I am an enduring fan of Garth Nix. His Old Kingdom series is a fantasy classic, and his stories have won some impressive awards. I have already written a glowing review of Sabriel, but I wanted to highlight Garth Nix’s work: the world of The Old Kingdom is another reality entirely, but so fully realized that I feel like I’m there. His books are full of adventure, mystery, and plenty of excitement.
Reading Lirael the other day, I found myself holding my breath during a battle between Lirael, a young woman who is discovering that she can work magic, and a terrifying, shape-shifting beast. I recognize myself in Nix’s characters although they have extraordinary abilities (which sadly I do not), but I am always transported to a different realm when I read his work. With great female characters, magic, and adventure, I count Nix’s writing among contemporary fantasy greats like Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy and Kristin Cashore’s Graceling (to name a very few). Here is a sampling of what we have from him:
Old Kingdom, Volume 1
Sabriel, daughter of the necromancer Abhorsen, must journey into the mysterious and magical Old Kingdom to rescue her father from the Land of the Dead.
Sequel to Sabriel (Old Kingdom Vol. 2)
When a dangerous necromancer threatens to unleash a long-buried evil, Lirael and Prince Sameth are drawn into a battle to save the Old Kingdom and reveal their true destinies.
Sequel to Lirael (Old Kingdom Vol. 3)
Everything depends upon Lirael. A heavy, perhaps even impossible burden for a young woman who just days ago was merely a Second Assistant Librarian. With only a vision from the Clayr to guide her, and the rather mixed help of her companions, Lirael must search in both Life and Death for some means to defeat the Destroyer.
In a savage postnuclear world, four young fugitives attempt to overthrow the bloodthirsty rule of the Overlords with the help of Shade, their mysterious mentor.
If you are looking for some extraordinary fantasy or exciting science fiction, Garth Nix may be the author for you.