Dec 12, 2014

Review: Clariel by Garth Nix

Title: Clariel
Author: Garth Nix
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 10.14.2014
Pages: 382
Genre: Young Adult, High Fantasy
Series: Abhorsen #4
Source: Finished copy from publisher

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary (from Goodreads):
Sixteen-year-old Clariel is not adjusting well to her new life in the city of Belisaere, the capital of the Old Kingdom. She misses roaming freely within the forests of Estwael, and she feels trapped within the stone city walls. And in Belisaere she is forced to follow the plans, plots and demands of everyone, from her parents to her maid, to the sinister Guildmaster Kilp. Clariel can see her freedom slipping away. It seems too that the city itself is descending into chaos, as the ancient rules binding Abhorsen, King and Clayr appear to be disintegrating.

With the discovery of a dangerous Free Magic creature loose in the city, Clariel is given the chance both to prove her worth and make her escape. But events spin rapidly out of control. Clariel finds herself more trapped than ever, until help comes from an unlikely source. But the help comes at a terrible cost. Clariel must question the motivations and secret hearts of everyone around her - and it is herself she must question most of all.


I was totally excited to read this. It sounded like such a great story with a beautiful world and Clariel herself sounded like someone I would love in this book.

There was so much to absorb in this book. The Abhorsens, free magic, charter magic, and their respective mages. And all of the mechanics that went along with them.

Bel was probably my favorite character. He just seems so full of energy and ready to go and help when needed. And he most certainly wasn't afraid to step up when the time came. Clariel was certainly determined. She wanted so much to get back and out of the city that she succeeded, just not in the way she ever thought.

I haven't the Old Kingdom series so I wasn't sure what exactly I would expect. It certainly made me want to read them!  Although this was the prequel, I definitely felt like I was missing something. With all of that going on, I was left with the question of what is the significance of  the magics and what exactly do the Abhorsens do?

Overall, it was a good book with some very good imagery and a cat who I haven't quite figured out. I am definitely going to getting the Old Kingdom series.


  1. I've been waiting to find an Old Kingdom newbie starting with this book. As a long-time fan of the series I loved this one but I can see how some of the nuances wouldn't quite make sense. I hope you enjoy the rest of the series when you get to it!


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