. And, therefore, by extension, Lireal is the second coolest character of all time (because the Disreputable Dog chose to be her pet).

I'd just like to state, for the record: he is wrong. I said it on the internet, so it's got to be true.

Why Clariel Makes Me Nervous


There is one thing that makes me nervous about Clariel. Apparently the book takes place about 600 years before Sabriel (source), so the only possible carry over character is Mogget. That, obviously, is alright with me.

What makes me nervous is that Goodreads indicates that Clariel is the story of the girl who will become Chlorr of the Mask. By the time of Sabriel (600 years down the road), Chlorr is evil. I'm just not sure how I feel about following a character that I will eventually want Sabriel to kill. If Goodreads is correct (and Clariel = Chlorr does make sense based on the little we know of Chlorr), we will follow a future villian in Sabriel's story and, if Garth Nix stands true to form, we'll grow to know and care about her.

I suppose this could be interesting, the viewpoint of the villain and all. Honestly, that's pretty much what Episodes I-III of Star Wars was (although Anakin wasn't terribly sympathetic, in my opinion). It's just unnerving going into a book knowing that the main character comes to a bad end.

And yet, I'm looking forward to the book anyway.



    I love Garth Nix. I think I've read pretty much all his books, but the Old Kingdom ones are my favourite. Charter Magic and the system he created (pulling it out of the Charter itself) is so unique and inventive; I remember being genuinely blown away by it the first time I read them.

    I've read the companion novel/collection thing, I've read all three books... and I LOVE origin stories for evil characters. I love evil charactera generally. I'm way too excited about this now.

    Sabriel was a great influence on my writing. I'm so happy there's gonna be another one and furious with myself for having heard nothing until I read this!

  2. Haha. Very glad I could make your day. Somehow I'm not surprised that you love origin stories of evil characters.
    And Sabriel is an amazingly awesome book. I've read Across The Wall, and about half the keys to the kingdom books and Shade's Children (fascinating but dark), but, yeah, Sabriel is still my favorite.
    Oh, and one of the links above (titled "source") indicated Clariel will be out in Sept 2014, so soon but not soon enough.