368p. (Old Kingdom: Bk. 5). ebook available. HarperCollins. Oct. 2016. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780061561580.
Gr 8 Up—In this brilliant installment of the series, the once shy Lirael steps boldly into her duties as Abhorsen-in-Waiting. While Nix brings back many other familiar characters, he begins on the far side of the Greenwash River Bridge with a young woman of the clans who roam north of the kingdom. Ferin bears a vital message for Lirael and the Clayr from one of their own who traveled north long ago. She is pursued by shamans who can summon Free Magic creatures as well as a necromancer who can call the Dead. Meanwhile, Lirael is called south, beyond the Wall to the Ancelstierre, where she must rescue Nicholas Sayre from a Hrule, a fell creature of Free Magic. Nicholas is sorely wounded, so Lirael must transport him via paperwing to the glacier of the Clayr, the only place in the Old Kingdom where they possess the knowledge and the skill to treat him. Ferin and Lirael will meet in the Clayr's glacier to discuss with Sabriel, Touchstone, and other formidable figures the great threat that looms. Nix's terrific characters enliven the story, while moments of peril provide the rhythm. He even includes some cameos from characters who readers might not expect. His wonderfully imagined world is full of rich details and where Charter Magic flows through and protects humanity.
VERDICT For fantasy lovers, teens and adults alike.

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