The Old Kingdom. A series I adore, but a series I’ve not revisited in some time. When Hot Key Books got in touch to ask if I’d like to review the prequel to the trilogy, Clariel, and host a giveaway, I jumped at the chance!

Set 600 years before Sabriel, the book follows the story of Clariel as she deals with upheaval, magic and the ultimate consequences of the choices she makes…

It was a revelation to find such a young but tough heroine – and one who systematically rebuffed all romantic advances, even when she was happy to remain friends with them. I think every other fantasy book I’ve read, both YA and adult and those, like the Old Kingdom, which transcend both genres, the protagonist has found themselves in a romantic relationship by the end of the book.

We also get a bit more of Mogget’s backstory, which was particularly nice after having re-read Sabriel, Lirael and Abhorsen in preparation for Clariel’s arrival through my letter box.

The magic system (a borrowed phrase, but one that describes it well) in the Old Kingdom has always fascinated me – the difference between the Kingdom and Ancelstierre, two worlds and the meeting in the middle, and the Great Charter versus Free Magic – and those, like the Abhorsens, who wield both. I found myself doodling Charter marks on my hand with silver Sharpie while I was reading…

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I loved the twist in Clariel’s tale – and the author’s note which, after reading, made me go back and read the whole book over again with the new insight it gave.

If you’re familiar with the Old Kingdom, you’ll love this. If you’re not, but you like adventure, fantasy, triumph against adversity (though not necessarily in the way you expect…), then give it a go – you won’t be disappointed.

Buy your own copy here (Amazon).

Visit Garth Nix’s own site. 

And don’t forget to enter below to win your own copy of Clariel!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

*I received a copy of the book from the publishers to review for this post, and another to give away.  All opinions remain entirely my own.

What I wore: a secret wedding
Last minute photoshoot prep - argh