It’s been ages since the last time I read the Seventh Tower series by Garth Nix, but I’d been meaning to read it again, so this weekend I sat down and blasted through all six volumes. (At around 200 middle-gradey pages each, they’re not a heavy read.) I did remember enjoying the series when I read it the first time—probably way back around when it was published between 2000–2002—but very little else. All I remembered was that I liked them enough, so they’d survived several cullings of my ridiculously large book collection until such time as I could reread them and rejudge.
Having finally done just that, I am happy to report that the series is definitely an enjoyable read, although I probably won’t be holding onto them for another round a decade into the future. I was impressed to see that The Seventh Tower uses magic and worldbuilding in a fascinating way that allows for a deconstruction of privilege that feels organic to the story, while providing us with a strong female touchpoint character as well. Although, given that it was Garth Nix writing, I probably shouldn’t have been surprised. Continue reading →
I’ve been a fan of Garth Nix for a long time, as you may know if you’ve followed my Old Kingdom ramblings on this blog for a while. However, I was a little disappointed by one of his more recent children’s offerings, Newt’s Emerald, and only picked up his latest, Frogkisser!, with some trepidation. I needn’t have worried. Frogkisser! ended up being a humorous, sometimes-satirical take on The Frog Prince, and had all of my favorite things — badass women of color, a rambunctious talking puppy, and absolutely zero romance for the fairy tale princess. But surprisingly, unlike other revisionist fairy tales, it reclaims some of the spirit of the original fairy tale, while subverting some, though not all, of what we believe The Frog Prince to be about today.
It’s been a long time since the main trilogy of the Old Kingdom series ended—the original three books, Sabriel, Lirael, and Abhorsen, were published in 1995, 2001, and 2003 respectively and we’ve only had the occasional short story to tide us over since. But in 2014, author Garth Nix returned to his universe with a prequel installment, Clariel, and ever since then, he’s been making noises about finally giving us a sequel to Abhorsen and following up on the lives of our favorite zombie-killing necromancer ladies. Well, the sequel is finally here, and it’s great. Well, it’s good. Well, it’s… I liked it, at any rate.
The long-awaited prequel to Garth Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy finally came out this past October, but I didn’t get the chance to read it until this past weekend. (My amazing Valentine’s Day plans for myself included cuddling my cat and reading this book.) Clariel turned out to be a great, if sad, exploration both of the more mysterious magics of the Old Kingdom and of Clariel herself, as she was only a minor character in the later books.
Last month, the U.S. cover for Garth Nix’s long, long-awaited book, Clariel, finally hit the internet. (That’s it to the left!) For those of you who don’t know, Clariel is a prequel to Nix’s Old Kingdom trilogy, and it may just answer some questions about how the magic in in the series works. Free Magic? The Charter? From the very first page of the very first book, Nix launches his readers into a fully-realized world which he, infuriatingly enough, never fully explains. All the rules appear to be there, and Nix knows all of them—but we don’t. Until now… maybe.