Big girl fairytales don’t necessarily begin with “Once upon a time…” or “In a land far away…” The second book in the Abhorsen trilogy is much darker, but still a quick, compelling read. I read it in less than 24 hours. I just couldn’t put it down.
Y’all know I don’t usually review each book in a series, but this group is special. Lirael is just as fascinating as Sabriel, although at the start of the book, the title character hardly seems to fit the strong heroine part. Bear with her; she’s in her early teens when we first meet her, and fond as I’ve become of her (keep in mind I’m already deep into #3 as I write), she’s still not my favorite character.
Spoiler Alert!!!!!!!!! The character links below might contain spoilers, so if you want to read the books and TRULY be surprised, don’t click over.
Look closely at the cover art. See the dark, furry character in the bottom left corner? That’s Lirael’s companion, The Disreptuable Dog. Just as I knew Gretchen – and Mugsy before her – was just the sort of Jack Russell that made J.K. Rowling invent crups, you only have to see/hear the dog’s name to know that Sissy could indeed be heir to the Disreputable Dog line.
Neither Sissy nor DD is TRULY disreputable, but they’re both full of themselves, affectionate, loyal and capable of pulling off stunts you wouldn’t think a normal dog could do.
For the cat lovers out there, I’ve been remiss in not mentioning Mogget, a beautiful, RUDE, white cat whose magical side is revealed fairly early in Sabriel. He’s not entirely trustworthy, he demands a lot from the human-ish characters… he really is very much like a cat. I happen to adore the character, but then, I like terriers and hounds because they aren’t exactly compliant, obedient canines.
I think I have a new, favorite series. I loved Harry Potter dearly until the last book broke that spell, and while I’ve enjoyed a few series since then, nothing else has captured me like this trilogy about the Old Kingdom. It is a little predictable in the grand scheme of the plot, but the fine details that make the tale so much fun to read are filled with twists, turns and real drama. Did I mention STRONG female characters? I’m still waiting to see if Princess Ellimere turns out to be as strong as she thinks she is…
Word of warning… If you do read this series, make sure you have book #3 –Abhorsen – on hand before you finish #2 – Lirael. To say there’s a cliff hanger is a serious understatement. Good thing my Nook store is open 24/7, and I’d already been warned. I had #3 downloaded, read to open as soon as I finished #2, which allowed me enough time to finish two chapters before my meeting last night.
My weekend plans? Well, as soon as I get home, I’m going to do what I’ve done the last two afternoons. The fur-girls and I are going to pile up and finish the book. This time, we’ll finish the series, and that will be bittersweet. I hate to see a good series end, but at least this time, I’m pretty sure the ending won’t find me throwing the book across the room.
What are you up to this weekend?