Abhorsen concludes the events begun in Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr, the second book in the Abhorsen trilogy. The book opens in Ancelstierre, the non-magical realm that borders the Old Kingdom. Sabriel and Touchstone, the king and queen of the Old Kingdom, have been trying to gain Ancestierran political support. Unfortunately the political party who is responsible for sending thousands of Southerling refugees across the border into the Old Kingdom (and certain death) stages a highly effective assassination attempt.
Meanwhile, Prince Sameth and Abhorsen-in-Waiting Lirael are at the Abhorsen's house. They desperately need to find Sameth's friend Nicholas, who is in the company of the necromancer Hedge, supervising the excavation of an ancient artifact. Nicholas is very sick, possessed by the spirit of something dark and powerful that craves destruction. The Greater Dead necromancer, Chlorr of the Mask, surrounds the Abhorsen's house with legions of the Dead. Lirael, Sameth and their companions Mogget the cat and the Disreputable Dog must travel a hidden, dangerous path in order to bypass the dead and get to Nicholas - and the mysterious metallic hemispheres - as quickly as possible.
As they gain understanding about the artifact and the ultimate goal of Hedge and Chlorr, it becomes clear that, should the two metallic hemispheres somehow be joined, it will unleash a destructive force powerful enough to destroy the Old Kingdom and Ancelstierre. Once again Tim Curry delivers a masterful performance, ratcheting up the suspense as he narrates the exciting conclusion to the trilogy. It was hard to let these characters go at the end, after having spent so much time in their company. Luckily there is Across the Wall: A Tale of the Abhorsen and Other Stories, so I can look forward to revisiting the Old Kingdom some time soon.
And here's some excellent news, straight from the horse's mouth (so to speak): Nix is going to write two more books set in the Old Kingdom. The first will be called Clariel: The Lost Abhorsen, the story of the young woman who eventually became Chlorr of the Mask, and the projected publication date is 2010. The other will probably be out the following year.
Books in the Abhorsen trilogy:
2. Lirael: Daughter of the Clayr
Abhorsen by Garth Nix; narrated by Tim Curry (Listening Library, 2006)
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