eBook - 2014
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Baker & Taylor
Ignoring rumors about her family's claim to the throne after moving to the city of Belisaere, Clariel dreams of escaping to a hunter's life while trying to outmaneuver a Free Magic creature, an unwanted betrothal and a plot against King Orrikan. Simultaneous eBook. 100,000 first printing.


Award-winning author Garth Nix returns to the Old Kingdom with a thrilling prequel complete with dark magic, royalty, dangerous action, a strong heroine, and flawless world building. This epic fantasy adventure is destined to be a classic and is perfect for fans of Rae Carson, Kristin Cashore, Scott Westerfeld, and Cassandra Clare.

Clariel is the daughter of one of the most notable families in the Old Kingdom, with blood relations to the Abhorsen and, most important, to the King. She dreams of living a simple life but discovers this is hard to achieve when a dangerous Free Magic creature is loose in the city, her parents want to marry her off to a killer, and there is a plot brewing against the old and withdrawn King Orrikan. When Clariel is drawn into the efforts to find and capture the creature, she finds hidden sorcery within herself, yet it is magic that carries great dangers. Can she rise above the temptation of power, escape the unwanted marriage, and save the King?

& Taylor

"The story of how Clariel became a Free Magic Sorcerer, set 600 years before the birth of Sabriel"--

Publisher: 2014
ISBN: 9780062216809
Branch Call Number: E-Book TEEN


From Library Staff

Wondering what the "A" is about in some acronyms? Meet Clariel, who's emphatically asexual and aromantic. It stands alone, but it's part of a wonderful fantasy series that many ages can enjoy!

PimaLib_JusdinaNB Dec 27, 2014

** spoiler alert ** I wasn't enraptured with this Old Kingdom book the same way I was with the first three. I think I knew pretty early on that Clariel would become Chlorr of the Mask and therefore I struggled with loving the character. It was also somewhat heartbreaking to see this young girl wh... Read More »

PimaLib_LisaB Oct 26, 2014

Contains some minor spoilers: For some reason I thought this was about Lirael's mum. It's not, but it is still a prequel. Clariel is a young woman caught up in the power plays of The Old Kingdom 600 years before Sabriel was born.

Pluses: Mogget! We meet Abhorsens when they were a large family... Read More »

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Jan 30, 2017

This installment in Garth Nix's excellent Abhorsen series builds up slowly, and its main character is decidedly more flawed than Sabriel or Lirael, which gives the book a very different feel from the ones that came before it. I still recommend it for fans of the series, because the following book, Goldenhand, is better for having the context of Clariel in mind.

AL_JOSHUAS Oct 09, 2016

I can't say how happy I am that Nix has jumped back into this series, its been one of my favorites. This entry was a solid one. The characters were interesting and the plot enjoyable. I love the detail that Nix uses to paint the scenes in his books. That being said this one built up rather slowly. Its was well worth the wait, but it just felt a little slow getting to the point at times. A very solid read for fans of the series or anyone really

mvkramer Aug 19, 2015

I read Sabriel as a teen and it quickly became - and remains - one of my favorite fantasy novels of all time. I love the setting, the magic system, the characters, the story - everything just works. Then I read the sequels...and I was disappointed, over and over again. And honestly - Clariel is the most disappointing of the lot. The writing is awkward and the Clariel is a cardboard cutout with no personality. I'm just going to pretend that Sabriel is a standalone novel, and I recommend you do as well. More is not always better.

Kereesa Jun 30, 2015

Not quite as good as the rest of the Old Kingdom, Clariel still holds up fairly well. Even in spite of the fact we waited nearly 10 years for it.

Apr 27, 2015

Such a great book.
It was worth the long wait to read it.
It was nice to see the point of view of someone more outside of the Charter but still with magic of their own. Though if only she had someone to teach and guide her... there are creatures you just can't trust.

Apr 24, 2015

*Minor spoilers ye be warned* It was enjoyable to take a romp into the past of the Old Kingdom. Watching Clariel slowly go downhill was not so enjoyable; it’s only appropriate, I suppose, the book seems to be a cautionary tale. I can’t fault Garth Nix’s writing, his prose is as polished as before…the exception being the very beginning and end, which had preachy moments. It felt like he was hitting me over the head with the book’s moral. It did have its moments, though, giving us more detail on the Old Kingdom of 600 years’ past, and especially on the Abhorsen family.

Jan 22, 2015

It's been over ten years since Garth Nix released a book set in the world of the Old Kingdom, so there's a good chance that expectations might be a bit too high when it comes to finally reading "Clariel".

It's not quite as riveting as the original Old Kingdom trilogy (Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen) but it was still a welcome return to a familiar fantasy world.

Set six hundred years before the events of "Sabriel", Clariel is a teenage girl who hates living in the city, and wants to return to her simple life as a forester. Unfortunately, her mother's popularity as a goldsmith makes Clariel one of the most eligible young women in Belisaere.

Learning that there's a plot to overthrow the king, Clariel agrees to help his supporters track down a dangerous Free Magic creature in return for an escape back to the forest she loves. Obviously, things are never that easy, and she's soon caught up in espionage and intrigue that requires her to tap into her own innate powers.

Clariel makes for an interesting heroine. She's anti-social and asexual, whose self-interest is gradually eroded by her commitment to the greater good.

Nix's strengths as a writer are apparent here: strong female protagonist, solid world-building, suspenseful action-sequences, and the whole thing is an enjoyable fantasy adventure. I hope the next Old Kingdom novel won't be another ten years away.

Jan 02, 2015

I really enjoyed reading anf then recently rediscovering the Abhorsen trilogy, so I was pleased to see a new addition to the story, but Clariel really does feel like a separate tale, for all that it shares the world of the other books. Clariel is hard to like, especially knowing how vital the work of the Abhorsen is to their world - her rejection of that side of her family seems illogical to those who have read the other books.

PimaLib_JusdinaNB Dec 27, 2014

** spoiler alert ** I wasn't enraptured with this Old Kingdom book the same way I was with the first three. I think I knew pretty early on that Clariel would become Chlorr of the Mask and therefore I struggled with loving the character. It was also somewhat heartbreaking to see this young girl who really desired to be left along in life to somehow succumb to an inner drive that she could not control. The moral seemed to be that you do not control your destiny which I did not appreciate. With all that being said Nix is still an author that I love reading. Reading his words are effortless and I look forward to the next Old Kingdom novel.

ChristchurchLib Dec 01, 2014

"Though many people in the Old Kingdom would love to live in the capital city of Belisaere, Clariel is resentful that her mother's job has forced them to move there. Prickly and willful, Clariel would rather be in the Great Forest, far from the King's court, boring Charter magic lessons, and an unwanted engagement. When political unrest explodes into violence and Free Magic rages through the city, Clariel's desire for freedom leads her to make choices that could have far-reaching and devastating effects. Set in a breathtaking fantasy world with an intricate system of magic, this prequel to the Old Kingdom trilogy is a "thunderstorm of a tale" (Kirkus Reviews)." Teen Scene December 2014 newsletter

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Apr 24, 2015

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